London Universities: Halls or House shares?

You’ve received a place at a prestigious London university, but making the move to the capital can be daunting. Whether you’re planning to study a subject allied to medicine, which was most popular amongst women with 226,420 applicants, or looking for a business and administration degree which most men were drawn to, totalling 154,720 submissions — there’s a lot you must consider when making the move.

We’ve teamed up with the Oxford Tube, providers of the Oxford Bus , to find out the cheaper alternative for up and coming Londoners — halls or house shares?

To gain a greater understanding of living in London, we’ve used the largest survey* around student accommodation that questioned 6,000 students.

*It must be noted that 57% of students asked in this survey lived in halls. They will be overrepresented in this survey.


London Halls

Most students who are moving to London will automatically think about booking a place in a hall of residence. Moving into student accommodation is all part of the student lifestyle and there are many benefits of this, including the ease of making friends within the university and that many halls are on campus or close by.

But who was satisfied with their accommodation? The survey suggests that 55% of undergraduates and 61% of postgraduates were. However, a sharp increase in dissatisfaction showed that 19% of undergraduates were dissatisfied with their accommodation which was 7% increase on results from 2012.

In contrast, 15% of postgraduate students weren’t happy with their chosen halls.

However, one of the biggest complaint was cost — according to 27%. Common complaints surrounding university halls were related to plumbing, water and heating problems at 25% but it must be made clear that these problems should be fixed by the accommodation itself.
There were other frequent complaints that included the size of the room (which are notoriously small in halls), poor internet connection and flatmates!

It must be made clear that the average cost for university accommodation depends on whether you opt for catered or self-catered. Using University College London (UCL) 2018/19 accommodation fees as a guideline, a singled catered room would range from £173.88-£180.67 per week. If you wanted to go self-catered, this would be priced around £165.69-£242.62 depending which of course is dependent on building type and location.


London House Shares

You may not have considered a house share for their first year of university in London. However, with the finer financial details coming into play — saving as many pennies as you can has become vital for prospective students.

Looking at whether students were satisfied with their houses in London, 55% of undergraduates were and 60% of postgraduates were. But were the expectations for students upheld when they moved into their flat? Well, looking at results from 2012-2014, dissatisfaction increased by 4% for undergraduates and 5% for postgraduates.

Common problems seemed to be with the landlord, which was soon followed by the condition of the property. London’s landlords are notorious for charging extortionate rates for small living spaces, which is probably why ‘people’ came up as a common student complaint, small spaces mean that you might be too close to comfort with people — all of the time.

When it came to rent, four in ten people were paying less than £125 each week; excluding all bills. The majority of students from this survey, accounting for 31% said that they paid £126-£150 each week. This was soon followed by 26% that said that they paid £100-£125 each week.

As average rents can increase due to London’s high rents— we found that students from the UK paid an average of £134.08. Students from the European Union found themselves paying £140.43 and non-EU students were paying £150.35.


Making your final decision

Although we have provided you with some eye-opening figures, if you’re considering making the move to London, you must carry out extensive research and look at your own financial position. You also need to consider how you’re going to afford everything — if you’re getting out a student loan, will this cover it?

View this with confidence to ensure that you make the right decision. You don’t want to miss out any important necessities — work with the mindset of what your financial situation will be.
You also need to think about which type of accommodation you would prefer. Alternatively, if you go for a flat share — are you prepared to pay for bills that may not be included in your weekly rent, and put up with the landlords?

What about transport? University campuses are usually close to the university accommodation — so make sure if you do go for a flat share, you’re close by. Of course, all of this does come down to personal preference but making sure that you’re happy with what you have is vital.

This is your education — you want to make it worthwhile.

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