Six house hunting tips from Manchester Student Homes

Photograph from a UCEN Manchester open day of two prospective students sat on the floor with their legs crossed.

Students in Manchester normally start looking for accommodation for the next academic year in December.  To support you through this process, our accredited accommodation partners, Manchester Student Homes (MSH), has pulled together a list of handy tips, which we’ve summarised for you.

There are several factors that you need to consider before deciding where and who to live with.  So, if you’re about to begin your house hunting journey for 23/24 and want to get a head start on the planning process, have a read through the below guidance before you take your first step.

1. Decide what you want

There are certain things that you need to decide before looking for a property.  For example:

  • Are you looking for yourself or on behalf of a group of friends? 
  • How many people are in your group?
  • What kind of accommodation are you looking for?  A shared house, flat or private halls?
  • Where do you want to live?  Manchester city centre, Victoria Park or areas like Fallowfield or Withington?
  • What is your budget and does this include or exclude bills?
  • How far are you willing to commute?

2. Take your time

Once you know what you’re looking for, it is important to take your time and ensure that you have researched the following:

  • Type of property
  • Landlord/letting agent
  • Rental price
  • Contract
  • Housemates.

Try and look at as many properties as possible to ensure that you have a good understanding of what’s available.

3. Consider who you will be living with

Choose your housemates carefully and try to envisage yourself living with them for extended periods of time.

It is best to discuss and agree housing issues such as house rules, a cleaning rota and how the bills will be split.

4. Viewing and reviewing properties

Try to view properties with your potential housemates to ensure that everyone is happy. 

It may be useful to request that the viewings are carried out via video call with a current tenant if some of your potential housemates can’t make the appointment.  This could also provide the opportunity to ask the current tenant some questions about their experience - it’s likely they will provide an honest opinion on the property and support provided by the landlord.

5. Get your contract checked by MSH

A tenancy agreement is a legally binding document that is fixed for a period of time.  Therefore, after signing it can be extremely difficult to cancel or get released from an agreement.

MSH provides a contract checking service free of charge.  They will support you with any queries and help you to identify any abnormalities in the document you’ve received.

6. Is your deposit in a protection scheme?

Deposits are there to cover non-payment of rent and any damage to the property.  Landlords are required by law to protect a tenant’s deposit in a Government registered scheme.  You should receive a letter confirming the details of where your deposit is being kept and how to release the funds at the end of the tenancy.

Contact details

MSH can help you find University Approved Accommodation that has been checked and meets their Code of Standards.  They provide free information, advice and guidance on housing and also carry out contract checks.

If you have any queries, please email them at or call on 0161 275 7680.