Choosing accommodation is always going to be down to personal preferences and budget when it comes to starting University. Here are the options.
Halls of Residence
Most will offer you a chance to stay in halls of residence and the campus, at least for your first year or two. After that you will need to move on but halls are an ideal way to begin studies for many new students often offering better value as well as allowing more scope for making friends.
Most new students will all be in the same boat of knowing no one so this option is a good way to get the most of your initial landing at Uni.
Halls are ideal if you’re budget conscious as they normally include electric, gas, water and internet that can rack up your costs in other types of accommodation.
A typical standard in ensuite rooms might include high-speed internet access with TV and phone as well as shared kitchens having all mod cons.
For an ensuite room you’re looking at £30-40 per week more than ones with shared bathrooms. Consider that figure for the year and that’s a hefty wad of notes. Of course, shared bathrooms means sharing with a bunch of other students. But hey, you could meet the love of your life in the queue.
Be sure to check the university’s website and details on the halls to make sure you’re happy as standards and the facilities that are available can vary. If at that point you are happy then book as early as you can as halls fill up very quickly.
So what are the typical costs of rooms in halls of residence? As you can imagine this totally varies depending on the University and location but to give you a rough idea:
A typical cost for halls of residence can range between £51 per week at Bradford’s Laisteridge Lane up to several hundred plus in London.
Look at your maintenance grant figure and do the sums on how much you might need for the whole year. Look at contract costs by the year rather than week when comparing and also factor in travel expenses. Are you close to your University? What is that going to add up to over the year?
Companies such as UNITE, CRM, Pure (London), Stayclub and IQ Bloomsbury offer private student accommodation. They will cost more but if you want private kitchens, double beds and so forth and have the budget this is worth looking into.
Weekly costs can range from £155 right up to £400 plus in London with high end accommodation providers such as Stayclub and IQ Bloomsbury.
Pure Student Living has standard studios for £235 per week with luxury studios available for £435 at their Aldgate location as an example.
Private and shared Housing.
Most students usually share a house or flat, especially after the first year so check whether your university accommodation office has anything on offer. Make a point of going for property that is owned by accredited landlords which means they have to manage the property up to certain standards.
Here’s a quick list of things to be aware of when renting private accommodation.
- Look out for large charges for credit refs, administration, inventory fees etc. Always ask to see their costs upfront.
- Negotiate with the agent on fees.
- Make sure the deposit is protected under the terms of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme. This is a legal requirement.
- Check that there is a gas safety certificate (renewed every 12 months)
- Get any verbal agreements with the landlord for repairs and so forth in writing
Make sure an inventory has been carried out and take lots of photos.
- Make sure all flatmates are registered for all bills, otherwise they won't be accountable.
- Have a kitty for household stables like loo roll and washing up items to avoid arguments
- As a student you don't need to pay Council Tax but if any flatmates are not fulltime students there may be a household charge.
- Make sure security is up to scratch and lock up your valuables if need be.
Sources to search for accommodation:
S-cool Uni Guide >>