During your first year as a student, many of you will be placed on campus, allocated a room, and for some given a food allowance. It is well documented that many say the first year of University is the best as you still have not encountered all of the pressures of independent living, but have stretched your legs just enough to know that you enjoy it.
Once you progress through your degree into your second year you will find you face the dilemma of sourcing your own accommodation for the following years, and at this point, you come to realize you will need to get a grip of your finances and establish a budget to ensure you can still enjoy your time at University, whilst keeping a roof over your head.
The cost of private accommodation varies considerably depending on where in the UK you live. London is considered the most expensive place to live as a student, with the average weekly rent falling at £102.00, whereas the average across many other parts of the country is about £60 per week. Also, If you are quite busy studying and working simultaneously, writers from coursework help in the UK may save your time and let you focus on urgent work tasks. When considering finding private accommodation the first thing you should do is consult your University’s accommodation office to find out what the average rental price for the area is. Here you will be able to grasp what a reasonable price for a room is and identify landlords that are trying to take advantage.
The general rule for rent is that the cost of the monthly rent is split between the number of rooms in the house evenly, and this tends to be capped at 4 people. Most student houses are capable of sleeping 5 + and will be classed as houses of multiple occupations. This will give the landlord of the house an additional administrative task, and therefore costs are likely to fall on those renting the rooms, so don’t be surprised if a box room in a house of 5 is slightly more expensive than an average room in a house for 4.
When it comes to budgeting your money, paying your rent needs to always remain your number 1 priority. Once you sign the tenancy agreement you are committing yourself to this until the end, even if you move out.
One of the biggest problems that can be faced by house shares is one person not paying their rent, and putting pressure on the others to help out as to not annoy the landlord. You don’t want to be the roommate that is always late with their rent, so be sure to keep an eye on your spending when it comes to renting time.
For some private accommodation utility bills may be included, however, as a general rule of thumb, it is best to budget around £10 per week, particularly in the winter months. You should discuss this amongst your housemates to ensure everybody is on the same page, and that you are doing what you can to conserve energy to ensure your bills aren’t unnecessarily high. £10.00 per week between 4 of you will likely be more than enough to cover your bills, however, by adopting a worst-case scenario budget at all times you protect yourself from high bills that can’t be paid and potentially being cut off.
Full-time students are exempt from council tax, and your University should issue you with a council tax exemption certificate. You will need to give a copy of this to your local authority to prove that those living in the house are all full-time students. To avoid any complications with council tax, try to avoid sharing with non or part-time students. Things can get quite complicated when there is this type of mix in the tenancy and it is easier if it can be avoided altogether.
Student properties are very appealing to burglars. They are aware that each occupant is likely to have their own TV and Laptop, and are also aware that students are often out in the evening. To protect your property and yourself you should look into contents insurance with your housemates. Several companies offer special student contents insurance, and your University should also be able to help in pointing you in the right direction if you are unsure.