There are several reasons you might need to find student accommodation at the last minute when a lot of available beds are already taken. Perhaps it’s your first year and you’ve failed to get into your first choice uni but you’ve got a place somewhere else through clearing.
Or maybe you’ve just had a lot of other stuff going on which has forced you to put off your hunt for accommodation until later than you would have liked. Whatever the case, finding a place to live in a hurry can seem daunting, but there are a number of tactics you can employ to help make the process easier.
Talk to Your University
If you’ve got into your university through clearing, there’s a good chance your place comes without a bed in university-owned accommodation. However, this doesn’t mean it isn’t worth turning to your university for help at all. Even if there’s no room in halls, they should be able to help you in one way or another. They might be able to refer you to a third-party provider of accommodation, advise you on where best to look for a place to live, or simply help you to navigate contracts.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that some universities do guarantee a place in halls for students who get in through clearing, and with others it might be a possibility even if it’s not guaranteed. Double check their policies and if in doubt contact them to ask whether there is any chance of getting in.
Know Your Options
There are a number of different kinds of student accommodation you might want to consider. Besides university-owned halls your main options include:
- House/Flatshare: One of the most common student housing solutions, and also one of the most budget-friendly, is to share a house or flat with fellow students. However, you will want to act fast before all the best properties have gone. Try to get in touch with students in the same boat through online student communities to band together and find a property.
- Private Purpose-Built Student Accommodation: This is similar to university-owned halls, but privately-owned and usually built to provide a higher standard of living. Often, there will also be great on-site amenities such as leisure or dining facilities. The downside is that this usually comes with a higher price tag.
- Becoming a Lodger: Renting somebody’s spare bedroom has some very definite advantages. It often represents good living standards at a relatively affordable price, and gives you a very normal home environment to live in. Obviously, living in somebody’s house requires you to be on your best behaviour though.
Finding your accommodation at the last minute doesn’t necessarily mean settling for second best. However, as others will have already started hoovering up the prime housing opportunities there is a possibility you may have to compromise. Be prepared to settle for something less than perfect, and you will probably find any compromise you make, is less disappointing than you expect.
If you do have to compromise, it will most likely be in one of three areas: quality, cost or location. Think ahead of time about which of these is most important to you and which you are most willing to compromise in, as it may come down to a choice.
This article was provided by The Overseas Investor, specialists in student property investments.