How to find the right accommodation for you
Many universities can reserve a place for you in their halls of residence, but it’s important to do your research and think about what’s important to you. Here are some key things you'll need to consider:
- Check university websites – they could have pictures of what their halls of residence look like, and you may be able to reserve a room online. They’ll list the facilities available and any costs associated with them.
- Think about private student accommodation – these are often similar to university halls, but you won’t always be living with people who go to your university. There may also be different facilities available, and you might have more freedom as to what you can and can’t bring with you. Private halls are often owned by companies who build halls of residence near universities all over the country, so a quick internet search will provide you with reviews on a national scale.
- Read the small print – most accommodation providers (including halls of residence) have strict guidelines and rules on what you can and can’t bring/have with you. There might be other important things you’ll need to know too, like parking restrictions and health and safety issues.
- Check what bills you’ll need to pay – the cost of living in halls of residence usually includes electricity and water bills, but you’ll still need to pay for things like insurance and a TV licence.
- Consider the essentials – you'll need things for your bedroom and kitchen. If you move into halls of residence, check what's there already so you don't buy things unnecessarily.
- Watch virtual tours – see what the campus and facilities are like from the comfort of your home!
- Find out about Unipol’s National Codes – make sure your accommodation is up to standard. These codes ensure what’s advertised is what you will get, repairs are made on time, and good general management.
- Look after your deposit – money.co.uk share everything you need to know about how to protect your deposit in their guest blog.
Halls of residence
Halls of residence are university-owned premises designed to accommodate a large number of students. However, they're very popular so you might not get your first choice. While they're mostly reserved for first years, returning students often put their name down for them too. Why? Because they're cheap, convenient, and close to campus.
You'll need to apply for a place in halls of residence through your chosen university's accommodation office, and you can usually do this online. Check the uni's website for details on how and when to do this.
Private halls of residence
University towns have lots of other accommodation options, including private halls of residence. These are like normal halls of residence, but aren't owned by the university. They're usually part of a UK-wide chain of purpose-built student accommodation. You could be living with students who don't go to your university or college.
Don't fancy living in halls? You could choose to rent a house or flat, either by yourself or with other students. This might mean living with students in their second or third years of university, but you could ask your university's accommodation office or students' union to see if there are other first years who are looking at private rented accommodation too.