Oxford students camped outside allowing agents to get better homes


HOUSEHOLD students who camped in front of an Oxford rental agency for days just to get the house of their dreams will find out tomorrow morning if it would all be worth it.

About 20 students camped outside the Finders Keepers in St. Clements since Sunday morning, before the annual launch of the best student excavations in the city.

At 9am, the line is expected to be well beyond the rental agency, with hundreds of other students following the corners of St. Clements.

Finders Keepers is launching its list of about 200 student properties and, despite the signs on the windows telling students not to panic, some have taken desperate steps to secure the house of their dreams.

Gabriel, a 20-year engineering student at Oxford University, set up a chair in a prime position in front of the agency.

The free-fall temperatures did not prevent him and his two housemates, who were taking turns in the chair, for the first time to see the three-bedroom dream home at their first local choice of Cowley Road.

A video filmed last year of Oxford students camped outside the Finders Keepers.

Gabriel, who admitted that he was "firing lectures" to do his best shift today, said, "I'm doing it from 9:00 to 16:00, my other roommate was doing well from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. morning.

Other better-educated students enjoyed the comfort of tents filled with warm blankets.

Another Oxford University student, also taking advantage of the lectures today, said he had been sleeping on the sidewalk for days.

Other hundreds should join them as soon as the list of available homes and apartments in Oxford is revealed tomorrow morning.

Alec Bayford, office manager at Finders Keepers Shared Lettings – the new name for what used to be "student accommodation" – said students were lining up to carry bags in what is known as the "Golden Triangle" on Cowley Road.

He said the first two teams to set up camp outside the store were really wanting the same house.

Although the system works on a first-come, first-served basis, Bayford said the team receiving the five-bed house on Rectory Road would be "the group that meets the criteria and is gracious."

To keep the house looking good, every home on the 2019 list has a set criteria.

The five-bed competitive home requires a mixed group, which agents said was more likely to "take better care of the home" and third-year students.


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