We know how tough it can be when searching for student accommodation, especially when you need to consider the location, living space, and your budget. To make things a little easier, we’ve put together our top tips to take the stress out of choosing your home for the next academic year.
When do you need to start planning for your next student property?
Finding student accommodation is the most important thing you will need to plan for whilst at university. Whilst it sounds stressful, if you start your property search early enough, you'll give yourself plenty of time to find somewhere to live. We always recommend thinking about your options in November/December and prepare to book viewings in January.
Note: January is one of our busiest months. We always recommend searching for accommodation in January at the latest if you want to find somewhere good!
Where would you like to live?
It’s important to think about the location of your student accommodation. You'll likely want to live somewhere that's close to your university campus but within a good distance from the city centre. You should consider the costs and benefits of the property: it's usually more expensive to live in the city but you could end up saving money on travel.
What is your budget?
Working out how much you can afford to spend on accommodation each month is very important. Write down your expenses including travel, bills, and food and subtract that from your monthly income (or student loan). Whatever you have left over after your expenses is what you can afford on accommodation and bills.
If you're looking for a property as a group, you should keep everyone's budget in mind. If your housemate cannot pay their rent, you could be legally required to pay on their behalf.
Note: Once you've worked out your budget for rent, we highly recommend not allocating it all on your rent each month. You should always spend 5-10% less of your maximum budget in case something goes wrong.
What's included within the rent?
When working out your budget, make sure you understand what's included in the rent. Most private student halls and some student houses offer all-inclusive bills packages so you don't need to worry about utility bills and Wi-Fi. You should always check out whether there are bills included in the rent so you can factor it into your budget.
If you need to pay for bills, you should budget around £50 per month for gas, electric and water bills per person. This is only a guideline and your bills could be more or less based on your location and utility prices.
If your student house does not include a bills package, and you would like to opt-into one, you can purchase a bills package through us. We'll bundle all of your bills into a single payment each month, and split the costs between you and your housemates. If you'd like to find out more about the bills package, you can check it out here.