Prospective students and their parents frequently ask questions relating to accommodation; particularly about prices, quality, and location. This blog will aim to inform about these three criteria as well as to provide you with some of my top things to look out for when choosing accommodation, and also how to deal with the need for a place to stay over summer.
Naturally, prices vary depending on the quality of the accommodation, but at the same time you can be clever in finding the place for you by having a really good look around on the internet. Looking at privately owned as well as agency owned accommodation is one way you can increase your chances of getting a good place for a cheaper price. I definitely favour private landlords over agencies just because of the flexibility offered when it comes to extending your contract. In particular, that awkward time for some when they need to stay over summer, but their contract has already ended (or is close to ending) and most new contracts don’t start till September.
In the instance that an extension is not offered, there are other options out there for you. Short term lets are available for students that offer flexible/open contracts, and these can be accessed through the university website. They also advertise accommodation that has been accredited by them to reassure you of the quality. That is the option for the more money-minded students. For those that can afford a little more, the university offers halls from early July to end of August that can cover you for that period between the end of your contract and beginning of a new one. Of course, if you’re staying behind purely for graduation it’s probably better to go with a short term let that covers you until graduation.
Now for my top tips of things to look out for when choosing accommodation:
1. Check and double check whether bills are included or not to avoid getting caught out.
2. If you decide you want to go with a house that doesn’t include bills make sure you’re prepared, particularly with sorting an internet connection as this can take a few weeks.
3. Don’t just pick the first house you like as there may be another one out there for a cheaper price.
4. Enquire about the possibility of extending your contract, should you need it.
5. Make sure you carefully read the documentation before signing anything.
Hopefully all this information is enough for anyone at any stage of their course to make an informed decision on choice of accommodation. It’s definitely a decision that needs some thought if you are to have a stress-free time in your accommodation, something you need to counteract the unquestionably non stress-free university work!