Finding and Coping with Your New Student House
Getting set up in England can be difficult as it is, so here is what to expect in different aspects of getting settled in the United Kingdom.
1. Finding Your New Place
This should be done before your arrival to the UK, but it can still be accomplished in a short amount of time when in the country. Your university should have accommodation for you or at least websites that students can contact one another on to arrange housing.
2. Private vs Agency Housing
Private housing is generally the better choice because as a tenant you can establish a personal relationship with your landlord. The main downside to a private landlord is that when a written and formal agreement is made and signed, it must be followed. Make sure to read it carefully before signing away any potential rights and natural rights of living in a home (some landlords have rules about candles for example). Private landlords are generally better about giving back full deposits and completing household maintenance within a reasonable amount of time.
This is a major debate when regarding housing in England especially. If you are headed to a student city, it is likely that the rent will be higher and that agencies will try to match you with unsuitable accommodation. Be sure to check reviews of agencies before taking meetings with them, as they can pretend to be student-friendly. Agencies tend to be ruthless about giving full deposits back, especially to students.
3. You Get What You Pay For
Depending on the city in which you will be living, rent costs can be very high. You can attempt to live at a lower rent – but at what cost? Some housing situations could come with black mould, rundown living appliances, and more issues. If you see reasonable housing in the city centre, it is probably too good to be true. If you want cheaper housing that is still liveable, look for housing away from the city centre and universities. The commute may be longer but could be worthwhile if the rent is that much cheaper.