'The idea that your social life is over if you don’t live in halls is fabricated – thousands of students don’t get into halls and their social lives are just as active and exciting as the next student'

Getting university housing is stressful, whether you have weeks or months or days to plan it all out. But, that doesn’t mean it isn’t manageable.

Receiving a last-minute university place can bring on excitement, fear, and relief, but remember to relax – you’ve got in, after all!

You’ve got through Clearing or Adjustment, so don’t panic: you’re going to university and that’s amazing. You will get accommodation. It might not be halls, but it’s not like you’ll be sleeping on the floor of your union building.

The idea that your social life is over if you don’t live in halls is fabricated – thousands of students don’t get into halls, or even live at home, and their social lives are just as active and exciting as the next student.

 

First step in getting a house is making a list of your requirements. Most importantly: know your budget.

Your university or union should be able to give you a rough idea of how much rent the average student pays in the area you’re looking at. Once you have a budget in mind, make a list of what you want from a house. There will always be a level of compromise; you won’t get an en-suite with a double bed and bills paid for £20 a week. That said, have rational expectations and don’t settle for a house without doors or running water.

Next, speak to your university. Some will have reserved spaces in halls for students who go through Clearing. If they don’t, they will have some form of assistance for you.

They may be able to put you in contact with landlords and letting agencies – or even find a privately-owned house for you. Many student unions run groups or services to pair people up, so you might find a group with a spare bedroom or even someone looking for a lodger.

Don’t be afraid to look on social media – Facebook, Gumtree, Zoopla, Rightmove, and The Student Room are places to find potential housemates.

If you really want to stay in halls, most cities have some form of private halls, but they’re often a bit pricy. Check out Liberty Living, StuRents, The Student Housing Company, and My Student Halls which have accommodation in lots of cities.

 

Overall, you will be able to get a roof over your head, but if you really don’t like anything you see or aren’t able to get something, you may consider deferring your place or reapplying; then take a year out and work or travel.

The most important thing in finding any kind of housing is knowing your rights. Have a read of this checklist for student housing, and if you have any queries, your union, Shelter, and the NUS are great places for advice.

Twitter: @bridiepjones

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