Planning on studying in the UK for your university degree or for a short summer course? You will want to find the right student accommodation for you.
However before we dive right into the works, let us tell you something you do know but a reminder is always good :p
The initial process might seem daunting as moving out from your comfort zone is a little difficult, but once you are settled in the UK (and this is where Remigos fits in; to guide you at all the relocation steps) you may realize you’ve taken one of the best decisions for your career.
A lot of questions pop up
- How does student accommodation work in the UK?
- How can an international student get accommodation in the UK?
- What is the rent for students in the UK?
- How easy/difficult it is to find student accommodation?
- What are the most common types of student accommodations available?
Yes, we get completely get you and we suggest you just don’t get ahead of yourself.
This guide (Part I) is created especially for young students like yourself, to assist them with finding the right student accommodation in the UK to make the city of London your new home for the next couple of years. So without further ado, let’s get you started!
When do I start searching for the best student accommodation in the UK?
In good times, looking for accommodation can take 15-30 days and in not-so-good times, it can take upto 2 months. Also, you need to understand that completing the process after finalizing an apartment also takes 15-20 days.
So the best time to look for a home in London is 2-3 months before your arrival.
What factors should I look into when I begin the student accommodation search?
There are a lot of factors that you need to consider when you begin your search but before it, one big question- are you planning to live alone or will be sharing an apartment?
Let us help you customize your accommodation search
- Living Arrangements
The first step is to finalize who you are going to live with. Take your call and let’s move forward.
- Maximum Distance From School
Ofcourse the benefits of living closer to your university includes saving time on travelling and living closer to other students. However, the benefits of living afar include saving money or living in a certain neighbourhood.
How near/far do you plan to live?
- Commute Method
How will you be travelling from your place to your University? This should be taken into consideration when looking for accommodation as commute can become a tiring factor.
- Things Important To You
You might have a hobby or choice of interest that you would like to have at your convenience. See if it’s important for you and take your call accordingly.
- Budget Range
Your budget plays a huge deciding factor in choosing your accommodation. Understand that the range may increase/decrease depending on the location or the size of the apartment and also whether you choose to live solo or share.
- Apartment Size
Another factor to look into is the apartment size or the number of rooms. It would matter a lot when you plan on sharing an apartment. It would also be dependent on private or public accommodation.
- Furnished/ Unfurnished
Do you wish to move into a furnished or semi-furnished apartment or will be sourcing your own furniture. This will also matter and increase/decrease your budget.
- Move-In Date
Finally, when do you plan to move in? Let us know a tentative date for us to help you with the best possible choices available.
Now that we have covered a few important factors, let us go into some key decisions you will have to make to begin the UK student accommodation search.
I Live Alone vs Share Flat
Let us try and make this decision simpler for you by digging into the pros and cons
i) Living alone
- More independence and freedom
- Personal space
- Not sharing toilets, utilities, kitchen…
- Get lonely and overwhelming in a new country.
- 1 bed are more expensive than half rent of 2 bed.
- You also have to bear all costs of utilities by yourself.
ii) Shared apartment
The first question when thinking about sharing an apartment pops up is, are they going to be right for you? Again we are here to guide you, so here’s a list of questions you must ask yourself before choosing your roommate:
- Will they make responsible yet respectful decisions if needed?
- Do you have a similar schedule?
- Do you think similarly about finances?
- Do they have pets? Or will they be okay if you have a pet?
- Their lifestyle/food preferences
- Are they vegetarian/non-vegetarian
- Do they smoke? Or will they be okay if you do
- Do they like drinking, partying?
- Can you agree to have a protocol for visitors?
- Can you see yourself doing things together with them? For example, shared hobbies, sports, etc.
Know that a bad flatmate can ruin a good time, whereas a good flatmate can be a great partner in crime.
Have you had past experiences of living with a flatmate?
Also, do keep in mind all tasks you need to do to manage a house like bills, chores etc.
Consider all this and more to analyze if you are good on your own or you need a flatmate.
We’re not done yet, there are a lot of other things to remember
Living with a Pet
- The tenancy contract you sign should vividly state that you can have a pet. No verbal assurance.
- London is a pet-loving city with a lot of pet-friendly play areas, restaurants, pubs, and cafes.
- For tips on how to swiftly move to London with your pet, CLICK HERE.
Living with a Partner/Spouse
- You can still live in a shared apartment, just be mindful of added complexity.
- As a student you don’t have to pay any council tax. However, if one of you is not a student, you have to pay council tax.
- Most advert explicitly says “student only” or “no couples”. It’s always a good idea to speak about your requirements beforehand with the letting agency.
II Types of Accommodation
For student accommodation UK, you have these options available
- Get your own flat at a location you prefer
- You have to manage all the utilities and cleaning etc.
- You get a lot of flexibility in choosing who you live with
University-Managed Residences, Rooms and Halls
- University/ College-owned buildings that may resemble traditional houses/flats
- You can apply through your college housing departments and get placed on a waiting list
- The services are managed by the university saving effort for students
- They have a standardized appearance and facilities
- Low flexibility on choosing who you live with
- Generally closer to campus
- Great opportunity to make new friends
- These are purpose-built student living spaces owned and managed by commercial corporations
- Mostly situated in a central place offering all the necessary amenities necessary
- You get an opportunity to meet many students from other universities
- They might be a slightly expensive option
- Low flexibility on choosing who you live with
Homestays/ Family Stays
- A less typical alternative, particularly for visiting international students at smaller colleges
- The students usually live in spare rooms supplied by local families for brief periods
III Distance from College
The diversity of London makes it an intriguing place to live. Each area has its vibe, so consider what best suits you. We have the pros and cons stated out here for you. The decision is yours to make.
Benefits of living closer:
- Save time travelling
- Living closer to other students
- Able to use university facilities frequently
Reasons to stay far:
- Can save money if you go a little far from the main city
- Living in a certain neighbourhood to get a lifestyle you like
- Close to tube stations to make travel easier
IV Cost and Budget
It’s just a basic break up to give you an idea about how it goes.
|Location||1 bed (£)||2 bed (£)||3 bed (£)|
Note: These are approximate rent of the whole apartment. These prices may vary depending on external factors.
Your individual rent will depend on –
- Number of people you share the room with
- The size of your room
- Ensuite or not
Compared to furnished apartments, unfurnished apartments are
- Cheaper by 100-300/month
- Cost of furnishing depends on the size and personal preference
- Look into second-hand stores, apps, websites, social media groups for people re-selling used furniture
- For first-hand furniture, places like Ikea and Amazon provide some pocket-friendly options
2) Utility Bills: For a 1 bedroom flat
|Type||1 bed (£)||2 bed (£)||3 bed (£)|
|Electricity & Gas||60||80||90|
|Council Tax*||Depends on house70-200||Depends on house70-200||Depends on house70-200|
*Note: Council tax is exempt for students
3) Other Expenses:
- Travel (can get a discount with a student oyster card)
- Groceries (around £200/month)
- Books and study costs
- Phone bill (about £10-15/month depending on your monthly data pack)
- Social life and hobbies/interests
Now that you have taken the key decisions
Wish to understand more about finding the right student accommodation in London? Click here for PART II of the Guide.