There are a few options when it comes to picking your next student accommodation:
These generally depend on the area you want to live, who you want to live with (or not) and how much you are looking to spend.
You may be planning to move in with friends, or you might have already decided you want a bit more peace and quiet. No matter what, the right accommodation for you is out there.
Need a bit of help deciding:
We’ve put together some pros and cons of the main types of student accommodation available: Private Flats, House Shares, Halls of Residences & Resident Landlords.
For many, this is the holy grail of student living. A private flat, where you can enjoy all the freedom that comes with living alone. No mess in the kitchen or bathroom (or should we say, no unexpected mess). And no one is going to wake you up in the middle of the night because they have ‘band practice’ in the living room.
The downsides to this sort of living are that it’s pricey. A one bedroom flat can end up being pretty expensive, especially in the larger cities and in the more desirable areas! But a good deal is certainly still possible, especially if you are willing to compromise slightly on the location.
They are also inherently less sociable than living in a communal house. It's simple really - having less people living in a house means there are less people planning nights out, having movie nights or cooking house dinners. This is not to say a private flat equals no fun - but spur of the moment activities are going to be less likely to happen.
Pros: Privacy and independence, Your own space, No messy flatmates
Cons: More expensive, Less sociable
By far the most popular option for students is a house share (or flat share). There are a few main reasons for this. They are usually a much cheaper option than renting your own place. You split rent, bills and perhaps even food costs. Houses are usually pretty good value for money and most will provide each occupant with their own room. There is also a greater sense of freedom and independence than you get with private halls.
By the very nature of this set up, the house is shared. This is potentially great news for your social life, and allows you to move in with friends. But it also bring more washing up, and a lot more hair in the shower plug hole. There is a joint responsibility too, which can be great, as long as everyone pulls their weight.
Pros: Sociable, Cheaper than a private place, More freedom than halls, Able to live with friends
Cons: More people to organise, Usually have shared kitchen and bathrooms, Can get messy… fast
You may also have the option to move in with a resident landlord. Effectively this means that you would be renting a room in a house where the landlord also lives. In this case your landlord is also your house mate. This could be a great option for you. Rent is usually on par with what you would pay in a shared house. But the experience can be heavily affected by how well you get on with the landlord.
They are unlikely to be a university student themselves, so may not be the biggest fan of you bringing your friends round late at night for example. But on the flip side of this, you may like the excuse to keep you own place a bit of a haven away from your social life.
Pros: Cheaper than a private flat, Less hectic that renting with other university students
Cons: Less freedom, Will likely have to adhere to house rules
Private Halls of Residence
At many universities, the majority of students will spend their first year living in university halls of residence. These can vary in quality and location depending on the specific university. However, they are often a pretty good mix of social life, study and convenience. So, when the time comes to move out of uni halls, an option could be to move into private halls of residences. In a lot of ways they are very similar to your university halls.
They offer a community of university students living closely together. Everyone has individual rooms and there is lots of communal space to study and hang out. Often they offer 'flats' within the halls, where you have your own room but share a communal kitchen with a handful of other students. However, there are usually some additional perks to opting for a private halls.
Private halls will often have en-suite rooms, much higher quality communal areas, and may even have a gym, concierge, or even a cafe. They are more expensive than your average house share but they will usually include all your bills with the rent. Private halls are often located in prime locations too, which is a real benefit, especially in larger cities. They can be a great option if you are looking for your own space and freedom, but want to enjoy some extra amenities and like-minded neighbours.
Pros: High-end, Private rooms often with en-suite, Student neighbours, Well maintained communal areas
Cons: More expensive than a shared house, Less freedom than your own place
At the end of the day, the type of accommodation you choose will depend heavily on your own preference. Remember, it is always a good idea to have a think about all the options. Research what is available in your local area first, and think about what you are looking for when it comes to finding a home.
What is the most important thing to you when it comes to accommodation? Let us know in the comments below.