Reduce your rent by heading northwards

If accommodation costs are putting you off a course, look at a different region

Students going through Clearing and looking for accommodation at the last minute will have to hold on to their wallets as they are facing a sharp rise in accommodation costs compared to recent years. The good news is rent still varies a lot around the country, with London and the South-east being the most expensive and the North the cheapest.

If you want low rents and an inexpensive pint of beer, head to Teesside University in Middlesbrough where students pay the lowest rents in Britain at an average £41.47 a week, according to an accommodationforstudents.com survey. The next cheapest are Stoke-on-Trent, housing Staffordshire University, and the Stockton campus of Durham University, where rents are £42.65 and £44.71 respectively.

While the National Union for Students and Unipol put the figure much higher at around £99, the survey by accommodationforstudents.com says the average weekly rent for students across Britain is £65.30, compared with £62.61 last year. Based on almost 59,000 properties in 84 cities around the UK, it also shows that eight of the 10 most expensive student towns and cities are in the South-east. London leads the way with student rents at £102.80 a week, closely followed by Kingston (£101.68) and then Guildford (£89.54).

Carmel Rawlins, 19, who is studying fashion journalism at the University for the Creative Arts in Epsom, Surrey, is not deterred by high rents. Last year, she was living in Epsom. Next year, she plans to move into the capital. "I would like to find somewhere in south London to live, either Vauxhall, Clapham Junction or Brixton. You do get into a lot of debt, but you pay it off [later] when you are earning money," she says.

A spokesman for the University of Brighton, which comes in as 10th most expensive, explains the high cost by the fact rents have historically been higher in the South-east than the rest of the UK. The university offers students a range of self-catered and catered accommodation at more moderate prices. Those who apply to the university at the conventional application time, and not at Clearing, can get rooms from £72 a week. The university also offers guidance to students who want to live in private rented accommodation. It rents properties in the private sector and sub-lets them to students. It has also established a joint website with the University of Sussex whereby landlords meeting a set of standards can advertise their accommodation free of charge.

Kingston University is also in an expensive part of the world and lays on similar help for students. Students can get call its accommodation services team for help, and there is a noticeboard with a linked Facebook site for students looking to contact others also trying to find a property to rent.

The university disputes the figures in the survey, saying the average weekly rent for private rental accommodation on Kingston's own private lettings vacancy list is £86.33 a week, rather than £101.68, but this could rise to £92-93 a week, come the beginning of term, according to a spokesman. The university believes the survey's figures are high because they include expensive properties marketed at students by private companies. But unlike the University of Brighton, Kingston's halls of residence tend to be more expensive than private rented accommodation. Self-catered places in halls cost £92.75 to £167.50 a week.

All of which suggests students who are particularly strapped for cash should look further north for a university. A spokesman for Teesside University says the real benefit to being a student in Middlesbrough is you don't need to pay expensive travel costs to live and study there. "Everything is in easy walking distance. You can even walk to the Riverside Stadium to watch Middlesbrough FC if you wish."

Katie Greenaway, 23, who is studying nursing at Teesside, believes accommodation costs are a real factor in persuading people to go to university in Middlesbrough. Next year, she plans to rent in the private sector and will pay a less than she has this past year in a student house. "It's really cheap here, compared to the big cities," she says.

At Keele University, close to Stoke-on-Trent where rents average £42.65 a week, accommodation prices reflect the low cost of living in the region, according to Sue Underwood, Keele's head of accommodation services. "The student population is relatively small for the size of the combined towns, and many landlords look to local residents to fill their properties," she says. Many of Keele's students, however, live on campus where rents start at £64 a week and where students are offered a variety of letting periods which many landlords don't offer. That means they pay more than for private accommodation, but the costs effectively work out not much more, because students get utility costs thrown in as well as internet access and insurance cover.

The lowest rental prices are largely for rooms in terraced houses near Staffordshire University's Stoke campus, which are close to the railway station. It may not sound attractive, but the area is being spruced up to make it safer and trendie, and is becoming known as the University Quarter.

Like the University of Brighton, Staffordshire University says private rents in Stoke are even lower than the average figure given in the survey. "We acknowledge that good-value accommodation and low cost of living are factors in choosing the right university," says a spokesman.

Co-founder and director of the accommodationforstudents.com website Simon Thompson says the reason rents have gone up is landlords are having to make minimum down payments for buy-to-let mortgages nowadays of 20 to 25 per cent. "With more equity now tied up in their properties, many landlords have been forced to increase the rent in order to make a return on investment," he says.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
From Mean Girls to Mamet: Lindsay Lohan
theatre
Sport
Nathaniel Clyne (No 2) drives home his side's second goal past Arsenal’s David Ospina at the Emirates
footballArsenal 1 Southampton 2: Arsène Wenger pays the price for picking reserve side in Capital One Cup
News
Mike Tyson has led an appalling and sad life, but are we not a country that gives second chances?
peopleFormer boxer 'watched over' crash victim until ambulance arrived
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
tv
News
i100
Travel
travelGallery And yes, it is indoors
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
The Tiger Who Came To Tea
booksJudith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed'
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

KS2 PPA Teacher needed (Mat Cover)- Worthing!

£100 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Crawley: KS2 PPA Teacher currently nee...

IT Application Support Engineer - Immediate Start

£28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Software Application Support Analyst - Imm...

Year 2 Teacher needed (Mat Cover)- Bognor Regis!

£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Crawley: Year 2 Teacher currently need...

Data Analyst / Marketing Database Analyst

£24000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

BBC Television Centre

A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
Lonesome George: Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains

My George!

Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains
10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Pack up your troubles: 10 best rucksacks for backpackers

Off on an intrepid trip? Experts from student trip specialists Real Gap and Quest Overseas recommend luggage for travellers on the move
Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world