Last minute Accommodation
It was once rare for students to be looking for accommodation in the summer. However, in the past few years, it has become quite common!
If you are looking right now, chances are you are one of the 60, 0000 students who have found a place at university through clearing or are planning your study in the UK from overseas.
You have nothing to worry about! Finding a university place through clearing is now a pretty slick process and grabbing your accommodation can be a super easy one too!
The only minor downside is that there will be lots of other people looking for accommodation at the same time, which can make it quite competitive, the process can also be a little stressful at times.
Despite this, bagging accommodation last minute is completely within your grasp, you just have to know how to go about it!
1. Start the process as early as you can
It is going to be quite competitive because there will be lots of students searching the remaining places at the same time as you meaning that queues will start to build up pretty soon. Therefore, the sooner you start, the better your chances will be of finding a place to live which will meet your specific needs.
Make a list of everything that you’re looking for and weigh up everything to consider, the Independent have a great check list over on their site here for all the keys points to consider when student renting.
2. Decide what your budget is
Although it is important to start looking as soon as possible, it’s also handy to know your budget. When we surveyed 1,000 students who found their accommodation through clearing, the number one piece of advice was to ‘make sure that the accommodation is affordable to you’.
You do not want to be wasting your time looking for accommodation that you know deep down is not suitable for you price wise, it will just be very upsetting!
Weigh up your options. A room in a shared house will cost on average £89 per week, but a private hall of residence will set you back (on average) £165 per week. These are just averages, so expect to pay £120 for a house and £280 for a private hall in London!
Remember, the harder you look, the more likely you are to find an affordable place. Phone up accommodation companies and tell them your budget right away to make sure that they do not offer you the wrong options!
For more information, check out this guide to budgeting for student accommodation here.
3. Know your target
A little bit of research goes a very long way! To start with, it is worth looking into all of the accommodation options that you have. In the first year, most students really want to stay in university accommodation and generally we would suggest that this is a good idea.
Even in late summer, you still have a good chance of being offered university halls. You can check out the Guardian’s article here on the golden rules of living in student halls- if you’re a little nervous about the whole experience!
It is important to remember that our research indicates that during clearing, you only really have a 50% chance of getting your first choice of hall, so do consider alternatives including private halls of residence and shared housing!
4. Make sure the accommodation is near to your university
Other than price, location is the most important factor to consider when choosing your residence. Proximity to university and good transport links are very important. University owned accommodation comes into its own here as many sites are located close to university, but many private options are well located too.
When looking for accommodation, always use Google Maps to find out how close it is to your university. For transport information, have a look at the transport site for your chosen university city, such as Transport for London or Transport for Greater Manchester for top tips.
5. Remember, your phone is your friend!
Students who have been through the clearing process generally advise on calling to enquire about the properties you are interested in. Sending an email, although preferred by many, can sometimes result in a slow reply and when it comes to clearing, you need to be quick and efficient.
Calling the company directly can also help you to get ahead of the queue and to beat others to the viewing. For tips on how to beat the phone call anxiety, head over to joyable for their ultimate tips.
6. Have a good look
All of our research indicates that students who view the property before they sign a tenancy agreement are more satisfied with their accommodation once they move in.
Although it may seem like a hassle, remember that you are going to be spending the next 40 or so weeks living there, so if you can possibly make it, go and have a look around a property before you make a commitment.
7. Keep an open mind
If you don’t end up with your first choice of accommodation, or feel that you have had to compromise, try not to worry. In our research, 80% of students who went through clearing and did not get their first choice accommodation felt that the place they ended up with was just as good as other student’s accommodation – so keep an open mind and be positive.
8. Remember, value your flat mates as well
In a recent study carried out concerning student satisfaction with accommodation, 65% of respondents told us that the people they lived with were actually more important than the property itself. A large part of your experience of living away from home will be determined by the people you are sharing with, so it’s well worth making a big effort from day one!