When Is the Right Time to Get Your Student Accommodation

Working out how and when you should confirm your student accommodation is an important step on your journey to starting University. This article will share some helpful tips on how to find the right home for you...


Securing student accommodation should be high on the student’s ‘to-do’ list but when is the best time to begin your search?

Your timelines will vary between institutions and can depend on where you are searching as well as what year of study you’re in. But in some cities, property moves quickly so it can be sensible to begin early.

Here are some tips on when and how to find the right student home for you…

Ask Your College or University

In many cases you should contact your chosen education provider either by email, a telephone call or reach out on social media. Some institutions such as ICMP have house hunting groups on Facebook so you can join these online platforms and ask any questions you might have on there for the best times to begin your search.

For some institutions, you can use the UCAS accommodation search function to find your university’s accommodation options.

At the same time, contacting the university directly should help you speak to someone and get the most up-to-date details on when you can begin applying and looking for somewhere to live.

Begin your Search before Applying

You can start searching before even applying to a place to study. Even if it’s some time before you receive your results or any offers arrive, it’s still sensible to do your research early.

This way you can find out more about different areas, the pros and cons of each and where/what your ideal home might be.

You’ll also be able to learn more about the kind of property available and what comes in a typical contract - for example, does this home come furnished? Are bills included? Doing your homework early will also allow you to work out your budget and give you a rough idea of how much your living arrangements will potentially cost.

When you start your search, depends on your year of study

As an incoming student, you can usually wait until you’ve got your offer to make any big decisions. But once it does arrive, then sorting your accommodation should be among your top priorities. You can even tentatively look to arrange somewhere before this date if you want to be super organised and are confident you will be offered a place.

For returning students, again, this depends on how organised you want to be. You can come under pressure to begin this as early as November and the pressure will be on as the year progresses. However, it’s important to be patient. If you’re 100% certain on who you will be living with and where, then you can start over Christmas and should be able to find somewhere. But even if you leave it until the summer, you still should be able to locate a place. London is a vast city with huge amounts of options and you shouldn’t feel pressured to sign something - instead take your time, do your research and pick a home that works for you once you’ve read through a contract in full.

If you love where you’re living as a first or second year with a particular group of people in privately rented accommodation, then you could all agree to ask the landlord to extend your contract for another year. This is an easy option in some ways - as long as the rental price for the next year is not too expensive, doing this can give you all complete peace of mind.

Consider what you want from your home

Before you begin your search, draw up a list of what is important to you as well the potential locations you’d like to live and budget. Accommodation comes in all shapes and sizes from private rooms in a shared property to bigger specifically designed student halls or blocks. This list should help you focus your search:

  • Where is the property located?
  • Is it far from your campus?
  • What kind of accommodation is it - e.g. a flat, townhouse
  • Does the space come furnished?
  • How many people will you be living with?
  • What amenities are on-site or nearby?
  • How much does it cost?
  • Are bills included?
  • What's the kitchen and living space like?
  • Do you share a bathroom or have your own?
  • Does the space come furnished?

Good luck and happy hunting!

Take the first steps in your music career with ICMP

We've been developing and delivering contemporary music education for over 30 years – longer than any other music school in the UK. With a proven track-record, countless music industry connections and unrivalled access to facilities, it's easy to see why hundreds of students choose ICMP each year. 

To completely immerse yourself in your music career, chat with our friendly Admissions Team via email enquiries@icmp.ac.uk or give them a call on 020 7328 0222.

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by ICMP staff writer
August 10, 2021
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