Finding accommodation part 2 – choosing where to live and starting your search

By Laura Dowson, BA (Hons) Illustration.

Part 2 of my blog about finding accommodation focuses on choosing where to live in Sheffield and how to find your perfect pad.

Choosing your location

From experience, if you want the party lifestyle and don’t mind being woken up occasionally in early hours by people heading home from nights out, I’d suggest staying pretty central.

Leadmill Point is very close to the train station and bus station, and Devonshire Point is close to Devonshire Green, West Street and is perfect for Corp goers.  I would recommend Challenge Works, as it is right around the corner from the Owen building.

Staying central is always a plus because of how close you are to City Campus. If you are lucky enough to bring a car to uni, do your research into permits before signing for a flat as central accommodation parking is either super expensive or very scarce. If you can, opt for somewhere with secure parking.

Denby Street, where I currently rent a flat, is very close to the football stadium and has plenty of student digs. There are so many take away shops on the hustle and bustle of London Road. It only takes me 20 minutes to get to the SIA building and would take even less time to get to the Owen building. I paid £30 for the whole year for my parking permit on my street, but spaces can be very scarce especially during match days, so I have to know in advance when they take place.

If, like me, you fancy a bit more peace and quiet out of the city and don’t mind the slightly longer commute, why not move towards the Botanical Gardens near to Ecclesall Road? This would be ideal especially for students that study at Collegiate Campus, but it will only take 30 minutes to walk to my uni building in town, and 20 minutes on a bus. The houses in these areas tend to be more quaint and the surroundings more green and leafy. Luckily you’re never too far away from anywhere in Sheffield so whether you live central or in the outskirts, it’s easy to get to either, from busy to calm and vice versa.

Independent house searching

Do your research and look at sites such as Zoopla, Rightmove and Primelocation. Always check what bills are included (if any), any fees in the small print and facilities such as washing machines. Always search the name of the landlord/lady and/or the name of the letting agency and read any reviews. And finally, view the property and view it again to be sure. Fill in an inventory if you do sign for a house, to reduce the chance of being charged for any damages you didn’t cause.

Using Studentpad

If you’d rather play it safe, Sheffield Hallam suggests using Studentpad when looking for accommodation as you can search by

  • type of accommodation (flats, houses, digs etc)
  • contract types (summer lets, short term, academic year and full year)
  • living arrangements (disabled access etc)
  • number of bedrooms
  • price of rent
  • date property available

You can also meet potential housemates looking for accommodation on the Studentpad message board!

The Snug scheme 

Snug is a scheme that is in partnership with Sheffield City Council. It basically guarantees students somewhere safe to live by inspecting, registering and advertising properties. If you see that a private sector house or flat is Snug accredited it means you can trust that it is good quality and safe. I wish I had looked for this when looking for my last flat!

If you haven’t found anywhere yet, surprisingly it isn’t too late. Just try and remember to prioritise safety, convenience and money while living as a student.