A Parent’s Guide to Student Accommodation
Your teenager is off to university and needs somewhere to live – not sure where to start? We talk you through the ins and outs of the student accommodation options available these days. They’ve come a long way from your student digs, trust us.
The most popular student accommodation option for ‘home’ i.e. UK students, still remains university-owned buildings. These are purpose-built student accommodation blocks — normally for first years of that specific university only.
These buildings usually comprise shared flats of around 6 rooms – sometimes with en-suites or a shared bathroom – and a shared kitchen and living area.
Bills are all included and although decor can be basic they are well equipped with furniture, white goods and laundry facilities.
Depending on your home address, your daughter or son is normally guaranteed a place if they have an Unconditional offer but check the university’s policy.
Private student accommodation
In recent years, the student accommodation industry has boomed. Companies like Unite, Downing Students and Fresh Student Living manage student residences across the country and offer another option for accommodation.
These buildings are often much newer and comprise a variety of shared flats and often studio rooms. As well as the all-inclusive basics, they normally come with added facilities — large social spaces, on-site gyms, cinema rooms or study spaces, so as a result, can be pricier.
HMO rented flats
After a busy first year, students will often opt to rent a privately rented flat through a letting agent. There are thousands of – usually tenement style – flats within walking distance to Glasgow’s major universities. Competition can be fierce, so research and timing are essential. Renting in such a student-friendly city also means it’s crucial to sign a tenancy with a reputable agent that suits your needs. Also, bear in mind that if the flat is a 3-bed or more, a House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO) license is required by law.
Buying a property
If the initial cost isn’t an issue, a smart long-term investment to consider is buying a property in the local university area. Although, of course, the outlay is significant, and the time and effort required to purchase and furnish a property that is just right, the amount you could save in rent is huge.
Later on, if you purchase a two bed, your son or daughter could have their new friends to live with them with you acting as a landlord. Or, any younger kids or family members in the family attending the same university could act as tenants too.
Staying at home
Of course, your teenager doesn’t need to move out to experience student life! More and more students are opting to stay at home in order to lessen the impact of student debt. If you live near or is a commutable distance of your child’s chosen university this is something to consider.
If your teenager makes a strong effort to get socialised on their course and with clubs and societies, it shouldn’t affect their ability to make friends. Plus, they’ll still be able to enjoy their home comforts whilst they get down to studying.
We know that the many options for student accommodation can seem overwhelming. Our simple guide breaks down everything you need to know to make the right decision for you and your new student.