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Student Accommodation Or Private Rented
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Student Accommodation Or Private Rented

Written by Sam | April 12, 2020

Can’t decide which will be the better decision for you or the group? What is the difference between student accommodation and private rented!

First, let us define the difference, student accommodation is very broad, but usually means living in a Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) studio or apartment or in university-owned halls.

Private rented generally it means houses rented of a letting agent or landlord.

Student Accommodation

PBSA may own the accommodation and manage the block, or they may just manage it. These blocks come with lots of extras and amazing services. Generally they have been built fairly recently, are modern, spacious and are very secure. Some of the extras you can expect to find are:

  • Gym
  • Cinema Room
  • Study Room
  • Laundry Room
  • All Bills Included
  • More Likely To Accept Dual Occupancy
  • Potential Contents Insurance
  • Free Coffee
  • Free Grab & Go Breakfasts
  • Free Bikes To Use
  • En-Suite in every room
  • CCTV
  • Staff on Reception
  • Weekly Events
  • TV’s in Rooms

You may get all of this, you may get some of this OR you may get very little of this depending on what you choose! PBSA’s are great for studios and small groups living together, the standard is high, you have a lot of extras and if you like the option of having staff there to make you feel even more safe then it is perfect for you.

PBSA’s generally are closer to the University and are in good locations, they have good access to transport links, town and shops. You can have post delivered and stored until you get back and there are endless advantages to it!

How do you know if this is for you?

  • Want to live in a studio
  • Like having staff around
  • Like living in modern spaces
  • Like convenience e.g gym, cinema, study
  • Like to be social at weekly events
  • Close to university
  • Close to the centre of town
  • Like the security
  • Dealing with bigger businesses & national brands

Private Rented

Most of the private rented accommodation are mostly houses. These houses will have formerly been big Victorian houses or flats and have been split in to rooms. These are now called Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMO).

These are different to the PBSA accommodation because they don’t offer studios and offer more 3 beds and up for students to live in. These are definitely designed for groups of students, the main difference is that you will likely share a bathroom, kitchen and living room.

Houses are full of character, personality and memories. Every house is individual, the location will vary depending on the area, they are usually slightly further out than the PBSA blocks, however they can be closer to transport hubs, closer to parks and shops.

With these houses, they are usually listed with a local agent, and they will know the area very well, they will be your point of contact for repairs and have a 24/7 emergency service, they will. Because these houses will be in the community it is likely to have some parking available whether that is on-street, permit or even a driveway. As with any house, some will have gardens that you can enjoy, the only downside is that you might have to keep it tidy!

With a house, instead of having a studio, which will be one room split in to 2, maybe 3 rooms, you get the whole house. It means you have more space, pay less for it, you get more of an option to make it look homely where PBSA can be quite strict.

Also a good thing about it is, you get your own washing machine and don’t have to pay for it. In the PBSA you will have a laundry room which is usually on the bottom floor and you will need to pay for it. In a house, you will get a washing machine and you won’t need to pay for it!

One potential downside, you may have to organise the bills, some landlords and letting agents have bills included plans and these are great but be careful if not, you will have to sort these out!

How do you know if this is for you? Here are some of the reasons that it might be better for you:

  • Want to live in a group or share a house
  • Live in the community and be in quieter areas
  • Be close to transport, shops & University
  • Want a garden and or parking space
  • FREE Laundry
  • Already in a group
  • Want your own outside space
  • Cheaper rent than PBSA
  • Making a house that is yours
  • Have your own room
  • Don’t mind sharing a bathroom
  • Happy to have house meals & nights out
  • Happy to spend evening and weekends with friends and do lots of activities together
  • Generally social and happy to be with others


For a quick summary

If you want to live by yourself, in a modern, fresh space, have your own kitchen & toilet, have staff around for any questions, prefer the extra security and like all the added extras of gym, cinema, study room, breakfast, bills, bikes and all the rest, then ‘Student accommodation is for you’. This means something in the PBSA sector.

If you want to live in a group, like being in the community, in a quieter area, have a private outside space, don’t mind sharing spaces, don’t want to pay for laundry, sorting bills (if they aren’t included), more storage space, spending time with friends, house nights out and meals and want to live in a local house which is managed by someone who has great local knowledge! The final benefit is the cheaper rent than a PBSA studio.

If you are still stuck, WhatsApp us and we will be happy to help you and send you some options!

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