If a student accommodation wants to be heads above the rest, it needs to offer something different. Accommodation that can offer modern flats (especially for London students where halls have been notoriously overpriced), high levels of security, a community feel and a reasonable price are trailblazing the way in the industry.
So what are the key things to look for when choosing your first year home?
Sure, plasma TVs in every room, a Jacuzzi and walk-in fridge are all ridiculously appealing, but if the complex is 20 miles from your uni, it might not be such a great idea. Think about your morning/evening commute, how long the journey is into town ad what other hotspots are nearby. Price will more than likely vary the nearer you are to the centre of town, but can eliminate the cost of travel, so take time to weigh up the costs.
Not just for your parents’ peace of mind. No one wants to have their stuff pinched or to feel unsafe at home. Check the levels of security thoroughly, and whether the company offers content insurance. If not, the better the security, the cheaper it will be for you to buy it yourself. Student accommodation should offer 24 hour security, so make sure you know how to contact them, should you ever need to.
Ensure that all the amenities are up to scratch, so that your bed doesn’t collapse the second you do, and so that the draws are for show. Especially when moving in, ask the rep to show you how the shower etc works to ensure that they actually do. Test the toilet flushes/the taps work/the oven gets hot before they leave, so any big problems like that can be sorted asap.
If the building is next to a main road or train station, you may not always get the 100% peace and serenity
you’d pictured. Think about how much that will bother you, particularly when choosing halls in the middle of a busy city. It also might look alright in the day, but think about when 12am comes and the tequila has set in. It might not be a huge issue in your first year, unless you’re not very pleasant in the morning.
Many of the big student accommodations offer a variety of types of room, at a variety of prices. These can include a studio – a whole flat usually designed for one (or a couple), including a bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. Other types are shared flats where you will often be sharing communal areas with strangers, and en-suite rooms where you will share a kitchen and social area, but not a bathroom. Find the best option to suit your needs, personality and budget.