Accomodation

Accomodation in the UK

Now your offers have arrived and we are sure you are excited to start your study in the UK but one most important step is to secure a place to live not just a place to lay your head after long school hours but a place that will act as a home away from home.

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Where you live during your duration of study can feel like a bewildering choice, with lots of options to choose from.

Do you want a university accommodation or a private residence? Do you want a place in the city-center, or on campus? University campus housing, some long-term housing and most short-term housing can be arranged before your arrival to the UK. But other long-term housing facilities would require your presence before any decision is made.

Before you make a decision, it is important to consider your options and timelines by looking at;
• What you want
• What you need
• What you can afford
• What you can compromise on

These steps may help you streamline your options in making the right decision that suits you. Here is a round-up of options to consider from with regards to options available to you, we have;

Most universities in the UK offer student accommodation but this is dependent on availability at the time of application. Most of these accommodations are shared and usually made up of a mixture of men and women even though some may have female or male only residences as well. Living in these halls puts you at the center of student life. It's a great way to make friends and to get involved in social campus activities. Many universities do not guarantee a place for all students even though international students may be priority on the list. It can only be guaranteed if you already applied before the deadline and have a deposit in place.

University websites contain a lot of useful information for you to research and find the kind of accommodation you like but our experienced counsellors can also help you make a decision taking several factors into consideration. Also be informed that just a handful of universities may have residences that accommodate families and married couples. Even that, they are quite difficult to acquire on campus.

A standard university room is either made of a single or double bed, a storage space and a study table with a shared bathroom allocated to either a number of rooms or the whole floor. EnSite are also options available where you have your private bathroom. Most student accommodations share communal areas such as a kitchen, dining area or a small living room space to encourage socialization. Major appliances such as refrigerator, oven, kettle, television etc. are provided in these communal areas.
Privately owned halls of residence offer all the benefits of halls, but are not linked to the university. You book a room directly with the specific halls you're interested in and most have easy online booking systems. Private rental accommodation has grown popular among students in the UK now. These kinds of accommodation are usually modern with good services with their locations proximate to university campuses and its facilities. Most students studying in the UK have opted to live in private accommodation for varied reasons.

Example;

• Private facilities are faster to secure than university residences. This could be confirmed within 24-48 hours

• Private halls usually have a cheaper rent option as compared to halls but it also comes with added bills such as utilities, Wi-Fi, contents insurance and a TV license, however the private student accommodation is getting very competitive, so property managers have started novel amenities like swimming pool, coffee bars, outdoor grills, breakfast on the go, car parking in addition to basic amenities like communal area, study spaces, bike storage and gyms. But remember, as long as everyone in your house is a full-time student, you don't have to pay council tax.

• It is also an opportunity to move in with your friends. Most Universities have private housing facilities they have partnered with to provide this option to students. So, it is important to consider visiting the accommodation help section in your school, to go through options and get expert advice from your accommodation guidance personnel.
Home stay options are usually afforded to international students who come for language courses or pre-university courses. This option is usually provided by families willing to host international students to give them a more intimate and family-oriented experience in the UK. Host families are usually reviewed and oriented by the universities to ensure that they could meet the requirements of the student and to verify that they are good families that can give the student a good experience. Home stay is also an option for students who must leave their dorm rooms during long summer holidays. It is however required that you speak to your university accommodation counsellor to secure that. This housing option is commonly popular among private universities in the UK. Long lasting relationships are usually built with this housing option.
While off-campus rents are relatively cheaper than the price of room and board on campus housing in most cases, rent rarely provides the range of services that a school offers. Living in a dorm eliminates electricity, gas, and water bills, and sometimes even cable and internet bills. Sometimes students prefer to live in private rental housing off campus for some of the reasons listed below;

• More independence and privacy

• Cost

• Not having to move out during long holidays

Your accommodation office at the university may be able to provide advice and help you find a rentable house.

If you are already in the UK, you can also look at the advertisements posted in local newspapers, websites, and rental agencies around the area you are looking to move to. However, it is important to note that not all websites are genuine so kindly do your research thoroughly to avoid being scammed by fake landlords. Agencies sometimes charge a fee but, by law, they cannot charge you just for registering with them and you should not pay for details of places they have to let. Only make payment when you have visited the property and signed a binding contract that can be traced back to a legitimate rental agency.

It is also advisable to read on what the legal obligations, rent payment structure, responsibilities and regulation are, for the place you want to rent to avoid possible conflicts or even eviction in the future. If possible, it is better to bring a British friend to help you or ask the school for help.

It is very difficult to arrange a rental in the UK from outside the UK, because you need to go there to see the house in person, so we recommend that you find a temporal place such as a guest house, air bnb etc. when you arrive, while you find a permanent place for the duration of your study and beyond.

Below is a link to a housing guide designed by University of London Housing Services that can help with your search and checklist options. https://issuu.com/ulhs/docs/housing_guide_2020_sp?fr=sMTU2ODE3NjEzOTA Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) 1. When can you apply for student accommodation? It varies for every university in the UK but you can usually apply once you have received and accepted an offer. Some schools may give you an opportunity to apply on a conditional offer, although many others will only open applications to you if you have made firm confirmation. Accommodation is usually allocated on a first-come, first-served basis so it’s advisable to do your research while waiting for an offer and take note of the deadlines as well to avoid last minute applications 2. How do you apply for student accommodation? Applications are typically made online. You usually put down a number of preferred accommodation residences as well as your preferred type of room (standard, ensuite, catered etc). Accommodation officers will do their best to match you to your preferences, but you are not guaranteed your first choice because of the likelihood of an over-subscription. 3. How much is the deposit for student accommodation? Just like with private accommodation, a deposit is usually required for university halls which could be anywhere between £200 and £500 depending on the university, the type of room and service provided. 4. Is the deposit for student accommodation refundable? The deposit for student halls is usually returned at the end of the tenancy, minus any damages or outstanding rent payments. 5. Can I stay in student halls over the holidays? You will need to look at the contract. Tenancies are usually a term-time only 12-month contract. There may not be extra considerations with moving your belongings so it is worth finding out storage options that may be provided by the university. Priority will usually be given to international students or those living furthest away from the university. Some universities will also offer the opportunity to pay an additional amount to stay in during vacation periods such as the summer for a reduced rate.
As you begin to make exciting plans for your departure to the UK, it is important to go over a checklist to ensure that all the necessary arrangements for your arrival are in place. Follow up on accommodation arrangements if you have not received confirmation yet. Alternatively, you can also look at arranging a temporary accommodation as a backup while awaiting a confirmed residence. You will have been given a temporary visa which allows you to be in the country for that period of time but kindly make sure you collect your BRP 10 days after arrival into the UK. Failure to do that would attract huge fines so make sure you remember. You will have arranged when you applied for your visa where to collect your BRP from. You can arrive 30 days before the beginning of your course Yes, You Did It! – Congratulations! Now let your mind run wild for a whole new adventure in the UK. Enjoy Your Stay

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