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Finding a student accommodation in London: a daunting task

Finding a student accommodation in London: a daunting task

The search for student accommodations in London is already on! With the current state of the property market in the city, you will need lot of patience and time to find a studio, a student room or even a flatshare. A thorough knowledge of the market is a great asset in avoiding unforeseen problems in the search process, and avoiding surprises relative to the quality and the price of flats.

If you are coming to study in London or if you already live here but you want to change your accommodation, you will notice very quickly just how hard it can be to find a flat or a room which matches your criteria. But not to worry! We have some tips for you.

Clearly define your student accommodation search

The first thing to do when looking for a flat in London is to specify your search. Are you looking for a room in a university residence or do you prefer to live on your own in a studio? Or you are looking for a flatshare? And what is your budget for renting a place? All of these questions need to be answered before going any further in your search.

Bear in mind that the London property market is very different from other real estate markets. For instance, the cost of rent is stated on a weekly basis, not a monthly basis. So remember to check whether it is the weekly price (pw = price per week) or the monthly price (pcm = price per calendar month).

Furthermore, it is worth noting that the size of a house or a flat in the UK is indicated by the number of bedrooms and not by the number of total rooms (which is customary in countries like France). Moreover do not forget that units of measurement are different in England: surface area is measured in square feet, not square meters (1 m2 = 11 ft2).

 

Most importantly, you must be aware of the fact that the London real estate market is extremely fast paced. Homes and flats that are put on the real estate market can be rented out within a day, if not within hours, especially during the peak period of September and October. During this period, students tend to search for flats in the same typical areas (near Covent Garden, Russell Square, Angel, Old Street, Shoreditch, Barbican, etc. Underground stations) with the same budget.

You must also note that transportation costs in London are very high, substantially higher than those of other public transport services. You must be very aware of distances in order to take public transport into account in your budget. Transport costs could influence the choice of the location for your future student accommodation. It may be worth it to pay a little more for a flat closer to your school since it will allow to save on considerable transportation costs, not to mention that it will also save your time.

What kind of student accommodations can you find in London?

There are 4 types of student accommodation in London: flatshare or houseshare, university residence halls, a room in a private residence, or an off campus flat that you rent on your own.

In a flatshare arrangement, you share a flat or a house with other students. You must keep this option in mind because since you would be splitting the cost with several other people, it would allow you to afford a flat of higher quality with a more spacious living area. You can rent a flat or house with up to 3 or 4 other people if you search a

little further away from the wealthier areas (such as West Kensington or Hammersmith for example – 20 min from Imperial College).

If you choose the second option, to stay at a university residence hall, you would be living in a university owned building with other students of your school. Universities manage their own student residences, so you will have to register directly with the school and you can find more information on your university’s website. There is a chance that you will be situated in a residence that is close to where you will be studying, but that will not necessarily be the case. Not all residences are on campus, or near the campus. In addition, be aware that you might be sharing a room with another student.

The third option is private student residences. This is a relatively new trend which attracts many students. This kind of accommodation is high-quality and is built to make students’ lives easier. Private student residences offer a private room, round the clock security, high speed wireless internet, fitness centres, lounges, libraries, laundry rooms, supermarkets, restaurants, cleaning services, etc. The price of a room typically varies between £200 and £300

per week for a single room. Private student residences also differ from most university residences in that you may have a private bathroom and your own kitchen. Private student residences are usually located close to public transportation.

Last but not least, the final option, chosen by the majority of students that study in London, is to rent a flat on their own in a fairly central area of London. As with the rest of the London property market, prices vary considerably depending on the neighbourhood. As a student, you will either need a guarantor in the UK or to pay the rent 6 months upfront. Your guarantor has to be a UK resident and the agency will require from him a proof of his ownership (land registry or mortgage statement), a bank status enquiry, a copy of his passport and a pay slip.

If you are studying at Imperial College or at the Royal College of Music, your best options are in South Kensington. This is however a very wealthy area and you will have to expect to pay around £500 per week for a 1 bedroom flat.

If you have been accepted at Queen Mary University, you should consider Whitechapel, Spitalfields, Stepney or

Wapping. These areas are all very popular among students. Prices are around £350 per week for a 1 bedroom flat and towards £650 per week for a 4 bedroom house (£150 per person per week).

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Many universities are located in Marylebone: the London Business School, Birbeck University, UCL (University

College of London), Regent’s University and the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) are all in this area. A 1 bedroom flat in this sought-after area is typically rented out for around £400 per week. In the case of flatshare, a 4

bedroom flat in Covent Garden costs around £800 per week (£200 per week per person).

It is a very difficult task for students to find accommodation in London by themselves, so if you are a student looking for a place to stay during your studies, do not hesitate to contact a real estate consultant. It is a very common practice in the British capital. They can help you to find a flat or room that matches your budget, and satisfies your specific criteria, for the cost of one month’s rent.

The GAAM International property finders are here to help you find the right student accommodation for you in London. Simplify your search, save your time and put the odds in your favour by contacting us by phone +44 207 602 9926 or by email contact@gaaminternational.com.

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