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UK Student Blogs – UK Student Accommodation

Written by Sam | December 8, 2021

In this blog section and page, you can find lots of information about housing and accommodation for those who are going to study in the UK.

I will also give a list of other blogs that I have come across which are useful for students.

Life in Student Accommodation

Tricky one to answer as everyone will have a different perception, however, I will apply a huge generalisation so you can get a flavour of what it is like.

  • University accommodation – The rooms are box like most of the time and they can quite nice if it’s recently built, however, some of the accommodation has seen a few years of students so they can be a bit tired. You are allocated a space after you apply and you can have a preference but living with others can be challenging so make sure you go in with an open mind and work together. If not, the flat will get messy and not be a nice place to live. It can get noisy with parties as well, so make sure you are prepared for that!
  • Private Accommodation – Depends on your group, if you have a good group it can be really good fun. The house can get messy very quickly if you don’t stay on top of the cleaning and bins can pile up if you don’t get them out each week. There are some really good houses out there and on the other side there are some not so good ones. Make sure you get the better ones.

How much does it cost?

There are differences between inside London and outside London. The general rule is that the south of England is more expensive than the north of England.

From what I see and this is not based on any figures as they will change but for a group in a house the average I would say is £110 per week with bills included.

If you are wanting a studio it is going to be more expensive and would say that the average is around £150 per week and that is with bills included. These prices are all based outside of London.

You can get accommodation that is more expensive and luxurious and then you can get housing that is cheaper. Those figures are just a ballpark figure.

If you are looking at some ballpark figures in London, I would say around £170 per week for a room in a house and for a studio, it would be around £300 per week.

For living expenses, again it will vary where you are in the country but if you add another £100 per week on top of that, it should give you a very rough cost. You could probably live for under that and you can easily get over that figure, especially in London where everything is more expensive.

Different Types of Accommodation in the UK

You can get a few different types so to avoid any confusion here are the types that you are likely to see written about are:

  • University accommodation – The accommodation that is provided by the university
  • Private accommodation or Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) – Privately owned big blocks of studios and flats. Very similar to uni accommodation but owned by companies
  • Student Housing or Private Rented – These are houses in the local town or city which are managed by the landlords or letitng agents.

Guarantors

If you are coming to the UK and you want to stay in student accommodation it is likely you are going to need a guarantor.

A guarantor is basically someone who is going to pay your debts if you don’t. There are some stipulations on who can be a guarantor and they are:

  • UK resident
  • Credit worthy – They will be credit checked

If you don’t know anyone, the ways you can get around this are:

  • Using a guarntor service in the UK
  • Pay all rent upfront
  • Offer a higher deposit amount – Usually unaccepted though.

Sorting Bills for Student Accommodation

If you need to sort your bills for your student accommodation then there are a few things you need to start doing as soon as you know which property you are going to rent.

This is assuming you don’t have bills included – if it does, check whether TV licensing is included or not!

If you haven’t got bills included in your house here are the tips you need to follow:

  • Find out who the current providers are by asking the agent
  • See what deals they have got on offer
  • Go on comparison website and see if anyone else has a good deal
  • Call them and speak to them and see what you can get, if they don’t already serve the property, then you might have to pay an installation fee
  • Agree for everything to be setup as or before you move in if you can get access to the property
  • Give a meter reading as soon as you get the keys
  • Maintain meter readings so you only pay for what you use

Other useful advice would be that you can only have one person on the account and the money can only come out of one account so be wise about which one you choose.

If you don’t want to manage bills and you want someone to do it for you there are a lot of bill management companies out there that you can use.

We partner with Glide who is a big and reliable company that can look after your bills wherever you are in the UK.

Renting Your Equipment & Technology

If you are in the UK as an international student and you don’t want to buy any products like a TV, games consoles, computers or anything that you might need in your house, what you can do is rent them from a company called My Full House.

We partner with them to get latest offers and discounts. You can find all the details here, My Full House.

Why would you rent? Well, the main reason is that you can hand it back once you need to go home, it can be maintained if it breaks and the best bit is that it can be recycled again if it is beyond use anymore which stops a lot of electrical appliances ending up in a landfill.

Contracts and Tenancies

This is where it can get a bit tricky depending on what you want and need.

If you are looking to try and get a place in one of the student accommodation blocks and you need something that sits outside of the 51 or 44-week contracts, it can be a bit tricky. Here is why!

If the current students are on a 51-week contract, then rooms might not be available over the summer if you want to move in earlier and if you want to get out early, you are going to need to sell the room.

If you are wanting to move in for December or January move in then this can be tricky as well. Some are really good and can offer the adaptions, however, others will not and want to stick to a set tenancy agreement.

Finally, all this is dependent on if they have any rooms left over. Ideally, every accommodation would sell their accommodation on a 51-week contract, they would and wouldn’t offer January starts.

It gets trickier if you want a semester 2 let, which is January to March or April time as many don’t have rooms on this short contract. Why? Because they want students who are going to be there until July/ August time.

Decorating your Student Room / House & Accommodation

When decorating your room make sure that you take things that will make your room feel like your own with a little bit of home.

Some examples of things you can take:

  • Photos
  • Lights
  • Pillows
  • Blankets
  • Sentimental items
  • Plants or fake plants if you don’t want to water them

Janaury Move-in

If you are looking for student accommodation as a semester 2 let or from January to January, I don’t like being the bearer of bad news, this is where it gets tricky.

Is this another chance for people to fill their beds, yes, but most don’t want to rely on this and the reason is that the tenancies are shorter than normal and providers want to refill their rooms again in September!

My tips to get accommodation if you are looking for accommodation is to start your search as early as possible, however, most accommodations won’t agree on anything until they have everyone booked in for the current year and not to mention they will also be booking students in for the following year.

Other tips would be:

  • Find rooms where you can get good cancellation deals
  • Be flexible on the room requirements – many want studios but they are in huge demand
  • Look what local letting agents and landlords have to offer

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