There’s no perfect time to look. We advise you don’t get swept along with the annual ‘panic’ that goes around about getting accommodation sorted out before the Christmas break for a tenancy that won’t even start until the following summer. Students hear rumours that the accommodation will all be taken and this is simply not true, Newcastle has an excess of housing options. Unless you have something incredibly specific in mind there’s no need to rush.
Remember to consider how long you’ve known the people you’re planning to live with. If you’re confident you’ll still be friends almost two years later (when your contract will probably end) you can afford to wait until after Christmas. It’s important to remember that you will probably be liable to pay other people’s rent if they fail to pay, so give yourself more time to get to know people.
If sharing listen to everyone’s point of view, consider each other’s realistic budgets (you don’t want to be responsible for someone else’s financial struggles) and try not to pressure one another.
We recommend waiting until Spring Term after you’ve got results from the assessment period. This gives you a chance to get to know each other better, a chance to discuss it with friends and family and the assessment period allows you to measure that you are progressing on your course satisfactorily.
Why do we recommend this?
One of the most common questions the Student Advice Centre get asked each year is ‘How can I get out of my contract?’ The simple answer is you usually can’t as it is legally binding. Just as the landlord can’t just evict you, you equally can’t just cancel it or walk away. We see loads of students wanting to get out of their contract for various reasons but mainly because they have signed too early and their circumstances have changed.
These are the most common reasons why students want to get out of a contract and why we suggest not signing too early:
- Fallen out with housemates.
- Year Abroad/Placement opportunity decided after signing the contract.
- Withdrawn/suspended studies – in the SAC we see a spike in January of students considering dropping out.
- Financial reasons.
- Found new people to live with.
- Personal circumstances.
- Not enjoying or making satisfactory progress on course.