Going off to university is an exciting time, but it can also be quite daunting. For many, this is the first step towards independent living, and there is a lot to choose and sort to make sure you have the right accommodation, and everything is set up for you to start your course.
One of the biggest decisions that students have to make is their accommodation arrangements. The choice is between taking university accommodation or using private rented accommodation, and you need to consider the pros and cons of each. Then there is the choice of whether you want to have your meals provided and accept catered accommodation or whether you prefer self-catering.
Is private accommodation cheaper than halls?
When comparing costs for university halls or private student accommodation, you need to consider what you're getting for your money. In university halls, the bathrooms tend to be shared, and they are regularly cleaned. En-suite rooms are sometimes available, but there's an increased cost for this. You need to consider how important it is to you as to whether you want shared bathrooms or not.
The payment terms for university halls tend to be different, being paid once a term in advance. Private rented accommodation tends to be paid monthly. You need to work out what's covered in the rent costs. University hall fees usually cover all utilities, so there are no extra costs for heating, water, electricity and Wi-Fi. For private accommodation, the cost may be just for the room, so you need to plan a budget to work out what the bills will be. This means you can sometimes budget for this if you're prepared to live frugally to keep the bills down. Some private accommodation halls charge a rate that includes your bills, so you need to compare the costs.
Suppose your private accommodation is further away from the university than the university halls. In that case, you will need to consider whether you're going to need extra funds to cover transport costs or whether the distance is manageable by walking or by bike. If you plan to bring a car with you to university, find out what the parking arrangements are, as this could be another significant cost you need to budget for. You may find private student accommodation that is central to your university and the city centre, so this is not a problem.
With private accommodation, the standards can vary quite a lot, and you may find your landlord is not as quick to rectify any problems as the university maintenance team would be. Different landlords may also have different rental arrangements, and you should look carefully at the clauses in the contract. Be careful to make sure that you get your deposit returned, provided that there is no damage to the property. Consider also if this is a house share and one of your group decides to leave, who is responsible for paying their share of the rent. Check your contract thoroughly and make sure that you are happy with all the terms and conditions. Working out whether private or university accommodation is cheaper means having to compare all these options.
If you decide to take private rented accommodation, you have to decide whether you are looking for a room in a shared house or whether you prefer to group together with friends and look for a house together. You need to plan carefully for budget arrangements, location, availability, and you need to study the small print of the contracts that will be issued to you to make sure everything meets your needs. Check out the clauses on the deposit arrangements and when the room will be available.
Generally, especially in the first year, the university may be able to help you find accommodation in student halls. You may have to consider what type of accommodation you want, some, for example, may have shared bathrooms, others may have en-suite facilities. You should also consider the location. Although many will be reasonably close to the lecture areas, some may be further away, and there's the cost and inconvenience of travelling. You also need to think about the social aspects, you may feel it is safer to take accommodation closer to the social facilities so that you can get home easily after a late night. On the other hand, particularly for campus universities, you may feel that you prefer to be in the city and travel to campus for your lectures.
University accommodation can be quite easy to arrange, especially for the first year. It is a great way to get involved in social activities and make new friends by living in student halls. Sometimes the cost can be higher, particularly if you choose to have catered accommodation and you have to pay the cost for your meals. University accommodation also tends to only be available for shorter periods, after the terms have ended, the accommodation has to be vacated. If you plan to stay in the university town after the end of the summer term, you may need to find somewhere else to live.
The downside of university accommodation is that it can be a bit rowdy. Lots of students in one building can mean that's it's noisy with late night parties taking place. Not all students are happy with their neighbours in student halls, and it can be quite stressful living in such close proximity. Student halls also tend to provide a small basic room with a bed and desk, wardrobe and shelves, so there's not much space for relaxing. You may prefer to take rented accommodation where there is space to relax away from your bedroom.
University accommodation usually tends to be kept in a state of good repair, with maintenance teams making sure that communal areas are kept clean and tidy, and that student rooms are kept in good working order and are safe. Some landlords for private rented accommodation may be slow to respond to problems with the property, and you may find that the interior decoration and general standard of the facilities could be improved. Have a good look around private rented accommodation and if possible, try to chat to previous tenants to find out what any potential problems might be.
How much is student rent in Liverpool?
For students looking to move to Liverpool, the good news is there's a great range of student accommodation to choose from. Liverpool has three major universities in the area, with the University of Liverpool, John Moores University and Liverpool Hope University. There's plenty of accommodation to house its 50,000 strong student population. If you're looking for a bedsit, these generally cost around £70-£80 a week in Liverpool. For other student rooms, you can be looking to pay around £125 - £130 a week. There's also the option to have dual occupancy, although these rooms can be significantly more per week.
How do students pay for accommodation?
When it comes to paying for student accommodation, there are several options. Maintenance loans are available, and these are usually paid at the beginning of the term at the same time that the student tuition fees loans are paid. Maintenance loans vary according to the household income, where you are studying, and how long you are studying. Some universities may also offer scholarships or bursaries, depending on what subjects you're studying. Bursaries are sometimes available for students studying medical courses, social courses or some teaching courses.
You could also get a part-time job to help cover the costs of the accommodation. Universities often have details of opportunities for students to do temporary or short-term work, such as cleaning jobs, waiting on tables, bar work or handing out flyers and promotional materials. You may find that you can make quite significant savings to help with the costs of paying for accommodation. Keep an eye out for student discounts when you shop and find the best places to buy your everyday supplies to further your money. Fruit and vegetables from markets can sometimes be cheaper than from supermarkets. If you're in a shared house, you may find it's more economical to have a kitty and buy things in bulk to be shared.
Students coming to Liverpool can find great student accommodation at TJT students. Their student accommodation in Liverpool is in excellent locations, close to the city centre and the universities. The accommodation is well priced and provides excellent facilities, with rooms decorated and maintained to a high standard. The rooms offer excellent value for money, and the rent covers all bills, including the utility bills and free Wi-Fi. The facilities include on-site laundry and, for extra security and peace of mind, the accommodation is fitted with CCTV.
TJT student flats are just 15 minutes walk from Liverpool University, John Moores University and Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts. There are five different locations to choose from, and all are well located, with some in listed buildings with real character. There's plenty to choose from and the facilities in all of the student rooms and flats offer you some of the best student accommodation in Liverpool City Centre. It is quick and easy to reserve a room; you just need to fill in an online reservation form, TJT students confirm the reservation and then you need to complete the contract and hand it in or post it. Once you have arranged your accommodation, you can look forward to enjoying your student days and making the most of living in Liverpool's vibrant city centre.