Here at ICMP we understand the importance of safe and affordable accommodation during your studies, and our support teams can provide advice and guidance to help you find suitable independent accommodation.
Not only is London at the heart of the global music industry, putting you in pole position to get a head start in building your musical career, but it’s also an amazing place to live. From the fantastic music venues in places like Camden Town and the South Bank, to the nightlife of Soho and East London and the amazing food and shopping, there’s always something exciting to experience.
Of course, finding somewhere to live will undoubtedly be at the top of your ‘To Do’ list. It may seem daunting, but it’s not necessarily as hard as you might think, with our experienced accommodation partners on hand, and ICMP staff and fellow students here to help by providing advice, contacts, information, and hosting special events and activities to help you find your perfect place to live quickly and easily.
To help those moving away from home, we've put together the following information and links to help ensure you find the right accommodation.
We have also put together some useful articles covering how you can go about finding the right accommodation in the lead-up to your big move.
Information about Private Renting
Where can I go for support and advice?
There are several independent services that will be able to provide support on your rights and responsibility in private rented accommodation, this includes information on what happens if you are unable to pay your rent, and if you have any questions about your contract.
Guides from Gov.uk:
- Your rights and responsibilities when privately renting
- How to rent a safe home
- Tenancy deposit protection
- Housing Hand: Rent Guarantor Service
- Save the Student: Accommodation and Rent Calculator
- Shelter: Student advice
- Citizens Advice: Free legal advice
- Advice 4 Renters: Advice for issues with your property/landlord
- Toynbee Hall: Legal Advice
Cost and types of accommodation
The first thing you have to decide is whether you are going to live:
- by yourself in a flat
- within halls of residence style accommodation
- as part of a group of students in shared accommodation, or
- in a room in a householder's dwelling
In 2022 prices for a room or studio flat in the borough of Brent average out at £625 and £910 per month respectively. The cost of rent can vary greatly according to the standard of accommodation, the area, local transport links and proximity from central London. To keep expenses down, many students take advantage of the city's great transport links and opt to live further afield
The other alternative is to live in lodgings. This means sharing a house or flat with the householder and possibly their family. Advantages may include meals, utility bills, and laundry, but be aware that householders in lodgings can impose their own rules, for example, restrictions on coming home late or having visitors.
You should start your search for accommodation from mid-July, early August.
Viewing the property
It is important to view potential accommdation options in person, to ensure you find out all you need to know we suggest taking along a checklist. Save The Student has a great checklist template you can download here.
Always wiew a property in person before signing a contract - photographs are not a substitute, for visiting a place and seeing everything for yourself.
It may be useful to take notes and photographs while you are there, particularly if you are viewing multiple properties. If there are significant repairs to be made, or you ask for certain items to be supplied (eg, security lighting), not all landlords will be prepared to carry them out. In most cases, you simply take the property 'as seen'. It is for you to decide if the property suits you, don't feel pressured into agreeing to anywhere you're not sure about.
Check out Save The Student's page with a bunch of valuable advice regarding the house viewing process.
What to consider
1. Your safety
- View a property with a friend or at least let someone know where you are going
- Check the safety of the property - look for locks and safety certificates
2. Your checklist
You'll probably view a lot of properties in a short space of time, take good notes about each one to help you make your decision. Use Save The Students checklist.
Ask if you can take photos of the property - if it is still being lived in you may not be able to
- Make a list of questions to ask the agent and landlord for each property you visit. Consider asking things like "do you know what the average electricity or gas bill costs?" or "what references are required?"
4. Take notes
- Take notes of anything the agent or landlord says in regards to repairs or providing furniture, and get these included in the contract before you sign it
Some landlords or agents are using different methods of viewings to showcase their properties. These include 360-degree tours, live video tours via WhatsApp, FaceTime, or Skype. Whilst this goes some way to showing you a property, this is not a substitute for the real thing. We would strongly advise caution against paying a holding deposit or signing a contract for a property you have not actually seen in person.
Top tip: Make sure you get any verbal promises in writing; your contract needs to have explicit terms (written in it).
London has the highest rental prices in the UK. The cost of rent can vary greatly according to the standard of accommodation, the area, local transport links and proximity to central London.
How do I find housemates or available accommodation?
The majority of our students look for accommodation local to ICMP, choosing to share houses with other ICMP students. We organise a number of house-sharing events to not only help you find a property, but also assist you with your search for friends to live with. These events are open to any new students arriving in September, as well as current students returning for their second or third years.
We invite a select group of trusted local letting agents to our house-sharing events to present their latest student accommodation options. Alongside these agents, we also invite local housing advice organisations who are present to support, educate and inform students of their rights as tenants.
Along with our house-sharing events, our students also turn to our ‘ICMP house-hunting’ Facebook group, and a more general student forum – these tend to be the first port of call for ICMP students looking for rooms or housemates.
Here is a list of other useful links to connect with potential housemates and find available accommodation:
Estate Agents in the area:
Information about Private Halls of Residence
Halls of residence are large, purpose-built student accommodation buildings usually divided into self-contained flats. The cost almost always includes utility bills so you don't have to worry about extra payments for gas, water, electricity and Wi-Fi – everything is included in the price. They will usually have on-site management and maintenance staff during the day and security staff during the night.
They offer a range of accommodation options from single rooms with shared kitchens and bathrooms to en-suite and studio accommodation. Once an offer of a room is made you will be asked to secure the booking with a deposit (approximately £350) and sign the license to occupy. To benefit from any special offers, It is advised to secure a room early, early cancellation policies apply.
Please note that ICMP does not own or manage any halls of residence. All halls accommodation is privately owned, therefore applications must be submitted directly to the hall provider.
If you’re looking for ‘halls of residence’ style accommodation, we can recommend the following accommodation providers, who have various options within easy reach of ICMP. Alternatively, you will find that London has a wealth of purpose-built student accommodation options:
The Stay Club
The Stay Club – is student accommodation with a difference. The Stay Club residence team welcomes a global community of students to purpose-built properties conveniently located with direct links to ICMP. All room options are self-contained with private en-suite bathrooms and kitchenettes, built around communal spaces including a café and restaurant, gym, cinema, co-study, and relaxed social spaces. For more information and details on how to book, please visit the website here.
Unite has various options within easy reach of ICMP, including their property at 25 Olympic Way which is only four tube stops along the Jubilee line from ICMP in Kilburn. They offer either ensuite rooms with shared kitchen facilities or self-contained Studios. For full details and prices, please visit: www.unitestudents.com/london/olympic-way
More 'Halls of Residence’ style accommodation:
- Canvas Student
- Hello Student
- IQ: (Haywood House)
- Britannia Students
- International Student House
- Chester House
- Optivo Students
House Hunting Facebook Forum
To enable you to network both before and after the event, and also with students who were unable to attend, we also have a dedicated Facebook Group. This group helps students find house share accommodation with fellow musicians and ICMP students. The group is very active with both new and returning students, and remains the go-to source for most ICMP students throughout the year. Connecting with students through this group will help make your search for accommodation more exciting and less exhausting.
Join the ICMP House Hunting Forum on Facebook.