Looking for student accommodation in London should be a fun and exciting time. It’s also an important time to make sure you’re choosing safe student housing. There is a lot to consider when moving away to uni, especially if you are moving far from home or to a city you’ve never been to before. Here at urbanest, we have put together a guide to what to look out for to make sure that your accommodation is safe.
What To Consider For Safe Student Accommodation
1. Central location
Student accommodation in a central location will often be the safest choice as you are well connected to public transport and have lots of people around you. Whether you’re travelling to and from university, nights out, or enjoying the city, you can get home quickly and safely at any hour.
Our properties in King’s Cross and St. Pancras are in busy, central areas and less than 5-minutes from major tube stations – this means you can always get trains, buses, and taxis. Central areas like this are also well-lit at night and are close to emergency services like police stations and hospitals.
2. Onsite security and CCTV
When looking at student accommodation, always check that there is CCTV and onsite security. These are vital for ensuring your safety at all times and are a great indicator of if the accommodation management prioritises security. While we hope you have no negative experiences, it’s important to know that there are measures in place to address issues such as theft or anti-social behaviours.
All of our student housing has CCTV and a team onsite 24/7, this is to make sure that any security and safety issues can be dealt with quickly as they may arise.
Related – Staying Safe in London
3. Electronic fobs for entry
Electronic fob entry allows for keyless access to buildings and rooms, which keeps the accommodation safe and exclusive. Your fob is easy to take with you and can be quickly deactivated if you lose it – therefore, unlike with keys, it will not work if someone tries to use it. They also provide an electronic record of everyone who has entered and exited if this information is needed.
At urbanest, your fob is specific to you, which means it only works for your flat. This means other people cannot enter your flat without being let in. There are also deadbolt locks on the bedrooms so your belongings are completely secure, and you can have privacy from your flatmates.
4. Welfare support and contact
Student accommodation with 24/7 staffing is extremely important not only for security but also for your welfare and emotional health. For many people, going to university is the first time that they have been away from home and if you are coming from abroad, it is an especially tough transition to make.
Welfare support is a big reason that people may prefer to stay in university-run accommodation as they have comprehensive staffing and support systems in place. If you are looking at private student housing, this is something you should be on the lookout for. As mentioned before, every urbanest student accommodation has an onsite team that is there all day and night. This is your first port of call for maintenance issues or anything else that you need assistance with.
One of the most important decisions to make is if you want to live alone or with other people. Most student accommodation is shared housing, which means that you will have multiple people in one flat with private bedrooms around a communal kitchen and living space.
It is important to know how many people you will be sharing with, how the housing is arranged, and what private space you will have. No matter what kind of accommodation you choose, you should be cautious around strangers and ensure that you have a secure and private space for yourself and your belongings. For example, at urbanest, there is a range of flat options, and you can view the flat and the floorplan to understand how the living space is arranged. As mentioned above, your rooms are secure with electronic entry and privacy locks.
Related – Top tips on sharing a flat
6. Preparation and bookings
Preparation is key when choosing a student accommodation. The more highly-reviewed and reputable student housing will book up quickly, which means doing thorough research long before the time you actually need to sign for a room.
When booking, make sure that you get a tenancy agreement and that you read this in full. This will detail all of the stipulations of your contract, such as what you are allowed to do in the flat, how much rent you pay, any other costs discussed, when you pay rent, and what your landlord’s obligations are. A tenancy agreement is an important legal document that will prove you have rented the accommodation and can help support you in any disputes with your landlord.
7. Contents Insurance
Contents insurance is protection for your belongings, which means you’re covered in case of theft or accidental damages. Although many people don’t think they need it, it can be super helpful, especially for expensive items like phones and laptops, which are a necessity! Remember, even if your parents have household insurance now, once you move out, your possessions are no longer covered. Check out our student guide to contents insurance to learn everything you need to know.
urbanest partners with Endsleigh Insurance to give all of our residents’ contents insurance. You can check what is covered and change the allowance to cover larger items such as bicycles.
8. Get to know your new place and area
Finally, our last tip for choosing safe student accommodation is to make sure you explore the student housing and the area that it is in. This might be difficult if you live far away or overseas but it is one of the best ways to make sure where you’re living is safe. In person, you can check security features like doors, windows, exits, and alarms. You can also see what the area is like – such as streetlights, local amenities (supermarkets, takeaways, gyms, police station, etc.), and what your journey from the accommodation to your university is like.
In our journal, you can find tons of guides to London with great advice for restaurants, bars, and top tourist spots. These are really helpful if you’re unsure of which area in London you want to live in or if you want to check that the accommodation you’ve picked is in a good spot!
For more information about urbanest, take a look at our frequently asked questions, which go over more specifics about living with us. We also have a parents’ information hub to address any worries family members might have.