Most students in their first year are assigned a space in university-managed accommodation.
When it comes to making friends, living with students is a wonderful way to meet people and maybe even live with them.
Please note that university-managed halls can be found in local cities and towns rather than on campus.
If your halls are located on campus, you will be easily accessible. This means that you won’t have the hassle of driving to and from lectures, groupwork, or to use the library.
Halls can be a good way to begin living off-grid. You can enjoy many of the advantages of being independent, but without worrying about the hassles of landlords or utility bills.
Staff will always be on-site if you have a question.
Uni halls pros:
Social scene: An excellent opportunity to meet many students from one place.
It’s the “halfway” option for a house: it allows you to move away from your home but still feel at home.
You’re not the only one who needs extra support. Your university will be able to provide it if you ask.
Uni halls cons:
You’re thrown in at the end.
There are no guarantees. You may not get a space in your preferred halls.
It’s okay to live among many students. This can be an adjustment process for introverted or small-sibling students.
There are also options for students living in apartments that have been purpose-built.
The setup is identical to university-managed hallways. You have your room and share common areas, like a kitchen or TV area. But the private company owns it – not your university.
These private hall providers are often found in large cities such London and Manchester with many large universities.
While you will find a wider range of room types in these apartments than in university-managed halls (though they tend to be more expensive), there are generally more choices.
If you’re thinking about private halls, do your research. Check out the costs and benefits, including the bills (including upfront costs) and the facilities available. Ask yourself how often you will be using these facilities, as this can drive up the price.
Private halls are great for expanding your social circle. You may meet students from other universities in one building. This type of student accommodation Leicester is extremely popular with international students.
While looking at private housing providers, ensure you check for communal spaces as well any regular events or activities available to residents.
Your university may already have a list of approved private accommodation providers. This is especially important if there are not enough halls available to meet the demand.
Private halls pros:
Built for students. All the same benefits as university students.
Mod cons: In-house gym or laundry facilities are handy perks.
It’s all about location. Private halls are more common in the surrounding area. If you feel at home, you will likely spend less on taxis back home after a night out.
Private halls cons
The cost is generally higher than university-managed halls.
Extras that aren’t necessary: These extras might seem great but you might never use them (and still have to pay for them).
The same student pitfalls can be applied: noise and not choosing who to live with, mess, etc.
Accommodation in self-catered or catered homes
Although catered accommodation is not as popular as it was once, you may still have the option to tour different halls.
Catered meals mean you have one less thing to worry about when starting your student life. While you’ll be paying more rent for this privilege (and it might not be necessary to clean up after long days of lectures), it can be quite nice to not have the responsibility.
If you are picky about what you eat, you may feel stuck with the menu. If you prefer more control over how much and what you eat, self-catered catering might be for your needs.
For those who like the freedom to eat where and when they want, the idea that they must eat at specific times can be very restricting.
Privately-rented flats or houses
Students usually move into their first year in a house or flat that they share with friends. This is rented from a private landlord. It is possible to choose this route over the university or private colleges.
Sometimes it is out of your control. For instance, if you’re a mature student who wants your own living space outside the realms of university or you want to just live with other mature students/non-students.
Living with a bunch o’ 18-yearolds, away from your home, for the first time might sound like a nightmare to you if it is in your 20s.
You may find yourself in a situation where you have no choice but to rent directly from a private landlord.
Not all universities offer residence halls of residence. It’s possible that you will not get a spot at all if Clearing isn’t completed or your application has been late.
You may find it appealing to live in privately rented homes.
Even though it may be difficult to find other people in a similar situation or arrange viewings for those who have not yet arrived at university, your housing office will help you. This includes matching you up, recommending landlords or student-focused estate agents.
Pros to rent private homes
Independence: You’re in control of where and how you live.
Local area: Although the halls of your university might be all located on campus but there are many private options that will allow you to feel closer to the local community. This is great for those who want to get involved in local activities.
Flexibility: There is a wide range of living options available in the private rental sector. While landlords may offer utilities as part of your rent, students halls will typically look and feel exactly the same.
Private rental cons:
Further out: Sometimes you will find yourself far from the campus and may have to travel a lot (which could cause you to pay slightly more for travel).
Managing your bills. While landlords may include utilities in your rent for a fee, you’ll need a separate budget.
Administration: You will be dealing directly with your landlord or letting agent. A majority of students who responded to our survey * reported having issues with landlords. 13% also had issues working with their letting agent.
Where to look for housemates
If you have friends or family members you are interested in living with, that’s great! While it may feel awkward to have the conversation, asking someone if they have housing plans in the next 12 months can help you get started.
Here are some resources to help you find housemates if your search continues.
Friends in the current halls: This will give you an idea of how they are like to live together
Clubs, societies and other organizations: These are great places to indulge in your mutual passions
Your course: If you have a very intense subject such as medicine, law or other fields, it is a good idea to take this option. It will give you some peace and tranquility when you are all studying.
University social media channels. Your housing office can share details about housing events to allow potential housemates to meet as well as vacancies.
Landlords or letting agents?
Direct contact will be possible with the landlord. Agencies are, however, more likely to manage property on behalf of landlords.
The agency route provides more security. It is possible to check to see whether the person is a member of a government approved redress scheme that deals with complaints or a Self-Regulating Body, which signifies they have agreed to adhere certain codes and practices.
However, students had slightly higher rates of issues with their letting agent (13%) than with their landlord (11%). Only 8% reported problems with both.
Directly using a landlord can help you save money. Agency fees can include credit checks and inventory set-up.
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