Now our next worries begin!
Accommodation is the largest cost to students and their families after the tuition fees. Also if you find somewhere suitable it might not be available next term so we need to make sure that we sort it out properly.
Lets be honest, halls of residence have dramatically changed in the last 20 years or so. The majority of which are now self-catering, there are en suite rooms in apartments with a communal kitchen and living area. Many are still run by the universities themselves however an increasing amount are run by private independent companies working together with the universities.
It isn’t uncommon for universities to include independent halls as part of their accommodation offer for first year students.
A room in student halls costs an average of £125 per week, which increases to £160 or more in the London Area. There is a huge price differential throughout the the whole of the UK, and each city or town will also have a variance in prices and also the actual quality of accommodation offered. Because of this we recommend that you start to search way before the big day and by doing so it gives you time to find the best accommodation available at a fair and honest price. And REMEMBER to ask what is include in the rent for example electricity, gas, water and internet connection.
Everyone is different and all of us have a preference on how we live and study, for some of us, we enjoy peace and tranquility, for others they enjoy a more active environment. By speaking to the accommodation office of the university and by searching the internet you can help your son or daughter find their preferred type of accommodation.
Student halls normally are signed up to one of the National Codes of Management, which are strictly regulated. Private student accommodation is sometimes part of an approved scheme through the university or local council. Your University accommodation office will be able to give you advice on this matter.
Rental agreements are normally pretty uncomplicated, however it is essential that you as a parent and your son or daughter read the agreement thoroughly before agreeing to it and signing on the dotted line. If there is absolutely anything that you’re unsure about, take it to the university’s accommodation office and ask them to check it with you or alternatively visit a local or family solicitor. And make completely sure that the rental deposit is completely protected through a rental deposit scheme.
If you as a parent or guardian are signing as guarantor, ensure you know exactly what this entails as you will legally liable for the rent and the cost of repairing any damage. In many tenancy agreements, the “joint and several liability” clause also means that you as a guarantor are responsible for the whole of the property, not just your son or daughter’s room. This is so important as you have no idea who your child’s roommates are, nor their general tidiness and respect for other peoples property.
Taking a little extra time to put everything in place will ensure that you have a bit more peace of mind, one less worry and in turn will help give your son or daughter a better university experience.
Student Accommodation from UNITE