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06 June 2016
Student accommodation: a quick Q and A session
Student accommodation: a quick Q and A session

Student accommodation: a quick Q and A session

So picture this scenario. You’ve received your university acceptance letter, but the university that best suits your needs is too far from home to travel there and back daily. Or, maybe you just fancy moving out for experience’s sake. Either way, I’m sure you have a few questions about how you should go about organising this. Have a scroll down, and see if I’ve provided you with some answers;

Where should I start?

You should definitely start at your university’s accommodation office, see what kind of housing they offer. They should come in three flavours; University halls, custom built, private accommodation provided by third party companies, or good old fashioned student housing. After that, you can start weighing up your options, make sure you sort all of this out before your course starts, so it doesn’t affect your learning experience.

Which kind of housing should I choose?

This very much depends on your needs and personal tastes. If you’re in a new area and want to get settled in by meeting new people, you should definitely consider the halls or the private accommodation, you will be living in the company of other students in both.

If you have people you know who are students in the same or close by university, or have people you know and trust who live nearby and have space, student housing is a good option. This allows you to live (mostly) on your terms, without having to worry too much about keeping inventory and other such things. Be careful though, private houses are usually less soundproofed, so don’t stay up too late partying!

What costs should I expect?

If you’re living in private accommodation or university halls,he first payment will be the deposit you lay down for the privilege of renting the property. On top of the obvious base rent, you’ll need to make sure to take out a TV license if you have a television or a laptop / desktop computer, like you would if you were living anywhere else. And you’ll need to pay for your internet connection, if you think having one is necessary. Make sure you check your utility meters, so only the right amount is going out for your gas and electricity.

Make sure you take out the right insurance policy, if you’re not already covered by your parent or guardian. If you’re living in a university hall or private university accommodation, you should be exempt from council tax, make sure you check the terms, though.

If you’re living in a house with any non-students you’re required to pay council tax, but may be eligible for a discount if there are less than two. Just make sure the University provides the necessary documents so you don’t get in financial trouble. One more thing, if you’re living in private housing, make sure you’re clear with your friends / house mates on how the bills are being paid. University work will be hard enough without more headaches.

What should my contract include?

The contract will be something called a “tenancy agreement”, which is just a document that makes sure that you and the owner of the property agree on the length of your stay, and what you will be paying in rent. Make sure you check the terms before you sign, like with any contract.

I hope this alleviated some of your concerns with student housing. Student housing is a great way to either enrich your university experience with some friendly new faces, or showcase what it will be like living alone without your parent’s rules. Make sure to set some of your own, you do have university after all. Take care!