Where to Start and What to Do

Feeling a little lost when it comes to finding accommodation for next year? Finding accommodation isn’t a complicated process. There are a few things that you need to think about first but if you follow the steps below you shouldn’t have any problems.

  • Have a look at the Smart Move Booklet for loads of useful information
  • Decide who you want to live with. It’s difficult to search for a house if you aren’t sure how many bedrooms you’re going to need!
  • Discuss with your group what you all want. Where do you want to live? Do you need a double bed or would you be happy with a single bed? How much can you afford? (Don’t forget to factor in bills)
  • Have a look for a property. You can have a look on the Smart Move Sheffield search facility for properties registered with the University of Sheffield. If you haven't found what you’re looking for, why not set up an alert for new properties? If you still can't find what you’re looking for, you could have a look at large property sites such as Rightmove or Zoopla, or at what some estate agents are offering. Bear in mind that there might be large admin fees for these properties though!
  • Once you have found a property you like the look of and meets your criteria, call the agent/landlord to arrange a viewing. This will normally be in at least 24 hours time (they need to give the current tenants notice of the visit).
  • Visit the property with as many people of the group as possible. If anyone can’t attend and you like it, arrange another viewing so they can see it too.
  • Once you have all seen the property discuss it as group and make sure you are all happy with it. If not, look for other properties and arrange viewings of these.
  • If you decide you like the property, you can let the agent/landlord know. They will be able to talk you through the remainder of the process.

Try and see a few properties to get an idea of what is around (and also what you like or don’t like!) and decide which one you would like to rent. From here, signing for the property will involve paying a deposit and signing a contract. They may also ask for things like a reference (which the University can provide if you’re currently in University accommodation), a guarantor or even a holding deposit.

If you are using a lettings or estate agent they may also charge admin fees, each agent charges these differently, so try and find out how much this may cost you before viewing properties. All agents must now, by law, display a list of their fees and a description of each fee’s purpose on their website and prominently in their office.

The landlord should allow you some time to look over the contract before you sign it. You are advised to take some advice on the contract if there is anything that you are not sure of. If the property is registered with Smart Move Sheffield, we can check the contract for you. Alternatively, if the property is not registered with us, the Student Advice Centre will be able to check your contract.