Finding Last Minute Student Accommodation
A-level results day has been and gone, you’ve got into a university: maybe it was your first choice, or maybe you got in through clearing, like a record 64,000 students did in 2015. After all this, you might be hoping that you’ll be able to relax and enjoy the rest of your summer.
However, if you did get in through clearing, you will find yourself as one of the thousands of students looking for last-minute university accommodation at the moment.
Finding somewhere affordable to live in August/September can be a tiring and stressful process, but don’t panic: there are lots of ways to still find yourself a student house or halls. Here are some key things to think about:
1. Manage your expectations
The first thing you need to do is plan out your expectations for your accommodation. Make sure these are reasonable, like not being 40 miles away from your university and having a functioning shower, rather than your need for a cleaner and a personal tumble-drier.
With a plan in mind, you can look around places with a clear idea of what you’re looking for. Part of the university experience for many people is living in slightly cramped, or imperfect accommodation (it gives you important coping-skills), so don’t despair if you don’t quite manage the studio flat that’s too expensive.
2. Speak to your university
There is no need to struggle by yourself, get yourself in contact with your university’s housing service and see what help they can provide.
Some universities, such as the University of Sheffield and University of Aberystwyth will guarantee students a place to live if they apply by a certain date through clearing, so it’s definitely worth finding out what you can get.
3. Look outside of halls
Trust me on this one, halls of residence are not your only option for first year. Although they tend to get the most attention as the ‘typical’ route in freshers’, plenty of students choose other, less noisy options, with notably less sticky carpets. You’ll get a great social life outside of halls from your course, from societies and so on, so don’t worry if all the halls around your university are full up.
There are loads of options: firstly, you could look for a flat or house share. Make sure you look on student forums like the Student Room and Facebook groups for people looking for housemates, as there will be loads at this time of year, including second and third year students with a spot to fill.
If you want a quieter time, you could follow the example of an increasing number of students who are choosing to become lodgers in people’s spare rooms. Compared to university halls, it’s cheaper, quieter, and will give you a sense of normality outside of student life. Obviously you’d need to respect the wishes of the people who you’re living with, and so your ability to host ‘mad-ones’ would be severely limited.
If you really do want halls, private halls might be your best option. They can be a little more pricy, but generally are calmer and in nicer surroundings than university managed halls.
Safety tip: Always make sure you read through the housing contract before signing anything, and never sign before looking around.
4. Research online
Here at Accommodation for Students, we are solely dedicated to students and we list all the prices per person, per week. It’s quite simple really!
Safety tip: Always be careful with spare room adverts on websites like Gumtree.com, as anyone could post an advert, genuine or not.
5. Keep calm
Basically, there’s no need to worry. You’ll definitely find somewhere manageable to live for a year, and by the time second year rolls around, you’re likely to have found a group of mates for a house share anyway, and can leave all this worrying behind you.
By Georgia Tindale