Price, paperwork and flatmates

It’s official, over 100 advertisements for private accommodation for 2019/20 went live yesterday. Make sure you take a look at Studentpad to see exactly what is available. This week, we are giving you some final reminders about what to look for when you search for private accommodation in the city. Do take a look at all of the advice we have on our Private Accommodation webpage.

Think about price!
Remember to look at both the rent and bill and to assess the costs over the whole contract period so don’t look at the weekly rent but the full payments due under the contract and what is included. When you consider the cost of living in the property you should consider the following:

  • How much is the rent?
  • What is your budget?
  • Will you have to pay a deposit or rent in advance?
  • What (if any) bills are included? If you are going to be paying the bills, then make sure you plan ahead with your flatmates on how this will be paid and divided between you. This will help to avoid any potential future disputes.
  • How much are the current tenants spending on bills? You should check which type of heating system the property has and if the landlord or a current tenant can provide a cost estimate or example bill. It might also be worth seeking estimates from utility companies or internet providers in advance.

The map on our places webpage will give you some idea of average rental prices within different locations of Exeter.

Check your paperwork
It is really important to make sure you know what you’re signing up to. Are you signing an individual or joint tenancy agreement? What does the landlord commit to doing and what is your responsibility? Are bills included or extra? Why not pop along and get your contract checked for free by members of the Students’ Guild Advice? Just ensure that you bring a hardcopy of your contract along with any questions you may have after reading the contract yourself. This service is for general guidance on your rights and responsibilities and is not legal advice.

Members of the team will be available in DH2 between 2:00pm-4:00pm on the following days this month:

  • Monday 26 November
  • Wednesday 28 November
  • Friday 30 November

Message board
If you are looking for a group of housemates, or have a room spare in your shared house, the Studentpad Messageboard is a great place to reach out to other students. This board is only accessible to students, so email us for the password via

Flatmate Finder
You can use Studentpad to search for flatmates using the ‘flatmate finder’ tool within the messageboard. Bear in mind that you will be sharing your home with your future flatmates for up to a year, so please do think carefully before making any decisions.

It is completely up to you who you share a home with next year, so please don’t feel pressured into joining a group you aren’t entirely happy with. There are plenty of other students who don’t have their ‘group’ sorted for next year, and there is always the option of securing a place in private halls if the idea of a shared tenancy or contract doesn’t appeal to you.

If you are open with your housing options – for example, considering a house slightly further away, or living with a smaller number of housemates – then there are plenty of possibilities which are available throughout the year.

Of course this will depend on what you are willing to compromise on – if you have one specific area of Exeter in mind, or a certain type of property then you might want to secure it when it becomes available.

Last year, landlords contacted us after November worried that they had missed the rush and whether any students would still be interested in their property – so no need to worry yet!

Accommodation Catherine and Accommodation Grace

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