Private halls or shared accommodation?

Once you’ve completed your first year of University, it’ll be time to move on to your second-year accommodation and we understand that this can be a lot to think about.

Living in private halls

Despite many students choosing to live in shared accommodation after completing their first year, private halls are becoming an increasingly popular alternative that often provide additional onsite facilities included as part of the rental agreement.

Purpose built properties are often fitted with the latest in modern appliances and can be a great way to meet new people. Although the weekly rent may seem higher, it is worth checking out which bills are included and weigh up the best option for you.

Features often found in private halls include:

  • En-suite bedrooms
  • High-speed internet access
  • Satellite television
  • Enhanced on site security
  • On site gym
  • Large selection of room styles and size
  • Inclusive Bills
  • Built in TV
  • Onsite laundry service
  • Secure parking

Shared Student Housing

The more common option is to share private rented accommodation with other students.

If you choose to share accommodation it’s important to know how your tenancy is organised, as it can have a number of implications.

The most typical scenarios include:

Joint Tenancy –  tenancy agreement which each student in the property signs. This means you all share the property and its facilities and don’t have exclusive possession of any part (although in practice you may agree to occupy a particular bedroom and pay individual contributions towards the rent).

Sole Tenancy – each student in the property has their own tenancy agreement because they each have exclusive possession of one specific room while sharing other facilities such as the kitchen.

If you have a joint tenancy, you and the other tenants have exactly the same rights. You are all jointly and individually responsible for the terms and conditions of the tenancy agreement.

Most landlords or agents use an Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement, which is a fixed term with a start date and an end date. If you sign a fixed term contract you are liable to pay rent for the full period. This type of agreement means that you are a tenant and have exclusive possession of the property. The landlord/agent can have access to the property (e.g. for repairs/inspections), but you should be given notice.

For more information on renting a property, take a look at our sections on an introduction to renting and your rights and responsibilities as a tenant.

Where to look for properties:

  • Rightmove lists many student friendly estate agents – which can be accessed here
  • Your university may also release a list of approved rentals
  • If you are still unsure of where else to look for properties, you could ask your friends or other students for recommendations.

Renting through an agent, as opposed to directly through a landlord, can give you extra protection. Find out more about the benefits of renting through an agent here.