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Are you ready for the housing hunt?

It’s that time of year again, where housing starts being mentioned. Posters keep popping up, with information about stands and the list release. For many this is a confusing and slightly overwhelming time of year. Fortunately the Union Advice Centre and Street Law are here to help.

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Photo: UEA

You may be wondering what the housing list is and what all the fuss is about?

On Friday 17th January 2014 at 9.00am , a list of properties accredited by the Union of UEA students, which are available for the next academic year, go live. There are hundreds of properties all over the city that need filling. On the 17th January you can view the list, then call the landlords to arrange viewings and visit as many properties as you like, before you sign a tenancy agreement. You can search by location, type, number of bedrooms and much more. The key is to keep calm and don’t panic; there is something for everyone out there!

Why Home Run?
It is run by the Union of UEA students and it is recommended by UEA itself. By using Home Run it means you will not be charged any agency fees. All of the Landlords that advertise with Home Run have signed up to a minimum standards code, meaning that they have had to provide safety certificate(s) and have agreed to deal with repairs promptly. Essentially Home Run is the biggest and the best!

What should I be doing now?
There are a few things that you could be doing now.

1. Start thinking about who you want to live with and the amount of people you wish to live with. This is the really important bit as you don’t want to end up living with someone that drives you mad! There are some friends that you love dearly but just could not live with… this is perfectly fine. Start talking to your friends and think about forming groups.

2. Sign up to Home Run here (http://www.homerunstudentpad.co.uk/Students) You will need to create an account before you can view the properties. It is best to get this done before the list goes live as it means you will have more time on the day to look and it will be less stressful. It might be worth getting your whole group of future housemates to create accounts as it means you can all be looking at once.

3. Pick up the House Hunting Guide and start thinking about the various issues involved with renting. The more you know the better! The Union Advice Centre leaflets contain a wealth of knowledge that is relevant to you, not only now but for in the future when you leave uni too! The whole process of house hunting and becoming tenants can be very confusing (we’ve all been there!) But all the information is out there so use it

Are you still worried or do you have lots of questions?
Street Law in conjunction with the Union of UEA Students are running information stalls in the Hive on the 26th and 28th November and in the library on 27th, from 11:30-14:00. So come along and ask fellow students as many questions as you like and remember there is no such thing as a stupid question! The Union Advice Centre is also running a Q+A session on 26th November in the LCR from 17:30 – 18:30. This is a good opportunity for you to pick the brains of the Union Advice Centre Staff; we are all members of the Union so it makes sense to go along and use their services!

Remember to keep calm, stay organised and get informed. The more you do now, the easier the process will be. You can look at some videos and view more information about house hunting on the Union Website.

28/11/2013

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Shelley Hazlewood