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Things to Consider When Choosing Your Student Accommodation

With all the excitement that comes with moving into student accommodation, it can be easy to rush into choosing a property, only to find out later in the year that it’s not well suited to your requirements.

To help ensure you choose the right property, we’ve pulled together our top considerations for making the decision, we’ll also take a look at how private accommodation compares with student halls.

Where the Property is Located

Location is key when choosing any property. At university, the wrong location can mean long walks to the university campus, difficulty socialising outside of the home and paying for expensive transport when you do need to go anywhere. Before you even get to viewing the property, take note of its distance from:

  • The university
  • Your lecture halls.
  • The city centre.
  • The nightlife (pubs, restaurants, bars etc).
  • Nearest bus stop and train station.

It’s also worth talking to the landlord or letting agent about the residency status of other nearby properties, if you prefer a quieter area, you may opt for a property in an area that’s predominately inhabited by families as opposed to other students.  

Who You’ll be Living With

One of the most exciting (but challenging) aspects of living in private rental accommodation is choosing who to live with. If you’re part of a more socially active group of people, you may opt for an open plan property with communal living areas.

If you’re living with working young professionals or other quieter students, you are going to be better off in a property that offers large rooms for studying, private bathrooms and parking facilities.

Choosing who to live with is a big commitment, you need to remember that should you fall out with another housemate and decide to move out, you’ll still be liable to pay rent until your agreement is over. Here are a few things to bear in mind when choosing you to live with:

  • It’s not always a good idea to live with your partner. As well as the risk of separating, relationships can distract from work and you may find that your dynamic impacts on other housemates.
  • Living with people doing the same or similar courses is a good idea, not only will this mean you’ll have some company when walking to lectures – but you can also help each other revise for exams and coursework.
  • Just because someone is a good friend doesn’t mean they are going be a good housemate.
  • Seeking out people who are likeminded and enjoy similar things is If you enjoy the nightlife, you’ll be the least favourite person in a quiet house.
  • If you’re contemplating on living with people you lived within university halls, remember how they were with cleaning, making noise and handling their finances.

What’s Included in the Rent

It’s a common misconception that all your bills are included in one regular monthly amount – that would be too easy! As well as the rent you pay to live in your property, you may have to pay for gas, electricity, water, Wi-Fi and other utility bills separately.

This can impact your property choice as it could mean that lovely home you spotted is now completely unaffordable – check with the landlord or letting agency about what is included in the rent before you agree to the rental. 

Halls vs Private Accommodation

Whilst many students opt to live in student “halls” in first year then move to private accommodation, there’s nothing stopping you renting private accommodation in first year or applying to stay in halls for second, third or even fourth year. Both these options come with their own benefits and drawbacks:

Benefits of Living in Uni Halls

  • Living with plenty of other students.
  • If located on campus, you won’t need to worry about transport to lectures.
  • Perks such as free Wi-Fi and cleaning usually included within the price.
  • Easier to make friends, particularly in first
  • Everything is included in your rent, meaning you won’t need to worry about any additional bills for heating, electricity etc.
  • Fully catered options are available.

Drawbacks of Living in Uni Halls

  • Noise can be an issue and it’s difficult to get time alone.
  • You can’t choose who you live with.
  • Bathrooms and shower facilities may be shared.
  • If you opt for self-catering, you’ll be sharing a kitchen with a lot of other people.
  • You don't have control over things included in your bills such as heating, bus pass and sometimes food. 

Benefits of Private Rental Accommodation

  • You get more independence than halls.
  • Generally a lot cheaper than halls
  • You can choose a group of people to live with.
  • Private accommodation is generally quieter.
  • You generally have more of your own space.
  • Facilities such as bathrooms and kitchens are shared by fewer people.
  • There are a lot more options available in terms of property size, location and style.

Drawbacks of Private Rental Accommodation

  • Your responsible for your own mess and landlords are a lot less forgiving with damage.
  • If you don’t like someone your living with, there aren’t many options available.
  • If one of your housemates moves out or drops out of university, you’ll need to cover their side of the rent.
  • You will need to budget properly for individual bills.
  • You may find you are located far away from the main campus.

High Quality Student Accommodation Bristol

At Bristol Digs, we work with a number of landlords in and around Bristol to provide high quality accommodation for students. Whether you’re moving up to private accommodation after your first year or going straight into it, we can help you find the right property. Give us a call today on 0117 930 8750 for more information. 

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