In the first year of university, most students will live in university run accommodation on campus. Generally, (except for perhaps a lucky few) the majority of students will leave university halls for their second year and seek other accommodation. This usually comes in the form of a shared flat or house but recently another option has become available – private student halls.
These halls are very similar to those that most students live in during their first year, except rather than being ran by the university they are operated by a student housing company. These flats usually come in the form of 2-5 bedrooms with the occupants all sharing a living room and kitchen, or for those who enjoy more privacy, there is the option of studio apartments which contain everything that a single student would require to live alone. These rooms can be booked by students online or over the phone and rent can be paid in yearly or termly instalments depending on what suits the student best and in some cases, no deposit is required!
A major perk for many students in private accommodation is the fact that there are no bills to pay. Most private student housing companies include all of your heating, Wi-Fi and electricity into the price of your rent (no matter how much you use) so there’s no need to worry in winter! For many students who are perhaps unable to return to halls, which also uses this method of payment, this is the main benefit of choosing private halls as opposed to a shared house. It also prevents any arguing over splitting the monthly bills with flatmates and over when the heating is turned on.
In saying this, be prepared to pay for car parking if you take your car to university with you. Often, unlike university accommodation which does not require a parking fee, you will have an additional parking charge added on top of your overall rent to pay. Usually this is due to a lack of parking spaces and part of a wider scheme to encourage students not to take their cars with them to university (especially in busy cities where there are already an abundance of cars). This can range anywhere from £100 to £250 for the year, so it’s important to keep this in mind whilst booking. However, it does mean that you have a place to park your car, with private houses or flats unless there is a driveway or designated parking space you may have to park your car further afield than just outside your front door if you live in a build-up area.
These private halls also always have staff on site to assist you. Much like university halls, there is an office on-site with staff to help you with everything from maintenance, re-booking, planning events, and parcel deliveries. This gives you the support you expect from halls without the annoyance of monthly room inspections and random warden visits. Overall, just giving you a greater sense of privacy but with the knowledge that support is available to you should you require it. However, the office staff are not there to deal with minor flat disputes or grievances as a warden would perhaps do, it’s expected that you will resolve such issues alone as responsible adults.
Private halls are a great alternative option available to students for accommodation, it can provide you with the security given by university halls for those who do not feel quite ready to fully leave the safety net that halls provides whilst offering a more comfortable home from home for students.