Freshers being told they MUST book accommodation NOW for Sept 2020

(96 Posts)
DishingOutDone Tue 05-Nov-19 15:54:06

Sorry if this is being covered on another thread but just wanted to get opinions on this; I've heard of this happening but hoped that my DD wouldn't get drawn in. Apparently the third years have told her course that unless they get booked in now for sept 2020 they won't get anything nice. I have heard that this is something rogue landlords do to try to bump up their rent; what does everything think?

I am worried as she's not entirely happy now what if she wants to change uni for year 2 or something goes wrong? Also I looked a few weeks ago on Right Move for her area and there were loads of 3 nice bed semis for rent outside of the main student drag in quiet residential areas - but I wonder if owners/landlords automatically refuse to rent once they know its for students? Also it would take a lot of nerve to hold out till September 2020 before booking.

Hive views please (or if this has been done on another thread tell me off and send me to it!)

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DishingOutDone Tue 05-Nov-19 15:54:43

"What does everyone think?" that should read.

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titchy Tue 05-Nov-19 16:54:16

It's ridiculous yes. But..... not unusual I'm afraid. Most seem to between now and January if you've got a group to look for a house with. If you haven't then there will be plenty of odd rooms going come next summer.

So if she gets somewhere now, it's likely she'd be able to fill the room if she decides against it next summer. Similarly if she doesn't want to commit now and doesn't mind going in as an odd one rather late, then there should be enough groups looking to fill one room.

IrmaFayLear Tue 05-Nov-19 17:46:06

It seems such a ridiculous system. How can you possibly know who you want to share with in a year's time? A year is a long time at university, particularly the first year. Also it causes a lot of anxiety for those who haven't found a "group".

I wish there was some kind of ban on any accommodation booking until the third term.

Thecazelets Tue 05-Nov-19 17:52:33

Depends a bit on the university; definitely a thing in Durham, for example, where there is very short supply near the colleges/city centre.

Xenia Tue 05-Nov-19 18:13:36

Yes, that is defnitely the cse. both my twins had found their group of friends and signed tenancies before Christmas holidays of year 1 for their year 2 houses in Bristol (and the same in year 2 - they are in year 3 now).

Also most people have to pay rent over the summer. My twins' tenancies all started 1 July and they move in at end of Sept so 3 months wasted (I pay). In my day I think landlords sometimes offered a "retainer" over the summer for students - you paid half the normal rent but did not have occupation then. That seems to have gone entirely and there are so many more students these days hunting very very few properties in some popular university cities that there is a lot of demand for limited supply (but that will vary across the country).

Mine have stayed with their friends largely for year 3 so they must have picked reasonable ones with whom to share in year 2 I suppose.

there are also financial issues - I think one of my twins in term 1 of year 1 had to pay abotu £200 or £300 to secure (per person) the house for year 2 and the other much less - althoughboth had to produce the deposit and first rent by 1 July (one having to pay in advance for 3 months and the other monthly).

MillicentMartha Tue 05-Nov-19 20:06:31

DS1 had his house booked by mid Nov. It seemed necessary to actually get somewhere but was much too early socially. He ended up in a house share where out of 5 people, 2 dropped out before April and they had to scramble around finding people to take over. One place they didn’t fill until May and they had never met the chap. It was a bit of a shit show. In the 3rd year DS1 moved in with a group of 6 completely different people.


Abraid2 Tue 05-Nov-19 20:07:43

Definitely the experience of my two in Birmingham and York. Usually sorted by now.

AvillageinProvence Tue 05-Nov-19 20:52:42

Yes I agree it's early to decide who you're going to houseshare with, As other pp have said, it depends where you are how quickly places start to get 'taken'. I have a vague feeling it may be later in Scotland - maybe Scottish mners can confirm?! As IFL says the rush to find accom in October can cause a lot of anxiety!

Then there's the issue of dparents being asked to guarantee the rent - not really discussed anywhere other than mn, but it seems to be pretty standard in some places.

Maladicta Tue 05-Nov-19 21:01:01

Dd and friends had sorted their Exeter house for 2nd yr by this time last year. Leave it later and the availability drops dramatically. There is usually some wobbling - she's in a house of 10 - but she loves where she is.

raspberryrippleicecream Tue 05-Nov-19 21:30:53

Not a Scottish Mner but I have a DD at uni in Scotland. DD sorted hers out in June, she kept telling me it was normal for it to be so late where she is. (Not St Andrews, I have an idea it is different there!) She also negotiated an August start date so she only had 1 month of 'empty' rent to pay. The tenancy, which I believe is normal for Scotland, can be ended with the correct notice period at any time by her group. I am guarantor for her part of the rent only.

I also have DS in his 4th year at an English uni. He has tended to have found his by Christmas but even he says where he is it is not necessary. He has been lucky as the private lets at his uni go through the SU. No deposit, no guarantee, no upfront payments or extra payments before they were illegal. And if needs be the uni maintenance people come out in an emergency (they did for a burst pipe in DSs flat). He has 46 week leases from the middle of September to the beginning of August.

Peaseblossom22 Wed 06-Nov-19 07:19:18

I hate this , it was definitely the final nail in the coffin for ds1 who was totally unprepared for the cut throat friendship groups , he just hadn’t found his tribe by this time in the first year, was quite shy and didn’t feel able to ‘push in’ . Also know at least 2 people in Bristol who had nightmare experiences, one who was bullied very badly by their house in the second year where the rest of the house recruited someone to take over his room in the third year before they arrived in the second. I know several who have ended up staying with friends from school just for security, which doesn’t seem good socially .

It’s just another source of anxiety for those who are finding the transition hard already .

EduCated Wed 06-Nov-19 07:24:51

She should check if her students Union have any advice. Most large uni towns/cities have more accommodation than students so they’re not going to be left out in the cold.

That said, Christmas/January time is normal (if shit), now is just absurd and I wouldn’t be encouraging it unless the SU are, but that can be hard when everyone has been hyped up by rumour and letting agents.

Birmingham is a classic example I’m aware of - a shit ton of housing, but letting agents hype the rumours that ‘all the good accommodation will be gone’. Bollocks will it!

VanCleefArpels Wed 06-Nov-19 07:35:55

The 3 bed semi outside the student area probably won’t rent to students I’m afraid. I’m a landlord and my insurance prevents me from renting to students. In addition student households should usually be registered as a HMO which those houses will not be

AvillageinProvence Wed 06-Nov-19 08:29:57

Yes, on another thread pp have talked about the rush starting in Durham - bear in mind students started term there only about five weeks ago.
It's interesting - when choosing universities availability of a place in hall in first year can be an important factor, but the arrangements for subsequent years don't really get thought about. For the shyer students, who are slower to form friendships, the late October/November timescale isn't good. And it's true that at least some accommodation does start to get taken then. I don't think there's anything universities can do to stop this as it's in the hands of private landlords - only those universities who own a lot of student houses would be a position to 'hold it back' until spring (and I don't think there are many of those).
Pease, sorry to hear your ds1 didn't have a good experience. I think the set up just doesn't suit everyone - I do wonder whether the 'leave home to study for three 'years that aren't really even years' ' model is still optimal!

BubblesBuddy Wed 06-Nov-19 08:44:21

I think find the right people to share with right now is difficult. DD1 thought she would share with flat mates from 1st year but they didn’t want her and recruited their school friends. She was put out at the time. However she found 5 others a bit later and they found a flat in early January. The flat was on the market in January, not November. So they do have a stream of flats in Bristol. They won’t all be advertised right now.

goodbyestranger Wed 06-Nov-19 08:57:08

DS in Durham was starting to sort his around now (current 3rd Year). The best houses there probably are gone early (that obviously doesn't mean they're all gone), but a parallel issue is that groups form under this pressure so becomes increasingly hard to find a group to share with. It's wrong in principle to panic students like this but seems a very widespread practice. My other DC in Oxford (four had to find rentals) were later but not by much.

Definitelyrandom Wed 06-Nov-19 08:58:38

DS1 stayed in university self catered flats in Nottingham for 3 years (with friends in years 2 and 3) and I think applied in January or February. DS2 in London started vaguely thinking about it in February, the flatmates had a bit of a look in April and then decided to do their proper search in late July. Apparently there’s a surge in availability when people give one month’s notice or so to move on. They ended up with a decent flat with a 12 month tenancy starting in mid September. Cheaper than halls on a weekly basis but obviously more expensive over the 12 months. But London will obviously be different from elsewhere.

goodbyestranger Wed 06-Nov-19 08:58:59

Remarkably none of those five have had any fallings out with their house mates so it clearly can work.

titchy Wed 06-Nov-19 09:32:50

Dd was very lucky with her halls group. Found a house after knowing them for six weeks. Still sharing with them in third year. They all get on brilliantly - go on holiday together, stay with each other in the summer. Hoping ds' current group are the same for him...

ShanghaiDiva Wed 06-Nov-19 09:50:27

I do think students start to look now and ds had a contract signed for a house by mid January of his first year, certainly seems very early compared to when I was at university in the 1980s.
Ds was also lucky with his group in halls - four of the eight in his flat decided to share together, all studying different subjects, but similar in personality - sport rather than clubbing etc.

Needmoresleep Wed 06-Nov-19 10:54:17

Obviously it can work out but DD observed some spectacular bust ups in Yr2. Her general observation was that it happened most when large groups from first year flats decided to share, having little in common apart from having spent the first term partying. In year 2, some wanted to carry on partying, whilst others started to focus on their degrees.

DD worried a lot as in her first year she was the odd one out in a serious party flat. She ended up linking up with some other Billy-no-mates at sports training. They rented a flat for four and had a calm and peaceful year. She said later that there had been no need to panic, as by June several groups she knew were looking to fill a room.

Apparently her first year flat mates went on to have a major falling out.

One slight warning is the 'friend of a friend'. Just because you like your friend does not mean you want to live with their friends. If someone suggests another person it is worth checking that they share similar attitudes to noise, cleanliness, drugs and nouse.

ifonly4 Wed 06-Nov-19 11:09:01

It's something that came up when we looked around Birmingham Uni and they mentioned February was the month to start looking.

DD up in Scotland and certainly hasn't started looking, although, she's got has the possibility of two groups to share with. Guess it depends what happens over the next few weeks in social groups, also how many are needed for a particular property.

Needmoresleep Wed 06-Nov-19 11:38:57

It varies. Bristol is mainly pre Christmas. There is not much of a specific student market in London so more like June. (And good flats seem to pass on by word of mouth...get to know some third years.)

DishingOutDone Wed 06-Nov-19 12:19:56

Thank you all. DD has 2 friends to look at places with, they are pretty much peas in a pod - think extreme techy type girls, Even so, stupidly early so much that could go wrong. Thank you to @VanCleefArpels for advice on the HMO thing.

As @AvillageinProvence says I think the set up just doesn't suit everyone - I do wonder whether the 'leave home to study for three 'years that aren't really even years' ' model is still optimal! - this is my first Dc at uni and its been pretty crap so far sad

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