Warwick ASEAN Conference

Your Ultimate Guide to Choosing your Off-Campus Accommodation

*A big thank you to Warwick Homes for the information about accommodations based in Canley coupled with the advice on tenancy agreements*

Trust me when I say this, ignoring your off-campus accommodation arrangements up till the last minute is no fun. If you’re a freshie who’s lost and looking around for somewhere nice, you’ve come to the right place! This guide includes tips and essentials on what to look for and what to avoid throughout the whole process, have a read to prep yourself!

GETTING STARTED

Ready to start browsing for accommodations? Let’s go. Here are some useful links and websites to broaden your range of choices:

  • Rightmove 
  • Zoopla
  • Spareroom
  • Facebook

Warwick Home (for accommodations in Canley)

If you want to stay in Canley, do consider Warwick Home! For those who are more drawn to Leamington Spa, you can explore the links below: 

Leamington Spa:

3rd Year Students (an easier way out):

If you have any 3rd-year buddies and you can’t really be bothered to find accommodation from scratch, go talk to them, visit their flats, and see whose flat you might want to take over after they graduate. 

Don’t freak out if you’re undecided on your preferred area, this guide lists out the highlights of Canley and Leamington Spa later on to give you a better picture!

HOUSE VIEWING CONSIDERATIONS

Assuming you’ve pinpointed a few places that caught your eye, here are some things to think about when you go looking around: 

  • Surroundings 
  • Your usual amenities/ priorities (e.g. distance to grocery shopping facilities) 
  • Stove (are you Team Induction Stove or Team Gas Stove?)
  • State the house is in:

The best way to inspect the place’s current state is to talk to current tenants. Ask them about the water pressure, how garbage disposal is done, neighbors, level of noise next door (this matters A LOT if you’re planning to live in a terrace house with shared walls). If the fridge or microwave looks like it’s about to die, check if it’s possible to ask for a replacement

  • Whether the bills are covered or not
  • Renovation:

Ask if any renovation is going to be done over the summer just in case the landlord wants to install new amenities

  • Storage terms:

This applies if you’re planning to stay there for both years (or if a certain pandemic has forced you to go back to your home country), especially if your lease is not for 12 months. For 2nd years and above, check WHEN can you move in to save storage costs for your summer break, when you leave your on-campus accommodation!

ACCOMMODATION LOCATIONS

Let’s go through the pros of the different locations to ensure you’re going to be satisfied with your uni life. 

CANLEY
  • Within walking distance to uni (Warwick Home provides over 210 rooms)
  • Newly renovated rooms
  • Fully equipped, kitchen, heating system, WIFI
  • Private bathroom (with an independent ventilation system) 
  • Flexible terms starting from 40 weeks 

Types of Rooms Available:

  • Rooms with shared bathroom (£100/week)
  • Ensuite (£130/week) 
  • Studio (£165/week)

For more details, feel free to contact Warwick Home or visit their website 

LEAMINGTON SPA

North Leam:

  • Nice restaurants, cute cafés!
  • Plenty of shopping malls 
  • Good pubs and clubs (shoutout to all the alcoholics, jokes – Honestly, what’s uni without the partying life?) 
  • A quaint town full of history 
  • If you don’t mind 30-minute bus rides (gives you time to contemplate life or prep yourself for a seminar/exam)

South Leam:

Located away from the town center, the area features mostly residential districts with scattered home-owned shops

  • Easier to get on the morning bus than North Leam (once the bus is full, it’ll often skip past the stops on the upper parade)
  • Nearer to the train station than North Leam
  • Cheaper rent on average compared to North Leam
  • Close to Puregym

If Leamington Spa seems to be your calling, check out these property agents:

IMPORTANT FYIs BEFORE SIGNING CONTRACTS

Before proceeding, I trust that you’ve browsed around, explored the various towns, and are absolutely sure you won’t regret living with your chosen housemates. Now it’s time to make sure you really know what you’re signing up for.
Checks BEFORE Signing Tenancy Agreement: 

  1. Investigate title deed
  2. Examine and amend tenancy agreement 
  3. Request landlord to approve the amendments

Details to Double-Check in the Contract:

  • All conditions that were previously discussed are recorded (i.e. whether bills are inclusive or not, WIFI setup) 
  • By when you have to move out 
  • Insurance coverage
  • Requirements required when returning the house at the end of your lease 
  • Apply for council tax exemption (since we’re all students)
  • Make sure the deposit is properly covered under the tenancy deposit scheme

Warwick SU has a Student Advice Centre that can help you look through your contracts:

https://warwick.ac.uk/services/accommodation/studentaccommodation/waoffcampus/

For those planning to stay in Canley, feel free to contact Warwick Homes via WhatsApp. They’re happy to look through students’ contracts for them and provide more details on common loopholes in tenancy agreements.

Hopefully, this guide has nudged you in the right direction with a better idea of where to base your uni accommodation. Don’t rush, think things through, and best of luck! 

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