If you are looking for private accommodation and you want to see the room before you agree to a contract, come early.
It can take time to find the right place, and you are unlikely to have as much time once classes start.
You should also buy a good city map. The best option is a book-style map with a street name index: it's easier to carry and use than a full-size map on one sheet.
Whichever type of accommodation you are in - private or University - you will be signing a lease.
This is a binding contract, which means that you must stay living in the accommodation and paying the agreed rent for the period stated.
If you change your mind, then you must find somebody to replace you, with the agreement of your landlord.
If you are concerned about the lease, and want to have it checked, go to the Advice Place who will check the lease for you and advise you of your rights.
You must also be aware of your rights concerning Council Tax. The Advice Place can also help you with this.
Check out the Advice Place website or drop into one of their offices at Bristo Square or King’s Buildings House.
Although there are some flexible landlords who you can negotiate with, please be aware that many landlords may only offer you a lease for at least six months.
You have a few options:
Council Tax is a charge made by local authorities for each property.
Students are not normally charged Council Tax, but please note that short-term Exchange/Visiting students are not exempt from Council Tax.
To be sure that you are not charged you must be studying for at least 21 hours per week, for at least 24 weeks per year at the University.
Remember that if the semester has started and you still do not have permanent or appropriate accommodation, there is still the chance of getting a room in University accommodation.
About three weeks after the semester begins, Accommodation Services will reallocate vacant rooms from students who have moved out or who never turned up.
You can find out more about how and when to apply via the Vacancies section of this website.
This article was published on Nov 16, 2012