Starting your first year at university can be an incredibly busy time. You have secured a place on your chosen course and found accommodation in the halls of residence. As you start to settle in to your course and begin your studies, thinking about accommodation for your second year is probably the last thing that you will have on your mind. However, many students in their second year will not secure student accommodation in halls of residence because preference is given to first years.
As a result you will need to find your own accommodation. Finding somewhere to live while you study has a major impact on your overall experience of university, so it is recommended that you start your search early.
After your first year there are a number of options open to you in terms of accommodation. There is privately rented or shared accommodation or private halls of residence. Ultimately it depends on your preference and, of course, your budget.
If you want a little more independence, then renting a property with a group of university friends could be a viable option. Nevertheless, there are a number of drawbacks. You must make sure that you rent your accommodation from a suitable estate agent. There have been many stories of students renting property to find that they have ongoing problems with landlords in relation to bills or repairs. Your university will have a list of recommended estate agents that you can contact.
Shared accommodation isn’t for everyone. If it’s not for you then a private hall of residence is an ideal alternative. When you live in these halls, everything is taken care of so you don’t have to worry about issues with letting agents or landlords.
As with everything in life, finances play a significant role in what you can afford at university. Your budget will determine what you can afford and eliminate some types of accommodation. If you are on a tiny budget then independent living may not be the best choice. Don’t forget about additional costs of living such as bills, a television licence and internet fees, and heating and water.
Sharing accommodation with friends allows you to share the rent but also split all the bills -ideal if you are on a budget.
When you are searching for suitable accommodation location is everything. You don’t want to find the ideal property if it’s miles away from your university. No matter what university you go to you will need to know your way around.
Private rentals are usually situated close to the university, but they can be more expensive. Properties are a little cheaper outside the centre of town, but if you do venture further afield you need to make sure the transportation is reliable and affordable enough for your daily commute.
Even if you don’t manage to secure a place in the halls of residence for your second year, don’t worry. Provided that you do your research there is no reason why you can’t find a suitable place to stay as an alternative to student halls of residence for the remainder of your course.