How are you surviving the letting bloodbath?

Struggling to find a place to live for the next year of uni? Join the club!

Trying to find a place to live for the next academic year makes staying home with your parents much more appealing. Instead of relaxing and enjoying our time off of uni, we are all desperately searching for a flat, attending viewing after viewing and filling out immense pieces of paperwork. Trust me, I am here with you all.

it isn’t always easy to take that next big step in your life, it takes a lot of thinking and decision-making. So you would think it really shouldn’t be that stressful after you’ve made that decision…sadly it is. Many of us are experiencing similar situations when it comes to flat hunting, you aren’t alone and will find somewhere believe me.

Endless enquires

When looking for a flat, enquiring and emailing about almost anything you find within your price range is expected. This leads to endless enquiries that plague your email inbox. Not to mention the automatic mailing list which spams you with notifications every hour.

I found that a lot of letting agencies often sent emails after you enquired asking for more information which you had already provided. Which meant extra time being spent re-writing the same sentences and annual incomes. They also send emails asking for you to book a viewing, but after filling out the forms they inform you that no viewings are available.

The worst part about these enquiries is that most of them go unanswered, at a time which is already stressful. It seems to be the nail in the coffin.

Over on our Instagram, we asked for your advice to help in the flat scavenger hunt. One viewer wrote: “Make sure to call about the flats, as emails usually get looked over.” I must admit, at first, I hated the thought of having to speak to someone over the phone. More of a text-and-email person myself.

But, after enquiring about so many flats and not hearing back from the majority, I started to call the agents and found that I would get more viewing opportunities this way. So it might be worth it to keep in mind!

Limited property market

But, after enquiring about so many flats and not hearing back from the majority, I started to call the agents and found that I would get more viewing opportunities this way. So it might be worth it to keep in mind!

Limited property market

If you, like myself originally set out to find a one-bedroom flat. I’m sure you understand the limited market for them. It seems to be that either two-bedroom flats or more than three are easier to find and have a very large market.

It is also somewhat of a biased rental market in the city of Glasgow. Many estate agents and private owners tend to only want professionals or post-graduate students which limits undergraduate students. I can understand the concerns some landlords may have, but I believe not all students fit into the “messy, unorganised” stereotype.

Another viewer wrote with their advice:

“Don’t give up hope due to the limited market! ask friends and people you know who are moving out and see if they have any spare rooms. If not Gumtree and Instagram stories are great places to find hidden gems.”

Asking friends from either your accommodation flat or just in general is always a great idea, I asked a few of mine.

I would also say to put on your Instagram story or other socials that you are looking for a flat and perhaps a roommate. This helped me in finding my soon-to-be roommate. I know that looking on Gumtree and Instagram can seem daunting but it is beneficial.

People often advertise flats or rooms here, instead of agencies so that they don’t need to pay the fees. I found my flat through an Instagram story and many people I know found theirs on Gumtree and Instagram.

Living with friends

When moving out, it’s always a good idea to get a flat with friends so that the costs are split up and good memories are made. However, living with friends can be hard as well. Some people have different lines of tolerance when it comes to cleaning, bills, socialising etc.

That’s why it is super important to think about moving in with friends, Are there people you can rely on to help keep up to date on chores, pay rent on time, and enjoy a comfortable silence with?

After you’ve considered all of that, it’s the trickiest part which is finding a flat that suits you both. There are few flats where both bedrooms are the same size or have two bathrooms. This is something that may cause a little bit of stress and tension, but trust me when I say it will be worth it once you get a flat.

Living with friends is something that comes hand-in-hand with the university experience. I opted for a studio flat in accommodation for my first year, it made making friends slightly harder but helped me figure out what kind of person I am in my own space. Perhaps I missed out on a few friendship connections that could have been made sooner, but I did learn a lot about myself.

References and guarantors

Now, this is something which more often than not you want to have pre-written or sorted beforehand. Landlords will often want a reference from your current flat/accommodation or a guarantor to ensure you will pay rent.

Ask your parents or someone you know well to stand in as a guarantor, it’s always easier to have it prepared than scrambling in the moment. Sometimes, they will also ask for a reference from your place of work, if you are working. This is to see how responsible and suitable you are.

Do make sure to always ask permission from both your work and guarantor before writing their names down. Although it can be annoying to have to send away references etc., it does help with your application and makes you seem more suitable and organised.

Just be prepared! I wished I had been, but you live and you learn.