A few weeks ago it was coming to that time where it was necessary to start house hunting and finding who to live with next year. The group I will be living with next year were the same as me and wanted to get the living arrangements sorted as soon as possible so we could get the best choice of houses.
The Students’ Union has an organisation called Green Pad which release’s a list of properties and landlords they have approved. The two people who run it go into each of these properties and talk with the landlord every year and check things such as their electrical and gas safety certificates and the general state of the house. The way they explained it to me at a housing talk was that, as they both have children, if they wouldn’t let their children live there then they won’t put it on the list for us to live there.
The Green Pad website
It is not mandatory to go with landlords from the list but as the Green Pad staff have already done a lot of the hard work it seems like a good idea. Also, particularly first years going into second year, most people have never done anything to do with renting or looking for houses so it does give a little extra safety knowing that someone who knows more than you do has checked it out and approved it.
That being said, it doesn’t mean that it is a sure thing that you will want a particular house which is on the list and it is definitely best to visit it and see if you can imagine yourself living there in the future. It is also a good idea to look at the information on the Green Pad website about what to ask the landlord or agent about the house. I had a list of about 20 questions or more when I went to view the house which we will be living in next year and the agent was brilliant answering all my questions.
It is quite a stressful process as you view a house and if you deliberate too long it is gone but at the time I also didn’t want to make a snap choice without thinking it through and looking at the options.
Once we had decided on the house it was time to put the deposit down on it and then waiting to get the paperwork sorted and then not a lot happens until next year.