Student life

Deciding where to live: Accommodation Types


Deciding on your living arrangements for next year can be difficult. There is no shortage of options open to you and a range of factors for you to weigh up before settling on your future abode. To help you make this decision, we’ve put together a short summary of some of the options available. And remember, there is no pressure to secure your accommodation for next year before Christmas, so take your time and weigh up all of your options.

Halls of residence

Whilst many feel halls of residence are for first years only, many universities allow students to return in their following years, including post grads, so check this with someone at your university accommodation office to see if it is possible.

Pros

  • Halls are often based near campus, and have great transport links to the uni and SU.

  • With a lot of uni halls, the fee you have to pay will include everything you need, so you don’t need to worry paying extra for internet or utilities, something you would generally need to deal with in private accommodation. Its best to check that you’re getting a good deal however, as paying for it all separately somewhere else may work our cheaper

Cons

  • Halls can be noisy, crowded and messy.

  • A lot of halls will have a kitchen that people can sit in, but may not have a more comfortable area like a living room for you to spend your time. If your happy with the comfort of your own room, then this shouldn’t be an issue.

Private halls of residence

If you’re struggling to find a shared house to live in next year, or simply fancy living in halls again, this might be the option for you. With a private provider such as UNITE, you can enjoy all the benefits of a university owned halls of residence, with the added sweetener that they’re open to all students. Watch out; however, as prices will often exceed what you would pay in a shared house.

Pros

  • Inclusive bills mean you won’t have to worry about all of that housing admin.

  • Very often, there is always someone on the hand 24/7 should you require any assistance, or you have an emergency.

Cons

  • Private halls can often be expensive, and you won’t have as much control over those you live in proximity to.

  • It might also be difficult to invite friends over as it’s not an environment you fully control.

  • Sometimes, these can be slightly further away from university campuses – so be sure you have considered any transportation costs.

House share

Most students entering their second, third or fourth years tend to house share, but finding a house that everyone likes can be a challenge. Important factors to weigh up, among others, are location, price, quality and comfort.

Pros

  • Student houses are often in great central locations, and can provide you and your friendship group with a sense of unity and cohesion.

  • Whether you’re after a spacious house or a small pad for just a few select mates, there’s a variety of student houses to cover all options.

  • It’s really exciting having your own house and the independence that comes with it. It’s a great experience learning how to look after yourself, preparing your own meals and budgeting.

Cons

  • Issues with landlords retaining your deposit and pressured sales sadly aren’t uncommon; although avoiding these pitfalls is all about selecting the right agency or landlord and maintaining a good relationship. Try and obtain recommendations as to who to use from second year students, or from your SU.

  • Credit checks, admin fees and your deposit can all add up, so you'll need to save in advance, and you'll also need a guarantor to secure the property - usually a parent.

Living with family or parents

Staying with parents or family is an option more and more students are turning to since the increase in tuition fees.

Pros

  • In nearly all instances, you’re going to save money when living at home, and the home comforts are certainly a bonus too.

  • You also save the hassle of moving every year.

Cons

  • Living with family or parents can put distance, both physically and socially, between your university friends and you.

  • It can also mean a bit of a commute to university, so you'll need to factor in the cost of fuel and maintaining a car, or train fares.

  • You’ll also be missing out on the social and maturing process of managing your own house.

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