Leaving home for the first time can be a daunting process, especially your first year living away from your family home. So, I've put together this Uni Accommodation: The Lowdown Guide to help you out.
When we discover that a whopping half of young people in the UK are attending Uni according to recent reports, it's not surprising that many students (including international students) will be thinking about University accommodation and want to know 'The Lowdown!
Getting to know your uni city is one of the most exciting parts of uni life, but what do you need to know to smash your accommodation goals?
I know how difficult it can be trying to juggle everything you need to do when starting uni, so find out my best hacks and tips to make it easy peasy.
This post is all about the lowdown on uni accommodations.
University Accommodation: The lowdown
University accommodation is an important part of the whole uni lifestyle and by understanding some of the basics, you can make sure that your time at Uni is as successful as it can be!
Whether you are looking for University-owned housing, or private student housing, there are lots of accommodation options available.
I know you want your stay there to be as enjoyable and hassle-free as possible – so make sure you take time to research different University accommodation choices before making any decisions.
This will ensure that you find the best home while you're studying, that is perfect for you and your budget!
Before you commit to any type of housing, even if it blows you away when visiting, make sure you check reviews.
Also, ask around for feedback from current students or previous students who have stayed there previously.
Before signing a contract for University accommodation, it’s important to make sure that the housing meets the University’s standards of quality and safety.
University-accredited houses must meet certain criteria to be listed as an approved University provider.
It often includes meeting minimum standards for fire protection, electricity and gas safety as well as noise levels.
This type of accommodation is checked and inspected regularly and you can be sure that your University housing meets all of the University’s safety requirements.
Read the contract
If I can give you one crucial tip to take away from this blog is to make sure to read your University accommodation contract carefully before signing it or agreeing to anything!
This can help avoid any surprises down the road.
It will also make sure both parties are on the same page regarding expectations and responsibilities!
“Make sure to read your University accommodation contract carefully before signing it or agreeing to anything!”
Types of Uni accommodation
Ok, let's get started! I’ll begin by looking at some of the different types of accommodation offered when you start your Uni journey!
University residences are generally the most affordable option for University accommodation. Another bonus is that you can live within the University grounds! So super easy for attending lectures.
Although University-owned housing often lacks private kitchens, they still offer great value for money.
They usually have facilities such as communal lounges to chill in and study areas available on many campuses.
University-owned housing covers. a variety of situations such as living with a family.
It's usually more affordable than private student accommodation, and living with a family can be a nice way of getting a homemade meal just like mum makes!
Your University might also offer some support in finding housing.
Find out more by asking the University's student services or accommodation office.
University Halls of Residence
Making your mini home in uni student halls is one of the most popular types of student housing.
Uni accommodation tends to include:
● A fully furnished bedroom
● Shared shared kitchen
● Shared bathroom facilities
● Self-catered accommodation
Each student flat usually contains around 6 to 8 bedrooms. So you'll probably be sharing the kitchen and bathroom facilities with roughly around 5 to 7 other students.
Again you can find out more by visiting your University's website and having a look at the different room types and locations.
University halls cost on average between £100 - £200 per week.
It also often comes with added benefits, that include meals, laundry, and/or other amenities.
These are great options if you want the convenience of having everything included in one package!
It can also be cool to hang out with fellow students!
It's worth knowing that they have strict rules that you need to follow, such as curfews and quiet times, if you were thinking it's a good place to get your party swag on!
They often also have a strict visitor policy. This means that you will need to provide advanced notice if anyone wishes to visit you in your room or apartment.
So although it may seem like ‘bringing the party down’, it is for the benefit of everyone!
“University halls cost on average between £100 - £200 per week.”
If you want private halls, then you may need to consider private rentals.
Private housing options
For those who prefer more privacy and space, there are many private options available.
These include independent student apartments, room-renting schemes and student house shares with other students.
When looking at private housing, it’s important to do your research beforehand.
This is to make sure you find the right place that fits your budget, meets any additional requirements (such as being pet-friendly) and is located in an area you feel safe and comfortable living in.
Find out more about private housing options by heading over to your Uni website.
Ok, so where else can you find University accommodation?
Online accommodation portals
Several online portals can help you find suitable University accommodation in your area.
You could try student.com
These platforms allow you to compare different property options, see ratings and reviews from other tenants, and contact landlords directly.
Ok so now I’ve covered some of the types of accommodation types AND where to find it, let's check out the important stuff. Money!
For more information on student loans and budgeting head over to another of my helpful articles.
Cost of University Accommodation
The price of accommodation can vary depending on the University and the type of housing you choose.
University accommodation is usually priced according to size, location and facilities available.
So if you’re looking for something more luxurious you may find yourself paying more.
It’s also important to consider other costs associated with University accommodation such as bills, council tax, deposits and maintenance fees.
Private accommodation averages around £155 a week for an ensuite room and £228 for a studio.
As we found out before, halls cost anywhere between £100 and £200 depending on where you are in the country.
So, be sure you can afford it before you fill out the accommodation application.
If you are struggling to pay your rent, there may be financial aid options available through the University.
Check with your student finance office to see what kind of support they can offer and whether there is anything you qualify for.
Rent and fees
Before signing a University accommodation agreement, it’s important to understand what you are responsible for paying.
Most University accommodations require the tenant to pay rent plus any additional fees or utilities that may be due.
It is also important to discuss what services are included in the rent, such as internet, utilities, and household items.
You don't want to find out you have a long list of extras coming out of the student loan you hadn't bargained for or left without wifi when studying!
Most universities offer student loans to help cover the costs of University accommodation.
These loans can be used for rent, deposits, and other associated costs such as furniture and bills.
Always, ALWAYS check out your University's financial aid policies before signing a contract — not all University accommodations will be eligible for student loan assistance.
So let's take a look now at some other REALLY important things to think about when starting your life as a student in Uni Accommodation!
University accommodations can come with insurance options to cover any damage or losses incurred while living there.
This is because University accommodation owners are not responsible for any damage you may cause while living on their property.
So renters insurance can provide you with financial protection against both accidental and intentional damages.
I can't stress how important this is!
Make sure that you have read the policy carefully and are aware of all the details.
This should include what is covered when it starts and ends, and who is responsible for any claims.
Admiral insurance offers some great advice on student housing protection.
Most University accommodations come fully furnished or partially furnished as we found out above.
So make sure to check what items are included before signing on the dotted line.
Some University accommodations may also offer optional furniture packages which can save you money on purchasing furniture.
A lot of the basics are usually included in these furniture packs such as beds, sofas and chairs. Most even have decent storage space.
So with all that covered, it's just a quick trip to Ikea to get your throws, rugs and some amazing prints!
University accommodations should always provide you with a safe living environment.
So make sure that all fire alarms, smoke detectors and other safety measures are functioning properly before signing the lease agreement.
If you’re living in shared accommodation, you should also investigate the security measures in place to protect yourself and your belongings.
University campuses have a security team that is available 24/7 if you need help. I encourage you to go find out further details about how they operate, just in case you ever need them. If you fear for your personal safety, just call the Police.
Final thoughts on Uni Accommodation: The Lowdown...
By finding out as much as you can about University accommodation and other options you can make the most of this exciting time!
University accommodations offer a welcoming place to live, work and study in an environment that fits within University guidelines.
With so much to think about make sure you allow yourself plenty of time to think about this crucial part of your uni life.
Being in the right crib can make a real difference to not only your experience but also to your results!
Feeling comfortable and stress-free is the way forward to the best uni life!
Whether you choose a rental home, student apartment or on-campus residence hall, I hope my article has given you lots of tips!
Happy house hunting!