Finding next year's accommodation

(34 Posts)
Jugglingballs65 Sun 31-Jan-16 17:56:39

Feeling upset as DD called and said that they were not successful for yet another student house for next year. One was lovely but too small, one they were not picked out of the hat! , one the previous viewers rang and said they would take it while they were being shown around and the last one they took details and said they would email the guarenteurs but then emailed to say another group had paid a deposit.
They keep emailing as instructed or phoning if there is a number. Some of the agents don't take let properties off the website and then don't email back to the request to view. She is waiting for a landlord to text back re a viewing tomorrow after calling her with availability.
Only 3 weeks in to the process but they are struggling to all get together for viewing times what with work deadlines and lectures etc.
It is cutthroat and they are getting very despondent. Lets only went live 3 weeks ago. Last year it was mid Feb when they got somewhere but were only turned down twice.
They are 2nd year students and worried that they won't get any where as there was an influx of students last year.
Anyone else have DC with the same issues?

BackforGood Mon 01-Feb-16 00:27:56

No, but I'm wondering, if they are in a shortage area, if they might have to allow one or two of the group to be able to make the decision for all of them, rather than missing out trying to get 5 (or 4, or 6, or 8?) of them together to make the viewing, and that viewing then not being able to happen as quickly as it otherwise might ?
I think especially if they are already living together, they would have a fair idea about what's important and what's less so ??
(Is there a reason they can't stay where they are?)

Jugglingballs65 Mon 01-Feb-16 09:27:43

I think there is less available this year.
Landlords like to meet all the group.
They can't stay where they are as one is moving out and they would have to find another person or pay the rent for the spare room.
After having two flatmates from hell over the last two years they are wary of asking someone they don't know to join them.

Stillunexpected Mon 01-Feb-16 09:49:38

Wouldn't it be easier to find someone to join their house? If they are second year students, at least one of them must know someone looking for accommodation for whom they would be prepared to vouch!

Jugglingballs65 Mon 01-Feb-16 10:05:45

we discussed this but actually they didn't know anyone who was looking to move. They are not very outgoing as a group. And they have really had it tough, firstly in halls with a really scary girl, and now with a girl who is causing huge problems but will be moving unis next year.So they were very wary about introducing someone they don't really know.
So they opted to look for a smaller house and now their house has an agreement on it for another group for next year.

bojorojo Mon 01-Feb-16 10:53:36

My DD viewed with one other persom from the group. 6 in the group. She and her friend had lighter timetables than the other 4. That was Bristol and a very in demand housing area - Clifton. They cannot all view. They have to draw up guidelines for the two viewing but be flexible. For example, some bedrooms will be smaller than others, the kitchen may be small, there might not be a dishwasher or washing machine etc. They have to be flexible. Decide what is a deal breaker (bedroom in a basement, peeling wallpaper etc) but I feel "too small" is a bit of a weak excuse not to take a student let. Lovely properties are difficult to find.

My DD never met a landlord! All viewings were through agents and they did the filtering. However, decisions need to be instant to secure a good property and they must learn to trust the people who are looking. These people should have highish standards but not be looking for a palace.

All correspondence and payments went through the agent. Why are they meeting landlords? Loads of them are absent landlords anyway!

Just tell them to make fast decisions and delegate!

Jugglingballs65 Mon 01-Feb-16 11:04:51

The properties are advertised through the UNI accom site. Therefore there is no agent involved.
Agents locally charge £100 per person just to introduce them to properties.
The one they saw which was too small was a cottage and some of them are art students so need space for art stuff and to be able to spread stuff out on the floor. The rooms were box rooms really.

MackerelOfFact Mon 01-Feb-16 11:14:35

I would say, firstly, don't rely on websites and emailing. They need to phone the agents, daily if necessary, and get them to show them any and all available student lets on their books before they're listed. Once something goes online it'll be gone within a day or two, especially if it looks nice in the photos. If an agent has several properties on their books, arrange to see them all in one go, and that way they only need to agree one time when they're all free.

Obvious as it sounds, the more places that get snapped up, the fewer students there are left competing for them, so the competition will be less. So in theory, their chances will increase the longer they leave it (even if their choices don't). So the rejection/time thing is a bit of a red herring.

Lastly, anyone who isn't able to prioritise going to viewings over other commitments will just have to accept that they don't get the final say. If they're that bothered, they will have to make the effort to be available. Being proactive, or delegating when it's just not possible, is an important life skill.

bojorojo Mon 01-Feb-16 11:15:25

They just cannot be so choosy though. My DD2 is an art student. A dining table is good enough. Lots of students rooms are small - it is just the way it is! Often larger houses have big bedrooms split into two so the new sized rooms are cosy.

I cannot believe agents are charging intorductory fees! At Bristol no-one went through the university accommodations office! Every single person my DD knew went through an agent and they got commission from the landlord,not the student. What city is this?

MackerelOfFact Mon 01-Feb-16 11:19:40

Ah OK, missed the bit about agents. God letting agents are scumbags, £100pp to show them a property that THEY will make money from if they let out?

Jugglingballs65 Mon 01-Feb-16 11:24:05

just checked, not £100 to introduce, was wrong about that but will charge if they take a property

Jugglingballs65 Mon 01-Feb-16 11:28:45

She's just faced booked me. Has a viewing tonight.
Have got absolutely everything crossed!

bojorojo Mon 01-Feb-16 11:29:02

I still think that is unfairly steep. I think we paid a smallish admin fee but not £100 per student! However, they may have the best properties! They may actually get a property through an agent! They may have to consider it.

SecretSquirrels Mon 01-Feb-16 11:39:16

DS has had the same problem. Every house they looked at has been taken by the time they got to the estate agents. They weren't fussy, just wanted five rooms and didn't all view together if one wasn't free.
They were getting desperate and ended up paying a "reservation fee" on a flat that came on the books that day even before they looked at it. By this time they had resigned themselves to taking anything that came up and one of their group got fixed up elsewhere.
It had four walls so they took it. Then there is the admin fee (yes £100 each) and the deposit......I suppose it's unlikely to be worse than the hovel he ended up in this year.

Jugglingballs65 Mon 01-Feb-16 11:52:01

The accom in this area is not bad, mostly victorian terraces. A bit damp in places but generally ok, compared to the hovels I lived in.
so they are not being picky, they agreed to take all but the cottage, just missed out in the rush.

bojorojo Mon 01-Feb-16 11:53:06

Fingers crossed indeed. If it is remotely suitable - say yes. We sent money as a deposit straight away by BACS transfer.

This whole problem comes about because universities have expanded so much but have not thought where students are to live after the first year in halls. There is a blind assumption that private landlords will be there in abundance. Sometimes this is just not the case and demand seriously outstrips availability. Not that the nunber of students will be cut any time soon. It will happen all over again next year.

Jugglingballs65 Mon 01-Feb-16 12:56:29

have told her that if it is generally ok to say yes and push to get an agreement there and then.
After all makes them appreciate home if they have to cope with a bit of damp and crappy diy!

Jugglingballs65 Mon 01-Feb-16 20:03:06

House no good sad
Landlord didn't show, existing resident showed them round. Landlord a bit dodgy.
Got two more viewings set up for Fri and Sat with agents. Looking for more at the moment. Have been into the letting agents.
Fed up with crossing my fingers.
DD says there are loads more still looking.

SecretSquirrels Tue 02-Feb-16 09:29:12

All of DS's viewings have consisted of a tour by existing tenants. All done through agents though. The university does have managed off site accommodation but there was none left by Christmas. His group agreed on what they wanted as a minimum which wasn't much really and they still couldn't find anything.
A few lessons learned for when DS2 goes, although it may be different at another uni.
Go for uni managed accommodation. This avoids reservation fees, agents fees and deposits (so probably £500 in all) and there is one point of contact.
Get in early. I thought it was hype that they needed to start looking in early December. I was wrong.

bojorojo Tue 02-Feb-16 20:57:04

Very many universities do not have university managed accommodation for 2nd and subsequent years. It all private landlords. University managed accommodation is year 1 only but the accommodations offices do act as agents.

Waitingandhoping2015 Sun 07-Feb-16 11:12:39

Anyone any experience of Loughborough and what it is like finding accommodation there??? Thanks in advance!

goinggetstough Sun 07-Feb-16 11:17:20

waiting there is a good supply of houses for students in Loughborough according to my DC and their friends. Prices are reasonable IMO too. My DC pays £83 per week including bills ( up to a certain point). The other advantage is that you can apply to stay in Halls and many do. I am not sure of the percentage but it is certainly not abnormal to do so.

Jugglingballs65 Sun 07-Feb-16 14:18:25

Friday house grim, Saturday lovely but names not picked.
have come down for two days to assist. Wouldnt normally get involved but this is getting stupid.
been talking to the letting agent and pushing for viewings.
4 tomorrow and 2 on Tues. Last ones on the books for 5 people!
Cross everything for them please!

What2 Sun 07-Feb-16 20:23:15

Fingers crossed for you. Hopefully having you there will mean the agents treat your DDs group seriously. Good luck.

bojorojo Mon 08-Feb-16 01:07:46

Keep us posted. Fingers crossed!

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