Finding affordable accommodation in London for students can seem like an almost impossible task. Even though rent in London has fallen slightly, as of March 2017, the average rent in London was still £1,203 – and that’s not including bills or council tax. And it’s not taking into consideration the deposit.
But never fear – there are ways to find affordable accommodation in London for students, you just have to be clever, think outside of the box and do some searching around.
Luckily, we’ve put together a few pointers.
Top Tips for finding affordable accommodation in London for students
Consider all your options
When you’re thinking about finding accommodation for uni, you’re probably thinking about living on campus. In many ways, this is the best option if you’re in your first year – you get to meet other students, make friends, make the most of Freshers’ Week and ease yourself into being an independent adult. (Although, you’ll still miss your mum’s cooking after a month, we guarantee it.)
Plus, it’s probably the best bang for your buck. University halls aren’t cheap – but you get a decent room with great facilities and a good atmosphere for a reasonable price.
However, if you’re in your second or third year, you didn’t get into halls or you’re returning as a post-grad, halls might not be an option for you.
That’s when it’s a good idea to consider your options.
First up, there’s private halls. These are pretty much everywhere in London – as the saying goes, you’re never more than five meters from a rat or a private hall of residence.
However, they’re also very pricey. Granted, they’re incredibly nice – almost like hotel rooms – but that comes with a cost. Probably not the most affordable accommodation in London for students. (If you’re interested in private halls, MyStudentHalls has a good list of all of the places you can live in London. Be warned though, prices start around £125 a week for a small room.)
The alternative to private halls is renting a private property through a landlord. Across London, there are lots of landlords that rent to students, so finding a property shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
The problem might be finding somewhere you’ll enjoy living, that suits your personality (London has something for just about everybody) and that’s in your budget.
Luckily, SpareRoom has a useful tool that lets you select your interests and your budget, and they’ll suggest places to live. Pretty neat, huh?
Which leads us on to…
This gets the Bamboo seal of approval, not just because you can find cheap accommodation, but because you get to choose who you live with.
For those not in the know, SpareRoom is a website that allows people to advertise a spare room to find a roommate. Pretty simple so far, right?
The good thing about it isn’t just that you can find budget rooms – but you can also message the current tenants, ask about bills, the area and – if you’d like to – arrange a meeting to see if you all get on.
Quite simply, it takes a lot of the risk out of renting a property. You get to see the house, meet your housemates, get the skinny on bills and – best of all – avoid huge estate agent fees.
If you – or your child – is heading off (or heading back) to university in a few months, make sure you’ve read our guide to cost of student living. It’s packed with top tips on how to make your money stretch a bit further.