Anyone lucky enough to be moving to London is winning, but it’s even better if you are moving to London as a student because the capital is ranked the second-best student city in the world, according to the latest edition of the QS Best Student Cities. London is a vibrant, cultural, bustling city with so much to do and so much to see. That being said, London is also a huge city and when it comes to choosing where you want to live you can be overwhelmed with choice.
At UWS London we are unable to offer student accommodation however, we are proud to say that we are located in a central hub where accommodation for students is pretty easy to find and there are plenty of people on hand to support, advise and guide you where needed – so don’t worry we are here to help you through the process.
Start With The Basics
What's Your Budget?
You need to be clear on how much you can realistically afford to pay each month towards rent and be sure to factor in all costs i.e bills for electricity, gas, etc. It’s worth making a spreadsheet of your current incomings and outgoings to gather a better understanding of this.
While the ultra-desirable student locations may look like the dream place to live, you might find yourself in a difficult situation when it comes to the expensive price tag. It’s important to consider location and whether you are close enough, whether that be by public transport, car or foot, to the UWS campus – this may offer you more space for your money.
Who will you be living with?
As we aren’t able to offer student accommodation at UWS, the chances are you will be living with other people. Whether that be in a flat-share or privately-owned student accommodation it’s important to choose your housemates carefully. It’s a great idea to utilise tools such as social media to connect with other students joining in the same term and seeking accommodation to get to know them before you start searching for a place to call home. It’s important to be honest with yourself and think about who would be ideal and easy to live with long-term. For more information, read our guide on how to be the best housemate.
Who will take responsibility for what?
Living in student accommodation comes with some responsibilities. Before you move in, work out how the bills will be paid, as this will avoid arguments with housemates further down the line.
Start by asking yourself some simple questions and jotting them down on a piece of paper, this will help you navigate the process and give you an understanding of what your expectations are/what is a must-have or just a desirable for your accommodation:
- How many bedrooms do you need?
- How close is it to the UWS campus?
- Are there transport links close by? If so, how much do they cost to get to the UWS campus?
- Do you need a private bathroom?
- What kitchen facilities do you need?
- What things are on your ‘desirable to have’ list? (e.g. outdoor space, a gym, underground parking etc.)
Private Student Halls
Privately managed students halls are a great option that provides a similar experience to that of a university hall. These are often more expensive, but they may also offer better conditions and a wider selection of locations. You can also expect to be living with other students from different universities, this will provide a good opportunity for you to socialise and mix with an even wider selection of people. Here are some of the most popular private student halls in London:
- Chapter Living – Chapter Living is a student accommodation provider that has available properties in both Lewisham and South Bank, both short distances from the UWS campus leaving you more time to work and relax. With a range of different room types, from studios to en-suites to apartments and even private apartments, you’re sure to find your perfect fit at Chapter. With amazing social & study spaces, a packed calendar of resident events, and great transport links across London, Chapter offers an unrivalled student living experience. Prices from £160 per week.
- Avery Hill – Avery Hill is a hall of residence home to Greenwich University students and the surrounding university campus’. The halls accommodate over 1,200 students and offer a traditional campus-based experience with facilities including an on-site gym, cafe and shops. With a range of room types, each room includes different amenities depending on price. For example, a small study room includes bills paid, mini-fridge, fridge, standard fittings, residents parking, etc for £118.37 per week.
- The Cube – The Cube is a top-of-the-range unique and stylish development that provides luxury student living in South East London. The Cube features multiple types of studios to suit all budgets. All rooms are well-furnished with comfortable beds, study desks and plenty of storage space. It also provides free Wi-Fi and broadband to all students throughout the property. There’s also an on-site gym and an on-site laundry, so you can save your time to enjoy your life in this city. Rooms from £280 per week.
House / Flat Shares in London
Alternatively to living in private student halls, you may want to rent a room in a house using a website such as SpareRoom, or flat-share – this is one of the most common types of accommodation for students in London. It’s hard to say exactly how much the prices for rooms in a shared house or flat will be as this will fluctuate depending on the living conditions and location. For example, rooms available in Zone 1 are highly-desirable and so are more expensive, so we would advise looking for a room situated between Zones 2 and 4, in a location with good transport links to the UWS campus.
You don’t have to do the hunting on your own, there are lots of useful websites you can use to search for a house or flatshares in London (see the list of links below), but you can also visit local estate agents who will be more than happy to help. However, it’s important to note that estate agents will require more documents from you in comparison to going directly through a landlord and will also charge you an extra agency fee.
Similarly, it’s important to ask yourself several questions before looking for a house/flat share:
- What are the broadband speeds?
- How much are the bills (if they’re not included)?
- What is the minimum term of the contract?
- What furniture, fixtures and fittings are included?
- How much deposit will you pay?
- When can you move in?
- How much are the agency fees (if applicable)?
- Is the agency part of a recognised body?
We would also suggest viewing several properties on offer before you come to a conclusion, this will give you an idea of what is available but also what you like and don’t like about a certain area or type of accommodation. If you are unable to attend the viewing, ask a friend or a relative who lives in London if they are available to attend for you. It’s extremely important for you to see the accommodation in person before you move in as sometimes the pictures are nothing like the ones advertised online.
At UWS we also have an Accommodation Office where our staff are on hand to help you find the perfect accommodation and are able to walk you through the different accommodation websites also.
You can expect to pay less for a house or flatshare in comparison to a private hall of residence however, you must make sure before agreeing to rent a room that your utility bills are included in the price, otherwise this will come at an additional cost. You may also want to consider how much travel will be to the UWS campus as this may add up and it may work out cheaper to live in private student halls.
The good news is that, as a full-time student, you’ll be exempt from paying council tax. To make sure you don’t get charged, obtain the relevant forms from the Accommodation Office, fill them out, then send them to your local authority.
If you’re ready to start searching for student accommodation in London, use the above as a guide to help you. If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to get in touch with the Accommodation Office at UWS.