When should I apply for student accommodation?

When should I apply for student accommodation?

As if applying for university isn’t stressful enough, you also have to consider your accommodation. This involves doing a lot of research, budgeting, price comparisons and then, finally, applying. But when can you apply for student accommodation? We’ve got everything you need to know.

When is best to apply for private halls or student rentals? 

applying for student accommodation
Source: Student Castle

If you’re looking to apply for a private hall or a shared house (either as a soon-to-be student or a 2nd or 3rd year), the best time to do so is at the start of the year. So if your course starts or your current tenancy ends in September, start looking between January and March in order to find somewhere good.

You can, of course, look earlier than that, but many agencies and private halls won’t advertise their properties for students until the new year. Plus, if you are a student looking for 2nd or 3rd-year accommodation, waiting until January gives you more of a chance to find good flatmates.

When can I apply for student accommodation within my university? 

choosing your student halls
Source: Complete University

First-years usually opt for halls of residence, often organised through the institution of their choice. If this is something you’re planning on doing, then it is important to look through all the options your university offers as soon as possible. When you do come around to applying, you often get to list your top 3 choices, so knowing enough about the accommodation is important.

The date that you can apply for student accommodation does vary from university to university, and also depends on what kind of offer you have received. Usually, students holding an accepted unconditional offer can apply for student accommodation with their university straight away (or as soon as the application portal opens).

Alternatively, students with conditional offers may be able to apply, but will likely have to wait until their place at the university is confirmed (August) before they are able to fill out their application.

Catered or self-catered halls? 

Something else you will need to consider is whether you want to opt for catered or self-catered halls of residence? Both have their pros and cons- you can read our full breakdown of these here.  

What if I apply for university through clearing or adjustment? 

applying for halls
Source: Nottingham University

If you end up not getting into the university of your choice, or perhaps you overachieve and want to change your firm, then you will have to speak to your new university of choice on results day. Once you have secured a place at the university, they will be able to give you information on the halls available and access to their accommodation application.

When will I hear back about my application? 

student halls
Source: UCAS

It’s a nervous business waiting to hear back about your accommodation application, whether you’ve applied to private halls, university halls or a student house. But try not to stress whilst you wait to hear! Generally, university halls will give you an estimated date. This is often in the summer so that they know how many slots they have left to offer to adjustment and clearing students.

If you’ve applied for a student house, then the process is normally much faster. Usually, this just takes the agency a few days to process your paperwork and guarantor details. They should communicate with you how long they think this will take.

But before you apply to any student accommodation, make sure you’ve chosen well! Here are our top tips for the accommodation hunt.

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