A new survey by Knight Frank and UCAS shows that levels of happiness were noticeably higher for those living in private purpose-built accommodation and university accommodation at 76% respectively than students living in the private rented sector at 73%. The core drivers of happiness in private purpose-built student accommodation are location, the option to live with friends and the quality of accommodation.
Moreover, when choosing where to live, the most crucial factor influencing a student’s decision is value for money. A massive 97% of respondents rated this as being important to them. After thorough research it is evident that the top 5 most important factors are as follows:
Your accommodation must be convenient for you. No-one wants to travel an hour or more to their university campus. You should ask yourself…
- Can I walk everywhere?
- Are there shops, nightlife and university campuses nearby?
- How far is the nearest train station and bus stop?
- Is there on-site parking for my car?
Properties that are not central can often seem like better value for money as they are usually cheaper, but when you total up your travel costs this is not the case.
Who You’ll be living with
Most likely you’ll be moving in with strangers, its just your luck who you’re put in a flat with. In some student halls you can specify if you would prefer to be in an all-female or all-male flat. However, most halls tend to place people in the same year of study together, so you’ll be living with others who are in the same position as you. The shared spaces are designed to encourage interaction, so students should find it easy to establish a relationship with their flatmates.
Quality of Accommodation
The communal facilities play an important role in your student living experience. Many student halls have some fabulous features, such as an on-site gym, cinema room, games room, outdoor barbecue area, basketball court and laundry room. All of these are not essential, but they are enjoyable and most now come as an all-inclusive package as part of the weekly rent charge.
In terms of the private bedrooms Ben Etherington - University Business declares that students now want larger beds, bigger wardrobes and more amenities in their rooms. High speed Wi-Fi, smart TV’s and quality appliances are not just desirable these days but a requirement. Studio apartments have become a major trend, the ability to combine shared and separate living is a popular choice, however arguably there has been a significant oversupply in recent years of this room type development.
‘Often the specifications now required are similar to high-end residential development because students demand the utilities and freedom to cater for themselves privately and for others.’ (Ben Etherington 2018).
If its your first time living away from home, you and your parents will feel more settled knowing you are safe and secure in your student accommodation. It is valuable to investigate if your accommodation has 24-hour CCTV/security and a key fob entry system to allow only residential access.
Value for money
City centre accommodation in cities such as London are an expensive investment, but usually the most convenient. Many students may prefer to pay an extra £50 a week to save on a one-hour daily commute. Also, to save money you may want to opt for an en-suite room as opposed to a studio room type, en-suites have access to shared kitchen facilities, whilst studios have a private kitchenette. So, if you’re prepared to fully involve yourself in communal living then an en-suite room may be a more sensible option.
Overall, it’s about what’s best for you. Make a list of what you would desire/require when choosing your accommodation and conduct appropriate research. Whether that be arranging viewings, contacting past residents or visiting the local area, all are helpful when deciding where you will start your new student life. But if you need advice along the way don’t forget the team at City Room Rentals are here to assist. Student accommodation is our speciality, we strive to provide the most appropriate accommodation suitable to our clients needs.