Last updated: 25/11/20
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Moving away for university is an exciting step, offering the chance to study a subject you love, meet new people and experience a whole new level of independence. For lots of students, university becomes a home away from home – but what happens if you face a change in direction and need to find last minute student accommodation?
Whether you’ve secured your university place through clearing or simply had a change of heart, finding student accommodation in late summer can be stressful and tiring – but don’t panic. There are lots of ways to find alternative student digs, and we’ve compiled some top tips for doing so.
1. Act quickly
This is perhaps the most important tip when figuring out how to find last minute student accommodation. As soon as your university place is confirmed, your search should start. Waiting weeks doesn’t necessarily mean that no accommodation will be available, but it does mean that you may have to be more flexible with your preferences. Most university towns have limited student accommodation, so it’s best to give yourself as much breathing space as possible.
2. Contact your university
Most universities have a housing advice service which usually runs as part of their students’ union. Staff working in these departments can provide you with information on trusted housing agencies and may even be able to put you in contact with other students in your position. Some universities guarantee their students accommodation if they apply through clearing by a certain date, so enquire as quickly and as early as you can.
Top tip: If you’ve reached out to your university accommodation office and haven’t heard back within two working days, contact them again. You may feel like you’re nagging, but ultimately a second phone call or email is preferable to having no accommodation at all!
3. Look outside of student halls
Although halls of residence are the typical route for freshers, there are plenty of other housing options available if there’s no room left. When it comes to finding student accommodation, one of the best places to start is online. Forums such as The Student Room will be full of people looking for last minute accommodation, meaning you are likely to be able to find a housemate vacancy as part of a house or flat share local to your university.
4. Find a housemate
It might feel like you’re the only one struggling to find last minute accommodation, but this simply isn’t true. It’s more likely that there are many other students in your position who are trying to find a group of housemates to book a property with. If this is the case, take to social media and seek out housing groups or website forums to find people to live with.
Top tip: Student Tenant have a ‘find a housemate’ tool where you can create a profile and match with other likeminded students looking for accommodation. Making the first move may feel daunting, but imagine the sense of relief you would feel if someone reached out to you!
5. Stay calm and search on
It’s understandable that you may be feeling overwhelmed when you’re trying to figure out how to find last minute student accommodation, but things will work out. Stressing over your situation won’t help you find accommodation any faster – in fact, it will probably make things slower. Remember that there are plenty of ways to find last minute accommodation, and it’s very rare for students to find themselves without anywhere to live. Staying calm and collected will make the process simpler and easier to manage.
6. Protect your contents
Once you’ve secured your university accommodation, it’s important to protect the contents of your new home. Whether you’re living in halls or a shared house, student contents insurance protects your possessions against risks such as fire, theft, flood, malicious damage and more. Replacing belongings is not only a hassle, but potentially very expensive – especially when you’re living on a student budget. Taking out student contents insurance means you won’t end up out of pocket should anything unexpected happen.