Choosing the right student accommodation can help you to live the ultimate student experience, but finding the perfect student home away from home can be harder than you think. Here is a list of 10 handy tips to help you make the right choice when it comes to your student accommodation.
1. Location, Location, Location
Location is everything when you’re moving to an unfamiliar city. Consider whether you’d like the convenience of university right on your door step, or whether you’d prefer to be close to pubs and clubs.
2. Do your research
You might think you’ve found a bargain but make sure you carefully research the area before making a commitment. Avoid ‘rough’ areas with bad reputations locally, you’ll be coming in and out at all hours of the day and night so feeling safe and secure should be a top priority.
3. Is there room for visitors?
From time to time chances are you’ll want your old friends from home to stop by. If this is going to be a regular thing try getting a place with a spare room, even budget hotels in the capital can be expensive so consider investing in a sleeping bag and air bed.
4. Read before you sign
Take a good look at the tenancy agreement before you sign. Legal jargon can be complex so don’t be afraid to ask for clarification if you need any help. Ensuring you understand your responsibilities now will save you heartache later!
5. Ask your uni for advice
Even if you’re considering renting privately your university may be able to provide you with a list of approved landlords in the local area. This gives you the extra support of a third party if things go wrong and you can be safe in the knowledge that students have stayed at the property in the past.
6. Local amenities
Before you sign the dotted line spend a day in the local area. Try and find the local facilities you’ll be using on a regular basis, so check out the launderette, library, leisure centre and even visit the local park. By getting a feel for what living here will be like it can help you to decide whether it’s the right place for your student experience.
7. What’s included?
Some landlords will include wireless internet or the cost of bills in the rental price. Make sure you know what’s included and what isn’t so you can budget your finances.
8. Transport links
Check out local bus and train times in advance. While London is well connected, if you have to make multiple transfers on your way to uni you’ll need to plan on setting off early, so if a 5am start doesn’t appeal consider searching elsewhere!
9. House sharing
Sharing with friends can be a great way to bring down the cost of living in London. However not everyone gets along in close confinement so make sure you’re compatible!
Check the furnishings you’re provided with are of suitable quality. Any defects or problems need to be reported right away on the inventory, as you could be charged for them later out of your deposit if the landlord thinks it’s your fault.