Many international students start to search for accommodation in the late summer months, often waiting until August to start the search.
We know that there are a number of good reasons for this. Quite often students do not get their University place confirmed until the summer and therefore don’t want to make a long term commitment to a place to live until they are sure of where they will be studying.
However, this can mean that there is quite a lot of short term pressure to find a place to live at a time of year when much of the accommodation has already been taken by UK based students. Furthermore, after A level results day in mid August, around 50,000 students also start to look for accommodation, meaning that it can be difficult to find somewhere that matches your requirements.
To help you, we have prepared 6 tips, based on our 17 years of experience and our research with thousands of students.
1 Work out what is affordable to you
Most students agree that cost is the main consideration when looking for accommodation. In the UK there is a wide range of different accommodation options, with an equally wide range of prices. A private hall of residence will cost you £275 per week on average in London (£145 outside of the capital) while a room in a houseshare is an average of £80 per week (£122 in the capital). While the difference in rent is significant itself, you will also need to factor in other costs. Rent for most halls will include your bills (heating etc) while a room in a shared house may or may not include this. There are other costs to consider as well. If your accommodation requires you to have a UK based guarantor you can get one from ukguarantor.com for just £299 while other companies will charge you over £1000!
2 How close is it to University?
Alongside price, the most important consideration is proximity to University. Almost all students look for somewhere that is convenient to their place of study. This can mean it needs to be within walking distance or in a larger city such as London or Manchester, well located for public transport to ensure your journey is as easy and low cost as possible. It is not always clear from the property descriptions how close things are if you are not familiar with the city, so if you are not sure ask us – we can help. You can email email@example.com or call on 0845 351 9911. We would be delighted to help!
3 Don’t settle
We recently spoke to 200 students who found their accommodation in the late summer and one of their most important pieces of advice was not to settle for the first accommodation you are offered or that you find. While you are under time pressure to make a decision it can be tempting to go for the first thing that comes across your radar. However, you need to bear in mind that you are making a commitment for the next 40 + weeks when you sign a tenancy agreement. Therefore, make sure you have a really good look at the full range of accommodation options. Yes it is competitive at this time of year, but there is still accommodation available. This includes University owned accommodation as well as private halls and houses. Visit www.accommodationforstudents.com to find out what is available or send your details to us here http://ukguarantor.com/student-accommodation-search/.
4 Try to view the property
If you can try to go and look at the property. We know it is not easy to do this when you are not always in the UK. However, having a look is the best way to make sure the room is exactly what you want. One thing that can be helpful is to arrange some short term accommodation in the UK so that you have some time to visit potential places to live, before you make the full commitment.
5 People are more important than property
Okay this is not always true, but in a recent survey of over 1,000 students an impressive 65% of them told us that the people they live with are as in important as the property itself. This indicates the importance of the social aspects of student accommodation and it is a good idea to be clear about what type of social experience you want to have. It is likely that you will only live in the accommodation for a year, but it is very likely that you will spend a few years living with at lease some of your housemates.
6 Decide how you want to pay rent
In the UK quite a lot of the student accommodation will request that you have a UK based guarantor to rent a property. If you don’t have one then it is common to be asked to pay some or all of your rent in advance. This can be quite a financial challenge at the beginning of the year. If you don’t want to do this then you can use our services to enable you to pay your rent in advance. Apply here today its quick and easy to do and we offer a lowest price guarantee – if you get a cheaper quote anywhere else we will refund you the difference in price.