A Guide To House Hunting For Second Year Accommodation

Looking for your ideal student accommodation for your second year at uni?

Get it sorted now!

By doing so, you’ll avoid that stressful, time-consuming last-minute fight for properties and be more likely to land your dream student pad.

Here at Unipol, we can help you through the process every step of the way. From searching for your ideal housemates and finding the best accommodation in the area to dealing with the property viewings, contract signing and other official details, we can give you the support and guidance you need.

Keep reading to learn the step-by-step process you need to follow to find your perfect second-year student accommodation.

1. Think about your finances

Before you start your hunt for accommodation, work out how much you can afford to pay for rent. This will help you organise your finances and start looking for houses within your budget!

Start by adding up your income from any funding, grants, parental contributions or job then figure out what your accommodation expenses are likely to be. Make sure you include your rent itself then extra essential costs such as electricity, gas, water, and internet. Although these figures could change, they’ll give you a good indication of what you are likely to pay.

It’s also a good idea to tally up your other expenses including food, subscriptions, transport costs and insurance while at university.

Having content insurance at university does not cost much and is an easy way to save yourself from potential headaches or disruption to your studies by having cover on any personal possessions such as phones, computers, and other devices. Read more here about what contents insurance is and how it can save you money.

2. Consider what type of student accommodation you want

Next, think about what exactly you’re looking for.

What kind of property?

Do you want to live in student halls or private accommodation? Would you prefer a calm studio flat or want to experience the buzz of living in a shared student house?

What location?

What area would you ideally like to live in? Can you afford to live there? Are there convenient public transport connections to university and nightlife? Can you walk or cycle to campus if required? How safe is the area?

Local amenities

Do you want to be close to supermarkets or grocery shops? How about bars and clubs? Or university sports facilities?

Make sure you speak to your housemates as you work through this process to make it more likely that you find something that suits everyone’s needs.

3. Start early!

If you start your property search early, you’ll more likely to find your perfect student pad and avoid the stress of scrambling around last minute or settling for poorly maintained properties that are miles away from your city centre or campus.

“Give yourself plenty of time, decide who you want to live with before the end of the first year and begin your search asap,” say university comparison site, WhatUni, “You need to have sorted your accommodation and have your agreement in place before everyone goes home for the summer.

Where can you find your ideal student accommodation? Here are a few suggestions:

  • University student accommodation team
  • Social media
  • Friends
  • Noticeboards
  • Local estate agents

4. Find housemates

We’ve all heard those nightmare stories of flatmates who leave piles of dishes unwashed and make noise at all hours of the night. This is of course apart of the adventure of living with other people at university!

If you want to make your shared house experience something to remember, choosing the right housemates is an essential step in second year house hunting.

Think carefully about what sort of housemates you would like to live with. For instance, consider personality, cleanliness, attitude, and lifestyle differences! Check adverts on student notice boards, ask others who are on your course, chat with friends, check out social media and consider posting on our student-to-student Noticeboard to find your ideal housemate.

5. Arrange a student property viewing

When you find an awesome property in an ideal area, it can be tempting to sign a contract right away. However, if you do this, you could be left with some financial surprises when you move in such as water leaks, pests, mould, already broken appliances or accommodation that is nothing like advertised!

To try and avoid a few of these issues, arrange a property viewing to make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into. You should also ask your prospective housemates, parents, or other trusted individuals to accompany your visit to the property with you to get a second trusted opinion!

Start by looking at the overall condition of the property, the location, whether everything is working as it should be and what is included in the rent. Have a property viewing checklist to help you out. It’s also worth speaking to current or previous tenants to find out how responsive the landlord is when it comes to maintenance, repairs or dealing with other emergencies. This may feel like a hassle, but it could save you from stress in the future.

6. Sign the tenancy agreement

When you’re happy with the property and decided that you want to move, you can sign the tenancy agreement. Always read through the document very carefully and seek advice before you sign.

You should also pay attention to the details such as:

  • Whether you have a joint or separate tenancy agreement.
  • How long the contract is for?
  • What happens if a housemate needs to leave?
  • How much you need to pay upfront (An initial deposit, a month or two rent in advance and/or any further fees)
  • Whether you need a guarantor?
  • Who will be held liable for any damage?


Avoid stress and land a dream student property for your second year at university by starting your search early. Calculate your budget and start finding housemates to kick off your search! Once you’ve found something you like, book your viewing, inspect the property, sign the contract then start getting excited!

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