Guest blogger Written by

Nikki Mennen (Netherlands)

Hi, I’m Nikki Mennen from the Netherlands and I came all the way to Bournemouth to study for an MA in Creative Writing and Publishing. I am renting a private house and live with three other international students. Although Bournemouth University has some great student accommodation, you might want to consider renting a private house during your studies in Bournemouth. Let me take you through my experience with six important steps.

Step 1: Know what you want

Before looking into private rental, you might want to think about what exactly you are looking for. What is your budget per month? How many flatmates do you prefer? If you are moving abroad, will you need a furnished house? Think about the areas you like or dislike; would you rather be close to campus or to the town centre?

Step 2: Search for properties

It’s good to start early with searching for properties, as the whole renting process can take some time. There are many websites to find private properties (including BU’s own letting service – LettingsBU) which all typically use the same formats. You can look at photos and details of the house as well as contact the agency or landlord if you are interested in renting.

Step 3: Contact with the Agency

Many times, the renting process goes through a letting agency. Once you have showed your interest in renting a house, you will have to send them some documents, such as a copy of your passport and your student letter, and the name a guarantor. These agencies are known to respond very slowly, so don’t worry when you don’t hear from them for a week – we had some panic attacks during that time. As an international student, it’s important to let them know right away you are coming from abroad. We had some delay in our process when this wasn’t clear, so try to avoid any confusion.

Step 4: Signing the Contract

If you are happy with the property after a (Skype) viewing and the agency approves your documents, it’s time to sign a rental contract. You will probably have to pay a deposit (usually one month of rent) and sometimes pay some additional rent up front. Make sure you check the contract for any ‘strange’ rules, the exact move in (and out) date, in addition to listing what is included, such as furniture, utility bills, phone and Wi-Fi, etc…

Step 5: Moving in

Yay! After step four, you are officially renting a house. You can ask the agency for an inventory and start preparing for your move in. If your bills are not included in the rent, make sure you understand how to set them up. This can take up to a few days, so be sure to give yourself plenty of time – you don’t want to end up without Wi-Fi! If you don’t know your future flatmates already, ask the agency to get you in contact with them before the move in date!

Step 6: Enjoy your home!

Once you have moved in, met your flatmates, and organised all your things, it is time for the best part…to enjoy it! Get ready for your new adventure in Bournemouth!

By Nikki Mennen, Netherlands, MA in Creative Writing and Publishing, 2017/18