Grad Life: How to find ideal short-term accommodation

You thought getting that dream job was the hard part? Now try and find a temporary place in the city while you work out where and who you’re going to live with. Then come and tell us that never-ending stream of job interviews was tough.

It’s true, most lettings require at least a six month contract before anyone will consider letting you live there. But if none of your friends have a vacancy or the people you want to move in with don’t finish their lease for another four months, you’re in a bit of a pickle aren’t you?

Never fear though, we here at List for Life are here for you with this handy list of six tips to find the perfect short-term let for your stop gap accommodation.

1. It’s a social thing

Perhaps the quickest and most likely to pay off method of finding somewhere to live for a short period of time (and at short notice) is to post on Facebook and Twitter that you’re on the flat hunt.

Be honest with what you’re looking for (you don’t want to make an acquaintance look stupid when you move out a couple of months later) and don’t be too picky with where you want to live. If you work in Shoreditch you can definitely live in Stratford no problem.

Make sure you use hashtags too. The #ShortTermLets tool is chock-a-block with interesting bargains.

2. It’s filterin’ time

Spare Room has an extensive filter setting that lets you choose the minimum and maximum contract length you’re looking for. It’s a no-brainer and will instantly minimise your results to a manageable list.

They go quickly though, so make sure you pay the small fee that allows you to respond to some of the premium ads a little faster.

3. Stack up the viewings

When it comes to the flat hunt, it’s all about volume. If you have a Saturday off, you sure as hell can’t be lounging around on the sofa Netflix-ing your life away. You need to be out viewing places from sun up to sun down.

So arrange as many viewings as possible. Even if it doesn’t look too hopeful from a listing’s pictures, still go and check it out, just in case.

4. Don’t be picky

This is another mindset you’ve got to get into. If you think you could stand to live in the building without completely losing your mind, then sign on the dotted line.

Whatever you do, don’t ‘take time to think it over’, because you can bet your life some other lucky sod will have nipped in there and be dossing down on your new bed come midnight.

5. Research market rates

Taking a couple of minutes to google the average rental price in your area is an invaluable bit of advice. With the correct information you’ll never be swindled by a sneaky estate agent ever again.

6. Cancellation fees

Most people have no idea that a lot of housing contracts have cancellation fee clauses, meaning that at certain times if you attempt to back out of your living arrangement they can take your deposit, and charge you a sizeable chunk of money.

So don’t think you’re being clever by signing up to a lengthy lease safe in the knowledge that you’ll be heading for the hills come Christmas. It won’t work. Trust us.

Now what?