Moving to university is a new beginning, with many students tasting independence and freedom for the first time. It’s not all fresher’s week and making new friends, however. The big move also throws up some conundrums, namely paying for accommodation. This is just as true for those looking for student accommodation in London as much as anywhere else in the country.

For those who have already decided to choose urbanest for their accommodation, you can rest assured that all bills are included within your rent: utilities, high-speed internet, student contents insurance and the cost of your room. For more information on urbanest specifics, take a look at our frequently asked questions.

For those who haven’t yet made up their mind, read on for our guide on what you’ll need to consider. We’ll provide a breakdown of all the important factors students need to know about when paying for accommodation.

students around a table in a communal area chatting

What Is The Cost Of Student Accommodation?

The overall cost of student housing greatly depends on the location of the university itself. The cost of living varies throughout the country and this is reflected in university housing costs.

Room type is another factor to consider. Some accommodations may offer shared bathrooms and basic facilities, which will drive the cost down. Others, such as luxury en-suite studios, have a wider range of features and offer greater living standards and the price reflects this. Some university accommodation prices will include bills, wifi, etc, while others may require separate payments. All information should be readily available from individual universities and accommodation providers.

How Much Is Student Accommodation On Average?

The average UK student rent cost (outside of London) is around £430, with roughly a third of all students expected to pay for their utility bills separately to their rent expenditure. Identifying how much money you’ll need per month to live comfortably as a student is among the biggest challenges for new uni-goers. As accommodation accounts for a substantial chunk of your monthly outlay, get your room nailed down before building a budget around it.

How Many Weeks Do You Pay For Student Accommodation?

Student accommodation contract dates are typically around the 40 week mark in uni halls, cutting off during the summer holidays. For private accommodation providers, it’s typically around 44-45 weeks. You do, however, still have to pay for your accommodation during half term or Christmas holidays, regardless of whether it is unoccupied or not during this time.

Do Tuition Fees Include Accommodation?

Tuition fees, as the name suggests, are solely for your studies. It covers the cost of the course you’re taking, including contact time with lecturers, admin feeds, support services and student union membership. Tuition fees do not cover accommodation or other living costs such as travel and bills. For other costs, including accommodation, UK students will be eligible for a maintenance loan.

What Is The Minimum Student Maintenance Loan?

Maintenance loans are a crucial segment of your student loan designed to cover the costs of living such as bills, rent and food (as well as the occasional night out). In fact, a survey by savethestudent found maintenance loans to be the primary source of income for the vast majority of students. In England, the minimum student maintenance loan is £4,289 outside London and £7,017 in the capital. This drops to £3,410 if you choose to live at home.

towers of coins and graduation copy referencing student finance

Maintenance loan size boils down to three key factors:

  • where you’re from
  • where you’ll be living
  • overall income of your household.

The average student receives a yearly loan of around £6,480. The survey, however, also found that 62% of students think that the monthly maintenance loan payments (around £267) aren’t sufficient to cover ever-rising living costs. Student finance bodies doll out lower loan packages to those whose parents earn high income, putting the onus on them to supplement additional costs. Contact your funding body to find out precisely how big a maintenance loan you’re entitled to.

Can I Get Other Financial Help With Student Accommodation?

If you’re struggling to cover the costs of student accommodation, there are additional sources of financial help for those in higher education, namely grants and bursaries. While many are geared towards educational costs and equipment, you may be eligible for a maintenance or special support grant to aid with housing costs.

If you’re in a particularly tight spot, university and college hardship funds and schemes are also provided by many institutions. Depending on individual situations and criteria, certain student benefits, such as universal credit or education maintenance allowance, may be up for grabs. Organisations who assist with financial queries and issues for students, like the National Association of Student Money Advisers or local Citizens Advice charities, are on hand with free support and information around your entitled help.

When Do You Pay For Student Accommodation?

Payment dates for student accommodations can vary, and it is important to pinpoint exactly when you’ll be expected to pay before building a student budget. Some student housing payments may be collected annually, or per term. To tally up with student loan start dates, rental fees for private uni halls typically kick off at the beginning of term, although concurrent payment dates will depend on the terms set out by the university or the landlord.

Do You Need A Guarantor For Student Accommodation?

Most housing, particularly private student accommodation, requires a UK based guarantor. As students are unlikely to have a lengthy renting history, or substantial amassed credit history, private housing providers look to cover their property against any potential damage. For overseas students or those who cannot secure a guarantor, some universities may deploy a rent guarantor scheme, where they act as guarantor to help get you set up.

There is various criteria for prospective guarantors for student accommodation to meet, with the most important relating to income. As they will shoulder the responsibility for issues such as property damage or unpaid bills, they are roundly expected to prove they have significant incomings to meet this commitment.

Does Student Accommodation Require A Tenancy Deposit?

Student tenancy deposits are often required when staying at private housing, much for the same reasons as guarantors. Since 2007, the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) has ensured students aren’t getting short changed on their deposit. Tenancy deposit protection safeguards students’ rights when renting private accommodation and makes sure any deductions or challenges are done legally and correctly. Should a landlord breach the terms of this scheme, students would be entitled to compensation of up to three times the original deposit fee.

Like most private student halls, urbanest do not require a deposit. Instead, you are required to pay an upfront payment which is the vale of your first rental instalment and kicks off your payments. If you are looking elsewhere and required to pay a deposit, it’s recommended to ensure this is covered by the TDS.

Clearly, there’s quite a lot to consider when paying for your student accommodation. If you’re interested in urbanest specifics, do be sure to check out our frequently asked questions or get in touch with us via the chat box in the bottom corner of this page.