The Students’ Guide to Finding Accommodation in the UK
Coming to study in the UK? Youâ€™ve made an excellent decision: the UK is home to some of the most highly-regarded universities in the world and the countryâ€™s university towns and cities are lively and rewarding places to spend time as a student. However, as an international student, you may be daunted by the thought of finding student accommodation in the UK.
Follow our guide below for some handy tips on how to find various types of student rooms available in the UK:
Student Halls of Residence
Halls of residence run by the university. These are usually reserved for first-year students. You have your own room, usually with shared. facilities, in a community of like-minded people, so a room in halls is a great way to meet new friends. They may be slightly more expensive than house- or flat- shares but university-run halls tend to be on or near the campus, so you will save time and money otherwise spent travelling.
Contact the university’s accommodation office for advice. Spaces in halls of residence are limited, so apply as early as possible.
Private halls of residence
These are similar to university-run halls but are owned by private companies and are open to all students, so you have the advantage of meeting people studying at other colleges in the city. They are more expensive but often have better facilities.
Rented room in a private house
This is where you rent a room in the house lived in by your landlord. It’s probably not how you imagined life at university, but renting a room in a private house can be a comfortable option.
Never rent a room without having seen it first: a photo of the room online might be nothing like the reality and might even be a scam. If you cannot view the room yourself, get a relative or friend to view it for you if possible.
Houses and Flat Shares
Renting a house or flat with friends is the most common form of student accommodation and often works out cheaper than student rooms in halls. You can search for flats yourself, or use an estate agency. Check out your universityâ€™s website for lists of rooms available or search a reputable website such asÂ www.livety.com.Â Rooms near the campus are likely to be expensive, so look at areas further away that have good transport links to the university.
What to look out for when dealing with landlords yourself:
When renting from a landlord, talk to the previous tenants to find out how helpful the landlord is when there is a problem.
Make sure that you are given landline and mobile contact numbers for emergencies, such as a problem with the heating or a blocked toilet. Bills are sometimes included but this option usually works out dearer.
What documents do you need to provide when renting?
A private landlord will probably not want as much paperwork from you as an agency will require, but always ensure that you ask for an inventory and take photos for your records when you inspect the room or flat. Make sure that you have a written contract.
When renting through an agency, you will be asked to provide references, showing that you are either studying or working in the UK. You will also need a guarantor from (your guarantor must be a UK resident who will pay your rent if you do not do so for any reason), references from any previous rentals and a bank statement.
You will be given a contract to sign. In the UK, a deposit, usually of one monthâ€™s rent, is required and you will also have to pay one monthâ€™s rent in advance. The deposit is held in a separate account and should be returned to you at the end of the rental contract, providing the property is left in an appropriate condition.
We hope these insights will be useful to you in finding your ideal student accommodation. Good luck with your studies and enjoy your time as a student in the UK!
This post was brought to you by our friends at Livety Â – a young startup whose purpose is to help students from all around the world find the best and most suitable accommodation in the UK.
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I'm the blog editor for Uni Baggage! I write about university life and all things student related.