Skip to content

What to do if you still haven’t sorted somewhere to live

If you still haven’t sorted accommodation out for next year, don’t worry, there are still plenty of options available to you.

What if you have housemates but no house?

  • A lot of student houses will already be signed for, but landlords and letting agencies will still have properties available. Check online to see which houses are still up for grabs or visit a letting agent to speak to them about finding a place.
  • Your university will probably have a student accommodation office who will be able to direct you to the most trustworthy landlords and give you any advice you might need in regards to finding a suitable house.

What if you don’t have anybody to live with?

  • Asking your friends is a good place to start to see if they or anybody they know has a spare room in their house that they are looking to fill. Asking around on Facebook or Twitter is a good way to find out who is looking for an extra housemate.
  • Keep your eyes peeled for advertisements around campus. People often put up information about their spare rooms in the main student areas along with contact details.
  • There are plenty of websites where people advertise spare rooms, such as accommodationforstudents.com. This is a great way to meet new people, though we would recommend meeting your new housemates before you agree to sign a contract with them.
  • Visit our SSAS facebook page where other students are advertising their spare rooms. Find us at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Southampton-Student-Accommodation-Support/358722310817296
  • You can also apply to be in halls again. Apply online at https://www.onlineaccommodation.soton.ac.uk/eServices/login/start.do. The application deadline for this is the 30th March. Note that non-international students are not guaranteed a place in halls again, but you are welcome to apply.

Protecting your student house over the holidays

Students are at high risk of burglary, especially when you leave your property unattended as you return back home during term breaks. However, there are a few ways that you can reduce the risk of burglaries and protect your property.

1) Lock your door – it seems obvious, but one in three burglaries are due to people leaving doors and windows unlocked. Make sure that all doors  and windows of the house are secured when you are the last person to leave is the most simple way to protect your property. Also, if your bedroom has its own lock, make sure that you have locked this too.

2) Keep keys out of sight – don’t leave any spares keys around your property and make sure that any keys inside the house are hidden from view. Burglars who can see a key through a window can break in and take it.

3) Keep valuables hidden – having TVs, laptops, spare cash etc on view from a window can attract thefts, so make sure to keep your valuables out of sight if you will be leaving your property unattended. If possible, take your valuables home with you to minimize the risk of losing them.

4) Make your house look occupied – burglars look for tell-tale signs of a house being empty, such as piled up post and newspapers, an unlit house after dark etc. If possible, get a timer installed which switches light on and off automatically.

5) Make sure you have insurance – Getting room cover can save a lot of money if you do get burgled. Make sure to keep a note of make, model and serial number of any electrical items to help the police track them down if they do get stolen.

6) Mark your valuables with a UV pen – write down your personal details in case they get stolen and to deter thieves from stealing them in the first place.

Keep these precautions in mind when leaving your house unattended to minimize the risk of being burgled and enjoy your holidays!

Moving into a student house

As the end of the semester approaches, many students will be moving from halls into a shared house. This usually happens on July 1st and there are a few things to remember before you move.

  1. If you have a lot of things to move from halls to a house make sure you have somebody with a car to help you, some students even prefer to hire a small van, especially if you have pieces of furniture.
  2. Be aware of timings i.e. what time does your halls want you out by and what time can your landlord give you your keys? This all usually happens in the morning so if you are having a big last night out the day before, it may be a good idea to pack everything up before this so you don’t have to do it in the morning!
  3. Ensure that before your contract start date, the inventory has been done with your landlord. If it’s left until after the landlord may claim that you are responsible for any damages.
  4. Make sure you and your house mates know which rooms you are moving into as aside from causing any conflict, this makes it much quicker and easy when transferring your things.
  5. Some landlords ask for the rent to be paid from a shared or house account, so ensure that this has been set up in advance, you may all need to visit the bank together for this. Even if you do not need it for the rent, it can be a good idea to set up this account for paying the bills, to avoid one person having to pay the whole lot and then track down payments from everyone else. It also makes everybody responsible so it doesn’t get left whilst people wait for somebody else to sort it out.
  6. Depending on room sizes/quality, you may have decided that splitting the rent equally is unfair. Be aware of the payments you have all decided on and perhaps put this in writing to save on dispute and to set up a direct debit to your landlord/shared account to ensure you do not forget. It may be a good idea to set this direct debit up for a few days before your rent is due in case there are any problems.
  7. You may all have a lot of kitchen utensils between you, especially if you were in self catered halls. Either decide what you need before you move your things or sort everything out when unpacking as you may need to get rid of some of it. You can either sell these or give these to friends or take them home/to a charity shop. This particularly applies to electronics such as toasters/kettles and if you don’t have any at all you need to sort out buying them. Remember, all electronics can be recycled if you want to dispose of them.
  8. As we recommended in “SSAS tips for looking for a house”, ensure that you are fully aware of what comes in the house and what doesn’t so you can buy anything you need, especially if you are living there from the start of your contract/through the summer. For things like TVs, it might be a good idea if one person wanted to buy it and then keep it after, to save trying to sell it when you leave to each get some money back.
  9. Sort out whether anybody will be in the house over the summer as landlords usually like to know if the house will be empty for a period of longer than a couple of weeks so they can check on it.
  10. If you aren’t staying in the house over summer, do not leave anything valuable in it. it is also a good idea to sort out insurance before you move.
  11. Check who your bills are with and have a look around to see if you can get them any cheaper. Also make sure they know that there are new tenants and take meter readings when you move in just in case, this stops you being charged for the old tenants gas/electric.

What’s it like living in… Glen Eyre?

Was Glen Eyre your first choice? 

Yes
How many people lived in your flat/corridor?


I was in Old Terrace which is part of Glen Eyre. 10 people in my flat.

Did you have an en suite/ have any issues with the communal bathrooms?


Didn’t have an en suite and there were 2 showers and a bath between 10 of us. no issues.

What was the social atmosphere like in your halls? 


Social atmosphere was great- we had a big kitchen on the ground floor of the flat which we used socially. I

Were you catered/self-catered? Would you choose it again? (How did it affected your experience in halls?)


Was self catered and would choose it again- so much cheaper and you can cook whenever you like rather than having to be somewhere at a certain time.

How was moving in day? 


Moving in day was good- lots of people to help with moving in.

How were the Fresher’s Weeks events in your halls? (What was organised by the JCR, did you attend/enjoy them?)


Freshers events were good. went to 3 or 4 and all were really fun

Did you find your halls to be in a good location?

Glen Eyre is definitely a great location. only 10 minute walk to lectures.

What’s it like living in…Gateley Hall?

What halls are you in?

Archers Road (Gateley Hall)

Was it your first choice?

It wasn’t my first choice. It could have been a lot better. I just really didn’t think it was that good.

How many people lived in your flat/corridor?

7 in flat

What was the social atmosphere like in your halls?

Socialising very limited by flats as you could only access your own.
The halls were split into 2 main blocks, down the road from each other.
Flats were quite reclusive
No main communal area apart from the one bar in between the 2 halls.
No green areas, or social area outside for sunny weather

Were you catered/self-catered? Would you choose it again?

Self-Catered.
I would chose catered – much more social setting; kitchens ended up being really dirty.

How was moving in day?

Moving in day was fine; welcome talk was helpful.

How were the Fresher’s Weeks events in your halls?

Didn’t go to that many, all were quite bad and encouraged you to get wasted.

Did you find your halls to be in a good location?

No. It was 40 minutes walk from campus, although near to a bus station. Fairly near food shops and town, but very isolated from other halls, and small in number so felt quite isolated from the main hubbub of university life.

What’s it like living in….Orion’s Point?

Was Orion’s Point your first choice? 

No, but it ended up being really good though.

How many people lived in your flat/corridor?

5

What was the social atmosphere like in your halls?

It was great, I socialised with everyone. I got on really well with my flatmates and met lots of other people from my floor and the floors above. We hosted our own “Orion’s Point Party” and a lot of us went on nights out together.

Were you catered/self-catered? 

Self-catered. It was the only option for Orion’s Point, but if I had the choice I would still choose self-catered. It was good because my flatmates and I cooked and ate together, as we had a kitchen/ diner section in our flat. I wasn’t great at cooking when I arrived in halls so I picked up a few skills from my flatmates which was helpful.

How was moving in day?

Moving in day was exciting and a little stressful. I was worried about making new friends but it was all fine. I already met two of my flatmates through an Orion’s Point group on Facebook, and my family helped me carry all of my stuff to the flat.

How were the Fresher’s Weeks events in your halls?

I went to all of the events organised by the Private Rented Society, which weren’t many, but they were still good. I seem to remember there was a Pirate Night at Jesters and a daytime event at the Bridge. I also attended all of the events put on by SUSU, such as Move-In Weekend, Freshers’ Ball, Neon Rave, Kinki and Oceana, which were really enjoyable.

Did you find your halls to be in a good location?

I’d say a fairly good location because Orion’s Point is located near Bedford Place towards town, so we weren’t very close to uni. The transport links were good though so I just got the Uni-Link bus to university which took about 20 mins. We had to pay for our own bus pass though, but the overall cost of Orion’s Point still came in cheaper than regular halls. I was very close to shops, like Asda, Tesco and even Premier which was across the road. It was also easy to get to the cinema and clubs in Bedford Place and the city centre.

What is Orion’s Point like compared to other halls?

When I was at Orion’s Point it came under Private Rented, but I think it may have changed now as it’s being recognised as a proper halls by the university. It’s organised in flats but everyone tended to leave their front doors open to socialise. We liked to hang out in the corridor, chatting. Orion’s Point flats have a larger living area with a kitchen/diner and lounge. It’s also all ensuite. There’s a fairly big area by reception with a TV and sofas as well. The maintenance and reception staff were all very friendly and helpful in dealing with any problems.

Were you worried when you found out you would be in Orion’s Point?

I was at first because I hadn’t really heard of it, but when I arrived I obviously met lots of people in my position and it was really good.

What’s it like living in…Connaught Halls?

What halls are you in?

Connaught

Was it your first choice?

No, I chose Glen Eyre as I wanted an en-suite, but actually there were only 4 of us sharing our bathroom and it was only across the corridor so it all worked out well.

How many people live in your flat/corridor?

4

What’s the social atmosphere like in your halls?

Our halls were very social. Everyone went out together and we all sang chants on the bus (much to the bus man’s dislike!) There weren’t many people in my flat, but that didn’t matter as there were lots of people in big corridors to go and socialise with 🙂

Are you catered/self-catered? Would you choose it again?

I was in catered. It wasn’t the best food and got a bit repetitive, but I would choose it again as I liked the idea of everyone going to eat together. It meant there was chance to meet lots more people.

How was moving in day?

I was really worried as I was meant to be in a twin room, but I got there quite early and they had spare rooms available so I was able to move into my own room straight away. I was also worried about meeting people, but everyone is in the same boat so they are all willing to chat. Everyone was very friendly. We were lucky as it was a very sunny day so we all sat outside and made our freshers t-shirts.

How were the Fresher’s Weeks events in your halls?

Fresher’s week was really good. There was lots to do. I liked the events in our JCR as everyone on our halls went, but that wasn’t too many (maybe 150!) so there was chance to chat to lots of people without feeling too overwhelmed. There was always a theme which meant we spent lots of the week shopping for costumes and dressing up together.

Do you find your halls to be in a good location?

The location wasn’t great if you wanted to cycle (up hill all the way!) but it didn’t matter as the bus stop was right outside halls and buses came all the time. It was also near a big park so that was nice 🙂