With the Housing Fair approaching, you may or may not have started thinking about housing for the following year. If you're a first or maybe a second year student who currently doesn't live in private student accommodation, you might not be fully aware of the things to consider before signing on the dotted line. But don't panic, your Students' Union is here to help and we've put together a guide on finding your next student home with house hunting tips and some of the best student areas to live in Sheffield…
Top tips for house hunting
Choose the right people to live with
Ideally before you even start house hunting, it's important that you choose the right housemates to live with. Pick your friends wisely, as you'll have to live with these people for the whole of the next academic year. If you get along with the people you're living with in halls, consider living with these people again the following year, or maybe you've got friends on your course who you might want to live with. However, if you have any doubts about living with a particular person or group of people, ask yourself, "Can I trust them?" "Will they pay their bills on time?" "Are they going to contribute to the housework or food shopping?" If you get a bad feeling about anyone or you think that they might cause problems, then it's probably best to find someone else to live with.
Decide on the accommodation and where to live
Once you've decided who you'd like to live with, get your future housemates together and discuss your accommodation preferences. Would you prefer a house or a flat? Do you want to live nearer to City Campus or Collegiate Campus? Do you all want bigger bedrooms? It's important that you all discuss what you want so that you know what you're all looking for. Also, consider the area in which you'd like to live, as there are lots of places in Sheffield that are ideal for students. Take a look at our neighbourhood guide below which explains some of the best student areas to live in Sheffield.
Discuss your budget
Another important thing to think about is budget and considering how much everyone is willing to pay. Make sure everyone knows what each other's expectations are and how much everyone can afford. You don't want to get into a situation where you've found your perfect student house and one person knows that realistically, they can't afford it, so it's vital that everyone is vocal and honest about the budget. Don't fall into the trap of finding a luxury student house which has everything you could possibly need but is way out of your budget. Remember, your student loan has to pay for bills, rent, household supplies and everything else.
Snug is a property inspection standard which is awarded to properties which meet the required standard of property and tenancy management, and the landlord is considered trustworthy and 'proper'. Managed by Sheffield City Council, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield Hallam Students' Union, the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Students' Union, the Snug scheme was established to ensure that Sheffield students are living in accommodation which is safe, reliable and managed properly. Any landlords who are not Snug accredited cannot advertise with the University, so make sure that any properties you look at are Snug accredited.
Have a look around
When house hunting, don't just rely on your friends' opinions or take one look at photos online to make your decision. Arrange house viewings when everyone can attend, and if something seems too good to be true, then it probably is. Always view the accommodation first and ask the landlord lots of questions when you're there to find out as much information as you can. Explore different areas in Sheffield and have a wander around the city to get a feel for each place. It's so important that your accommodation is right for you and your fellow housemates, has everything you need and is within budget, so don't make any sudden decisions until you've all seen the property.
Here are some of the most student-friendly areas to live in Sheffield…
Just minutes from the City Centre, Sharrow is located in between London Road and Ecclesall Road which are both popular with students. In Sharrow, you can find an array of great restaurants offering numerous types of cuisine (perfect for curing those hangovers) and loads of shops. As well as this, Sharrow is also home to Mount Pleasant Park, one of Sheffield's 80 public parks, and is also one of the places where people parade their home-made lanterns at the Sharrow Lantern Carnival.
Located on a hillside, Crookes has lots of residential terraced houses with lots of students living here. There are also lots of shops in Crookes so you're only a few minutes' walk from getting those important groceries and picking up a vintage garm from one of the many charity shops. Bole Hill is also a good place in Crookes to get some great Instagram shots when the weather is a little frosty, and boasts some wonderful views of the landscape.
Ecclesall 'Eccy' Road is a firm favourite amongst students. With numerous bars, pubs, restaurants and shops stretching out across 3.6 miles, Ecclesall Road is the place to go if you fancy a few drinks, a spot of brunch or a rummage in a charity shop. If the busy life of Eccy Road gets a bit too much, Endcliffe Park and the Botanical Gardens are nearby if you need a place to relax or enjoy a brisk walk whilst soaking up the scenery at the same time. It may all sound too good to be true, but it definitely isn't.
It may seem like an obvious choice, especially if you're based at City Campus, but Sheffield City Centre has everything and more for students. Although some students are put off by the slightly more expensive prices of accommodation and like to explore places further afield, for a little extra money you'll have everything you need right on your doorstep. With so many shops, pubs and bars, cafes and restaurants, cinemas, theatres and gig venues galore, you'll never have to get the bus or a taxi again, unless if you're visiting friends who don't live close by.
If you're based at Collegiate Campus, a good place to live is Broomhill, which has a reputation for its vibrant student community and is only a stone's throw away from Eccy Road. It will take you around 15 minutes to walk to uni from Broomhill, and it's also known to have shops and takeaways on every street whilst being home to some of the best pubs (Wetherspoon's and the famous Notty House comes to mind.) Even if you're based at City Campus, Broomhill is just a 10-15 minute bus ride away from the City Centre, making it ideal for all Hallam students.
Although most students believe the myth that you should start house hunting as soon as possible as there is a shortage of student housing in Sheffield, this is not the case! If you're almost finishing your first or second year and you still haven't found a house, don't panic! There is actually a surplus of student accommodation in Sheffield so you'll still be able to find a good, Snug accredited property at any point in the year.
To find out everything you need to know about good quality student accommodation, come along to the Housing Fair on Tuesday 5 November at Hallam Hall, Owen Building between 12 - 4pm. The Housing Fair gives you the chance to meet Snug accredited landlords and get helpful advice and support from a range of advice services. You can also have a go at our Housing Fair game that we'll have on the day, where you could win a 'Snug' prize! You can also find out more information on housing here on our website hallamstudentsunion.com/housing
Remember; take your time before you sign!