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How to choose for student accommodation

Joining a university is a big step; for students, it's the beginning of independence and responsibility joining hands - perhaps for the first time. However, it also means a lot of struggle as you have to choose your accommodation and balance your finances.

While there is student finance to help, paying for student housing is a huge financial undertaking and requires a lot of thought. Apart from how much you pay in rent, there are other factors to contend with.

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What is the cost of student accommodation looking to settle in a budget?

The total cost of student accommodation depends on the university's location. Therefore, the cost of living varies throughout the country and is reflected in university housing costs.

There is also the matter of the type of room to consider. Some accommodations may provide shared bathrooms and basic amenities, reducing costs. Others, such as luxury en-suite studios, have a more comprehensive range of amenities and offer a higher standard of living, and the price reflects this. Some university accommodation prices will include bills, Wi-Fi, etc., while others may require separate payment. There should be a wide variety of information available from universities and accommodation providers.

How much is the average student accommodation?

The average amount students pay for rent in the UK is £148 per week, which is around £641 per month.

As you might expect, the highest paying university with students is located in London - or at least part of it is anyway. With an average rent of £238 per week, the University of Greenwich became the most expensive university for housing. This is 1.6 times the national average!

The other institutions in the top three most expensive unis – the University of Edinburgh and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) – have average weekly rents of £200 or more.

What is the average number of weeks you pay for student housing?

It depends on the contact length of the locations and how long you have to pay for accommodation.

On average, student accommodation contracts range from 40 weeks to 50 weeks. With this comes a weekly fee that you have to pay. The weekly payment you will need for your chosen student accommodation will depend on what you have to pay. For example, if you're a student studying in London, don't expect less than £100, given that you're studying in the capital.

You can easily find accommodation starting from £60 per week for a basic room. However, student accommodation has been known to exceed weekly prices, as high as £200 per week! When looking at housing prices, consider location, whether you are on or off campus, if you have an attached or shared bathroom, how many people you have to share with, and much more.

Do you need a guarantor for student accommodation?

Most accommodation, especially private student accommodation, requires a UK-based guarantor. Since students are unlikely to have a long rental history or a substantial accumulated credit history, private housing providers look to cover their assets against potential losses. For international students or those who cannot secure a guarantor, some universities may implement a rent guarantor scheme, where they act as a guarantor to help you get set up.

There are various criteria for potential guarantors for student housing, with the most important being related to income. Since they will bear responsibility for issues such as property damage or unpaid bills, they are fully expected to prove that they have significant income to meet this commitment.

Does Student Accommodation Require A Tenancy Deposit?

A student tenancy deposit is often required while living in private housing for the same reasons as a guarantor. Since 2007, the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) has ensured that students are not short-changed on their deposits. Tenancy deposit protection protects the rights of students when renting private housing and ensures that any deductions or challenges are made legally and adequately. If any landlord violates the terms of this scheme, the student will be entitled to compensation up to three times the original deposit fee.

Like most private student halls, urban ones do not require a deposit. Instead, you must pay an upfront payment which is the value of your first rental instalment and rounds off your payment. If you are looking elsewhere and need to pay the deposit amount, it is recommended to ensure that TDS covers it.

Learn more about choosing safe housing and what to look for in private rentals. This guide will help you understand what to look for when choosing student housing and what to do to keep yourself safe when renting.

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