Finding cheap student accommodation can be a challenge for any UK university student. Well, try finding cheap student accommodation in London. England’s capital city is a notoriously expensive place for students and that couldn’t be more true than when it comes to accommodation. However, don’t stress. We promise you don’t have to suffer severe accommodation envy of all your northern university-bound friends. Here’s how to find cheap student accommodation in London.
University student halls
Student halls are the most obvious accommodation choice for students in London and it’s often where most first-years opt to stay in order to help them settle into student life. The benefits of student halls are that they generally come furnished and have common rooms and shared facilities within the building. That means that they are a good way to meet others at your uni. University student halls are cheaper than those in the private sector. Plus they are generally closer to the university campus, meaning that you save on transport costs and transport time- Yay, Monday morning sleep in!
Rooms are usually limited so make sure you apply early to get into the best student halls, at the lowest price. Prices can vary drastically, even within the same halls. For example, in UCL self-catered accommodation, a twin room with no en-suite costs as little as £99.33 a week, whereas a single with an en-suite is £210.14 a week.
House or flatshares in London
The best cheap student accommodation in London comes in the form of a house or flatshare. These are a popular choice for both university students and graduates alike. Prices vary drastically based on the location e.g Zone 1, 2, 3 etc, as well as the living conditions. Some of the most popular areas for students include Brixton, Camden, Bermondsey, Richmond and Shoreditch.
There are a lot of different websites that you can look at in order to find student accommodation. Spareroom is one of the most popular choices for accommodation across the UK. You can also take a look at Zoopla, Gumtree, EasyRoomate and Rightmove. There are also plenty of Facebook groups out there such as ‘London House/ Flat/ Spare room to rent’ and ‘Girls who graduate’. On these groups, listings are posted for single rooms or whole apartments/ flats. Individuals who are looking to buddy up for houseshares also advertise there. Buddying up is a great alternative to looking for a room by yourself as if there is a group of you, you are more likely to sign on to a lease, and negotiate a lower price. Generally, a cheap flatshare hovers around the £660 to £800 a month mark.
Alternatively, you can opt to use the services of a real estate agent instead. These are The Best Student Letting Agencies in London Revealed!
How to apply for student accommodation in London
Applying for university student halls
If you are applying to stay in university student halls, then the priority usually goes to the first years. However, the application processes between universities so it’s best to check with your chosen university directly in regards to their process. Once you accept an offer for a full-time course, apply for student accommodation straight away. This ensures that you get the top pick and is the best way to find cheap student accommodation. Many universities offer student halls for postgraduates too. Read When can I apply for student accommodation? to find out more.
Some universities come with full-board accommodation options. This means that all of your meals are included. However, in general, this works out to be more expensive than if you were to cook your meals yourself.
How to apply for house or flatshares in London
If you are applying for a house or flatshare in London and are not going through a letting agent, then you need to register your interest for each room/property you are interested in. You will generally get invited to a viewing where you can assess whether the property and housemates are the right fit. House and flatshares in London are incredibly competitive so be sure to leave plenty of time to find accommodation. You will most likely have to view a fair few rooms until you manage to find the right one.
What documents do you need to apply for student accommodation?
The documents that you need to apply for student accommodation varies on a case by case basis. In general, you will need more paperwork if you are applying directly via a letting agent, rather than a Landlord or a sub-let. Usually, you will be required to show proof that you go to university in London, or that you have a full-time job. You may also need to provide references, a guarantor (who will pay the rent if you cannot), a bank statement and a signed rental contract.