When you look for somewhere to live, many students want to be as close to campus as physically possible and always think of their perfect house as being within five minutes’ walk to the campus. These houses are often the first to be snapped up and sometimes might not actually be your ‘perfect home’. We recommend that you broaden your search because often, the further away from campus you are, the cheaper the accommodation is likely to be. Areas such as Pinhoe road Monks Road, St Leonards and St Thomas can offer a great alternative and have excellent bus routes too!
Our website provides information and advice about the various private accommodation options available within the city. These include: purpose-built private halls of residence, shared houses and flats, properties through private individual landlords, properties through student letting agencies and living with a resident landlord.
What to check for?
It is important to check the property both inside and outside. Is the outside of the property in good condition? Are there loose roof tiles, leaking pipes or gutters? Will these problems be repaired before you move in? How do you report repairs as a tenant? Inside you should check for any signs of dampness, condensation or mould on the walls or carpets. Check if there are any signs of pests such as mice, rats or cockroaches. It is also worth noting if the lights are on during the day to make it appear brighter because this might impact on your budget for bills if you need to have the lights on more than normal.
If there are communal areas such as a garden, entrance hall or stairwell in the property you should check who is responsible for their upkeep or if there are any hidden costs such as paying for cleaning and the maintenance.
Properties may be furnished, fully furnished or part-furnished. You should check what furniture and appliances are provided and see if they are in good condition. Ask the private provider or landlord or agent to provide an inventory when you move in, and take date-marked pictures of any damage to avoid disagreements and deposit deductions later on. It might also be worth asking what additional items you are allowed to bring and whether you’re able to bring your own furniture or not for health and safety reasons.
It is advisable to see if electrical appliances have been PAT tested (check the sticker on the plug). You can also check if the private provider, landlord or agent can show you copies of safety certificates for all gas appliances (by law, all gas appliances must be checked every 12 months). All landlords registered on our Studentpad website need to have an up to date gas safety certificate in order to advertise their property with us which is why we recommend you use this site as your first port of call.
Where to find accommodation?
We administer the Studentpad website which provides advertisements from private landlords, letting agents and large providers within the city. Advertisements for the 2020/21 academic year will be available on Studentpad as soon as landlords advertise their properties.
Exeter City Council have information about renting accommodation in the city as well details on where to find somewhere to rent.
For some, a house is best, for others purpose-built private halls of residence will be better. If you’re looking for a private provider, it’s worth checking that they company is part of the ANUK Accreditation scheme. This means they sign up to maintaining a high set of standards.
Take a look at Save the Student for more tips and information.
I really wanted to live as close to campus as possible. My friends and I never really thought about looking further away than Union Road but really we shot ourselves in the foot by having to pay a premium for living so close. I wish I had researched my other options.