London is a city that has it all — ranging from illustrious universities to world-famous nightclubs. From sprawling gardens to imposing skyscrapers. However, students often face many hurdles in their quest to find the ideal student accommodation in the city. Because of fierce competition in renting student properties, prices are sky-high.
The fact that London is one of the most expensive cities to live in doesn't soften the blow. Students are advised to act quickly and lock down their accommodation as soon as possible. UniAcco, a student accommodation platform, has a portfolio of hundreds of properties and helps students find the right accommodation at the lowest price possible.
Here are some useful tips on how to find student accommodation in London.
1) Know what you want
It is essential to know the basic requirements you expect from your accommodation. Some students are satisfied with basic amenities like a WiFi connection and 24/7 CCTV security. Whereas some students expect their accommodation to have a fully equipped gym and a cinema room. Jot down all the things you want from your accommodation and accordingly search for properties.
2) Different types of accommodation
This is the most obvious option for students looking for accommodation in London. This option is usually more expensive than other alternatives like shared flats, but they have all the tools to satisfy student's needs. You can expect shared facilities and a common room, which is a great place to socialise and meet new people. Therefore, it is not a bad idea to spend at least one year living in a student hall.
Student halls are divided into University Student Halls and Private Student Halls. Both sets of accommodation have their own sets of pros and cons.
- University Student Halls - University halls are generally cheaper than private halls. The great part about living in a university hall is that they are usually located in or around the university campus. That means you won't have to travel much or be late to class. The numbers of student halls are generally less than the number of enrolled students, so be quick to grab a room if you think university student halls is the best accommodation option for you.
- Private Student Halls - Private halls are more expensive than university halls because they offer better living conditions and a greater selection of locations. At private halls, you get a chance to interact with students from other universities, thus giving you a greater impetus building your network.
Instead of students halls, students can opt to rent a room in a house or share a flat. The price for rooms chiefly depends on location. For instance, rooms in the heart of London - Zone 1 are costly but offers excellent connectivity to other parts of London. But UniAcco advises students to look for rooms between Zone 2 and 4, with good transport links to your university campus.
3) Time is of the essence
Here's a quick lesson in Economics 101.
- Low demand - low prices
- High demand - high prices
Keeping this in mind, make sure you start researching your accommodation options as soon as possible. In a buzzing city like London, properties get snapped very quickly. So, do not waste time in booking your ideal accommodation. Think about local facilities, transportation and the safety of an area. If you like a property, try arranging a viewing if possible.
4) Accommodation Costs
London is such a large city that accommodation cost differs from area to area. All rates mentioned here are average costs. For halls of residence, expect to shell out almost £170-£300 per week (including bills) depending on whether you have a standard, en-suite or studio room. For private accommodation, the price shoots up to £200-£400 per week depending on the type of room you select.
The best way to save money on accommodation is by going for the cheapest room option away from the city centre.
5) Know what's included in the price
It is crucial to know where your money is going. Most properties have utility bills like the cost of water, electricity and gas included in the cost of accommodation. However, if you're getting your accommodation through an agency, take care, as agency fees can be costly. Luckily, UniAcco doesn't charge any fee, and as a result, the accommodation cost works out cheaper for students.
- It is a good idea to arrange a viewing before moving into your accommodation
- Consider meeting the people you are going to share a flat with before moving in with them
- Meet the landlord before moving in
- Go through the inventory list and make a note of any discrepancies to bring to the landlord's attention. This will save you from paying any damages that you are not responsible for.
Born and raised in Mumbai, Pierre Noronha thought that he was destined to be a Chartered Accountant. But all that changed when he discovered his love for writing. Taking this new-found passion forward, he started working as a content writer for UniAcco. Despite being a relative newbie in this field, he has interviewed several well-known personalities like Sayantan Biswas, among others. When he is not writing blogs on student accommodation, Pierre likes to spend his time watching and playing football.
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