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Which Student Accommodation
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Which Student Accommodation

Written by Sam | April 12, 2020

Most first-year students attending University go to University-owned accommodation. This is usually on campus and the University will deal with you directly for this. You will pay then the rent and they will sort your repairs, unless it’s owned or managed by a private company, which then means you will go via the University, however, they will sort the repairs and you will pay them rather!

Second Year Accommodation

Roughly 10% of students start looking for accommodation in October/November time, as a first-year, this doesn’t give you much time to get settled, know the city and find your way at University before you are out looking for accommodation the following year!

This still begs the question, which student accommodation?

There will be a lot of factors in play however I would like at these main points when deciding on accommodation:

  • Living as a group or not
  • Location
  • Price
  • Quality of accommodation

Why those items on the agenda?

Living As a Group Or Not

This is the biggest factor when deciding which student accommodation will be right for you. If you like having others around, you will need to figure out how many beds you need, everyone’s budget per month and where they would like to live!

If you want to live in a group, most groups will opt to be in a house, if you have the right amount and want to be close to campus, you could opt for an apartment in a PBSA, however, as I say, most opt for a student house. This is because your rental payments are lower, you have more choices, deposits can be lower and you can choose your location or you have more options.

As a group it can be difficult to get in to a PBSA block, this is because usually you don’t have the right numbers, there is only a few locations, the rent is higher than average but you do get a social space and a few other perks.

As a group, I would tend to stick to houses more, the most common size groups are 3&4 bed houses and they go quickly.

If you are living by yourself, this is where I would turn the tables! You’re option is to get a studio, what you need to decide is what studio fits you, there are only two options and they differ greatly!

Living in a studio is perfect if you like convenience and living close by with other students but still want your own kitchen and bathroom! Many don’t like to share a kitchen and living room like to have control over their space. If that’s you, then a studio is perfect!

In these modern studios, you are likely to have all bills included, potentially insurance as well, a gym, cinema & study room, with a potential games room. Many have lots of add-ons to the rooms as well. These could be grab and go breakfasts, free coffee in a certain room, postage services, free bikes to use and many more. Renting a studio in a PBSA is more expensive than renting one from a letting agent, and that is because you have the staff, security and all the extras to go with it. If you want to stay in those areas studios in a PBSA is perfect for you.

What happens if you want live by yourself but can’t afford a studio in a PBSA?

Letting agents and landlord may have a small selection of studios, apartments and 1 bed flats available for you. These won’t come with all the extras and will most likely be a 1 bed flat in a block or house in the city. These are in short supply because usually they aren’t worth the amount of money you need to spend on it to meet regulations. They only receive 1 persons and even they raise it slightly, it is still likely to not be worth the money when they can buy a 4/5 bed house. Secondly, they take up a lot more space and if you are some of our landlords, they kit the property out properly and can be expensive to do so.

There will be places where you can live in a studio that isn’t with a PBSA and it be cheaper and without all the extras. If you want cheaper rent and quite happy to live without the extras, this option is for you. This will take you time to dig on Google to find some of these agents. These agents won’t have the marketing budgets of the PBSA to get high on Google and therefore placed lower. For these it is wise to ask around and ask agents what they have!

If you are looking for a room by yourself

If you want a room but aren’t fussed about living with others your options are to join a house share or join an apartment.

Agents will always try to place you in a house that has the same amount of beds as the group (3 people, 3 beds) this way it stops them having too many excess beds and losing rent potentially. The reason why they might not get that rent is because people are often nervous about moving in with a group that is already established, however, don’t be afraid, we think you should try before you buy!

If you need a place to live and want to live in a house with others, always go to the agent and see where they have spare beds and then go and meet the people living there, go and see the house and take a look at the room you will be living in. This way, if you don’t like it then you can always say no. We advise that you look at more than one room and see what the others are like living there. Forget trying to judge the room so much, try and predict capability of personalities!

Living in a house is likely to mean that you will share a bathroom, kitchen and living room and it will be managed by a letting agent or landlord. As before it will be a cheaper rent than living in an apartment and you will be in the local community and have other residents living close by you. With houses you are more likely to get parking whether that be on-street or a driveway.

If you are interested in having a room in a house share and don’t mind sharing bathrooms & kitchens (there might be some en-suites) and you are happy to meet new friends. This is the accommodation for you!

This will be the same if you wanted to live in an apartment in a block. You would normally choose this accommodation because of it’s extras, location, staff, safety and because a lot of international students will live in the blocks.


First-year students will usually go into halls and they can choose between a studio or a flat/apartment. These are likely to be university-owned, however, they can be managed by a private management company and don’t be alarmed if the University put you on to them!

If you want to live by yourself a studio is the way to go. This gives you control over your space, however, the rent is usually higher. You have two options for studios. You can live in a PBSA that has lots of extras such as gym, cinema, study room & games room or you can find one with a local letting agent or landlord. These are usually in high demand and go quickly. They are lower in rent and won’t have the extras but still be good quality.

If you are searching as group, again, you can opt for an apartment with all the same extras as the PBSA, the rent is usually higher and normally they will ask for the right number in the group for the apartment, however they will always consider having you in there. These are good for their location because they are usually within 5-10 minute walk of university.

As a group, if you want to live in a house, these are cheaper than apartments in the blocks, managed by letting agents or landlords and are slightly further out than the big blocks. You will likely share a bathroom, living room and kitchen. These can have a lot of character and personality coupled with a really smart design. These are great for those who want to live in a student community, have a garden and potential parking spaces!

Finally, if you are looking to join a house share or apartment share, make sure you try before you buy, these are great if you want to live in a house but don’t have a group or you don’t have enough! If you want to live close to the Uni, have an en-suite and have all the extras and have staff around to help and feel secure then the PBSA apartments are for you. If you want to live in a house because you want to be closer to the landlord or letting agent, don’t mind sharing a bathroom and kitchen and be part of the city’s community then the house is great!

We hope this helped you, if you still have any questions about which accommodation is right for you, then please WhatsApp us and we can hep you decide or point you in the right direction!

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