A guide to finding a house for Second Year in Cardiff
By now you would have moved into Taly, Liberty, or Senghenydd Court, met your flatmates, and have been there long enough to feel like you have your own slice of home.
However, during November-December time, you’ll start to hear “act soon or all the good houses will be gone”. As quickly as you moved into halls, you’ll have to start thinking about leaving, and bloody hell it’s stressful! So, here’s your guide on what to do, when to do it, and how.
You will need internet access, a laptop, and a phone.
Choosing your housemates
First things first, you need to figure out who you want to live with. You can choose any human you like, if they’ll have you, it’s quite wonderful. Alternatively, if you’re struggling, those of you at Cardiff Uni can contact the Uni and go into independent student living. Even if you’re just a bit of a hermit, you can do this too. It’s brilliant.
Searching for places
Once that’s been decided, your next step is to gather up your new living partners, and sit yourselves in front of a computer. There are a few options for which websites to look at to provide yourself with a home for the coming year. Here are some for starters:
I suggest doing a lot of research into the letting agency before deciding on a house with them. Your best bet is to shop around, find a few houses from different agencies and book in to view them all. I made the unfortunate mistake of not checking, and our ceiling is currently falling in, with no sign of the contractor anywhere.
Each website will have a booking option where you can contact them, usually via email, listing which property you wish to see, and they will arrange a time to meet you, and take you around the city viewing your new homes. It’s cool.
The only downside to this is that usually you’re walking into preoccupied flats or houses, with undergraduates sat around eating their dinner. Also, one room we walked into, was just full of pants. No explanation as to why - it was just the pants room.
After you’ve viewed the houses, you can either speak to the rep on the day you're viewing the house or email them once you're home about which property you’d like to take and start the contract process.
This is the stressful part. Most places will be fixer-uppers, its student accommodation after all. So, before you book your time slot to go in and sign contracts, it’s worth mentioning a few things you’d like the landlord, or agency to fix first, i.e. mould, holes in the wall, all that adult-y type stuff.
You’ll be asked for two, sometimes three, different types of identification (passport, birth certificate, driving license, etc.), before you come in to sign your contracts. Give that to them ASAP. You’ll also be asked to get your parents to sign a guarantor form, basically roping them in as a fall back if you can't pay your rent.
Once that's done, all that’s left is to fill out a bank account form and sign your contract. Read it thoroughly before you go and buy animals and rip up the carpets, the last thing you want is a fine. You will have to pay a deposit beforehand that you’ll get back at the end of the year so long as the property isn’t damaged. You’ll also only have to pay half rent for July and August (usually), but this covers the time in which the company will go into the property and make it habitable again now the last tenants have left.
And that’s it. It’s actually quite simple. They’ll reiterate all of these steps for you, so don’t worry, and remember: this is fun. Don’t let adulting take over your life (until it has to).
#tyro #DIGS #Cardiff #househunting