Guide to UK university accommodation
First of all, let us remind you that student acommodation in the UK comes in three types:
• Halls of residence run by universities
• Halls of residence run by private companies
• Houses/Flats/Homestay owned by private landlords (directly or through a letting agency)
Despite the mature standardised student accommodation system in the UK, most universities only have a few halls of residence of their own which could only satisfy the needs of as few students as 20% of the total population. Since the 1980s, many UK property companies that are very healthy indeed in their financial abundance began welcoming students into their accommodations, that are generally well-equipped with all essential facilities, well-furnished and even come with a professional management team.
Now you have just one decision to make: which one to choose? Here, we have listed some of the features that you may find relevant to your own set of requirements of various types of accommodation:
1. Usually have numerous beds in multiple bedrooms and run by different companies/landlords, which means fierce competition within the industry
2. House type: Ensuite, standard, studio, ½ bed apartment, etc.
3. Tenancy length: 40 to 51 weeks
4. Promotion: Sale/cashback/voucher
5. These people are more than happy to take your preferences on board during the selection process
6. Facilities can include laundry, gym, cinema, free parking, cleaning services, etc.
7. You will have more freedom
8. CCTVs and 24/7 security
Image source: CRM Students
University halls of residence:
1. Usually have limited beds and have no competition without other accommodation providers.
2. House type: Standard, ensuite
3. Tenancy length: 40-51 weeks
4. Usually no promotion
5. You get assigned the accommodation by chance, and sometimes luck
6. Facilities: Standard services such as laundry and cleaning
7. The management poses more restrictions than private accommodation
8. CCTVs and 24/7 security
To make sure you have a happy private renting experience, here are a few tips:
When choosing your accommodation, be sure to pay attention to the following aspects:
The landlord’s reputation, surrounding environment, facilities, tenancy length, rent rates, bill inclusive or otherwise, deposit, admin fee, payment methods (avoid cash) and lastly, arrange a viewing if you can.
Since 6 April 2007, the landlord is required by law to put your deposit in a government-backed tenancy deposit scheme (TDP, third party). You can find more informationa on www.gov.uk/tenancy-deposit-protection/overview
When signing the contract, you should carefully check terms, e.g. cancellation policy and responsibilities
When checking in, you should check the inventory carefully. You can do so by taking some photos or even recording a video, in case you need proof in the future. Better safe than sorry, as they always say.
If something does go wrong though, you can contact these institutions:
1. Letting agency
2. Local council: Tenancy Relation Officer (TRO)
3. Student Union
If you are looking for a suitable student accommodation in UK, StuLiving could help. Founded in 2014, StuLiving has over 50 reputable accommodation partners, more than 500 student halls and plenty of houses and flats in 50 locations nationwide. They have helped nearly 1000 students find their student homes so rest assured they will do their best to find yours.
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