A Guide to Student Accommodation: What to Consider
Whether you’re a first-year student fresh into the world of student accommodation, or you’re returning for your masters after some time away travelling and you need a refresher of what to expect, this guide will help you to find the perfect student accommodation so that you can relax and focus on getting those grades.
Bunkabin has been providing universities and colleges with temporary accommodation for more than a decade, so we like to think we’re clued up on what you should be on the lookout for.
Know your budget
First things first, you’ll want to think about how much you are willing to spend each month on accommodation.
Consider things that could improve your budget, such as any student loans, wages from working alongside your studies, or any allowances you receive from family members. You’ll also want to take into account any outgoings that could reduce your budget too, like phone contracts, groceries, bills, transport, and, of course, nights out.
It’s important to not bite off more than you can chew by overestimating your budget, leaving you with costs too difficult to pay off. If you’re in need of some affordable accommodation for a tight budget, try shared student accommodation as bills and rent are split evenly between you and your roommates.
The location of your accommodation can also affect your budget and the overall price or value of the property you are staying in. For example, if you’re going to be studying in London and want to live quite centrally, expect much higher accommodation costs than those situated further out of the city’s central districts.
Location will also determine the length of your commute. If you plan on driving to your lectures, you might not mind living slightly further away from your university or college. However, if you’ll be using public transport to get to your lessons, you’ll want somewhere with great links and a reasonable commute time.
For some students, living at home can be the most viable option whilst studying. If that’s the case, you will be able to benefit from no (or low) rental costs and not having to leave behind your home comforts.
Maybe you love having a nice, hot bubble bath on a winter evening, or you might be an avid gamer and need high-speed internet so you can take on those tournaments with your pals from back home. Whatever type of student you are, you’ll want to ensure your new accommodation has the right amenities for you.
Though it might be more expensive to opt for accommodation with the latest mod-cons, you’ll enjoy it more in the long run and not have to compromise on any of those home comforts whilst you’re away studying.
Think about what features you’d like your accommodation to have available to you. For example, is there a laundrette or washer/dryers available on site? Is there an outdoor space or gym for you to get fresh air and exercise? Are you close to grocery stores and entertainment? Some modern accommodation facilities even offer a shared cinema or games room for students to enjoy recreational activities.
Also, consider what appliances are included in your property. Most student properties come at least part-furnished, but you don’t want to sign for somewhere and realise that there’s no fridge or cooker if you haven’t factored this into your budget.
Some accommodations also provide you with the option of having a cleaner visit your halls of residence for an additional charge each month, so this could be something to consider, especially for those times where you’ll be busy preparing for exams and would like a clean and tidy workspace.
Most first-year students live in university halls whilst they get to grips with their new surroundings. These buildings usually encourage students to socialise with each other by organising events and providing entertainment facilities in shared spaces. This can be incredibly useful for those who are moving away from home for the first time and are looking to make friends quite quickly.
Most, if not all forms of student accommodation will require a deposit or bond to secure your tenancy before you move in. This covers your letting agents or landlord if you are to cause damage to the property, or you leave the property in an unclean condition upon vacating.
Your deposit will be protected by the DPS (Deposit Protection Scheme) who holds the deposit for you so that neither you or your landlord has access to it without valid reasoning. At the end of your tenancy, your landlord will alert you of any damages that need repairing and illustrate these costs in an end of tenancy inventory. If the letting agent or landlord is happy with the condition of the property when you leave, you will receive your deposit back, usually within six weeks.
If you go to sign for a property and they don’t ask for a deposit, or they say that they won’t be putting the deposit forward to the DPS, be aware that this might be a problematic company to reside with. We recommend only renting with trusted property management companies and doing your research on them beforehand.
It’s worth checking this Citizens Advice page to find out whether your letting agent or landlord is trustworthy and is likely to hold their end of the bargain.
Length of Tenancy
It’s a good idea to think about how long you want your tenancy to be. Most landlords and letting agents will ask for a rough estimate of how long you intend on staying, or they might only offer to let their property for set lengths such as six or 12 months. Others might offer you a rolling contract, where you only have to provide them with one month’s notice before moving out.
It’s recommended that you try not to sign up for longer than a year at a time, as plans can change and you might find yourself tied down to a property that you’re no longer using. Sometimes, university friendships can sour, so you won’t want to be stuck in a house-share with roommates you no longer get along with.
If you are happy with where you are living and wish to continue residing there for the rest of your studies, most landlords will let you renew your tenancy with just a few months of notice.
How Bunkabin Can Help to House Students
At Bunkabin, we understand the importance of finding the right student accommodation - it can often be the difference between enjoying your time at university and not, which is why we offer high-quality accommodation solutions for students.
Our temporary student accommodation offers flexibility and consists of everything students need for a comfortable, spacious home. We offer portable units that provide excellent amenities, ensuring students can rest, relax, study and socialise with ease.
These cabins benefit from:
- Bed and storage space
- Powerful low-energy mains pressure shower
- En-suite toilet and sink
- Wardrobe and shelving
- Personal workstation
Our modular cabin units are the perfect solution to any student housing shortage. We can also provide the ultimate flexibility by offering short-term and long-term hires, depending on what is required. We are able to help house students safely and affordably - read about how we have helped other educational establishments in our case studies.