Finding safe and affordable accommodation whilst studying away from home is critical. Likewise finding the right housemates and understanding your rights as a tenant.
To help those moving away from home, we've put together the following information and links to help you ensure you find the right accommodation for September.
Don't forget, we also run dedicated Accommodation events in June and July, designed for you to meet other students looking for accommodation.
These events will also provide you with lots of crucial information and advice, we'll also invite in various friendly local accommodation providers for you to meet and discuss your requirements.
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.
- Gov.UK: Read up on your rights and responsibilities when privately renting
- How to rent safely: How to rent a safe home - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Guarantor Service: Rent Guarantor Service - Housing Hand | Leading Tenant Guarantor
- Deposit Protection Information: Tenancy deposit protection - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Save the Student: SaveTheStudent.com
- Save the Student: Rent Calculator - Save the Student
- Shelter: Shelter England
- Citizens Advice: Free legal advice
- Advice 4 renters: Can provide advice for private tenants experiencing issues with their property/landlord
- Toynbee Hall: Legal Advice - Toynbee Hall
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.
We advise that you request a live virtual tour so that you can see the property in real-time.
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 can I find housemates or available properties?
Use these links to connect with potential housemates and find available accommodation:
- ICMP Facebook page
- My Student Halls
- On The Market
- Britannia Students
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 or. All halls and accommodation are privately owned, therefore applications must be submitted directly to the hall provider.
- Unite Students: Student Accommodation London | Unite Students
- Canvas Student: (Wembley & Walthamstow) London | Canvas
- Hello Student: Premium Student Accommodation in London | Francis Gardner Apartments
- IQ: (Haywood House) | iQ Student Accommodation
- Britannia Students: https://britanniastudents.com/
- Stay Club: The Stay Club - Student Lettings in London
- International Student House: Home - International Students House