How to choose your second-year uni accommodation?
Time flies when you’re having fun. And that’s probably why your first year feels like it’s whizzing by! But don’t panic - you’ve still got time to look for a place to live during your second year. We’re here to help with some of the most important questions you might want to ask yourself before choosing your student accommodation.
Who should I live with?
Now’s the time to start thinking about who you’re going to live with in second year. Perhaps you’d like to move in with a group of friends you’ve made on your course. Or, maybe you’re looking to gain a bit of independence this year and find a place for yourself.
Whatever you choose to do, there’s a vast choice of student housing out there to suit your needs.
What accommodation options are available?
- Purpose-built student accommodation – located off-campus but still usually within walking distance to your lecture halls and student unions, purpose-built student accommodation is a great option for second year students. They provide a bit more freedom, privacy, and independence - but you still get that community feel. Plus, most providers give you the option to share with your friends if you book in early enough!
- Halls of residence – yes, really. Many people think student halls are just for first year students. But, some continue to live in halls for their second and third years. It can be a convenient option, however, most students find that they want a bit more space and less distraction, particularly as academic commitments ramp up after first year.
- Privately rented houses – many universities will have a nearby residential area that’s popular with local students. Here, you’ll find options for privately rented housing, but these will vary hugely in terms of size and quality. Your university will most likely have a list of approved student-friendly landlords and letting agents.
Will bills be included?
The cost-of-living crisis has impacted all of us and students aren’t immune to feeling the squeeze. In fact, in a recent survey we conducted, 53% of students said the cost-of-living crisis is having a significant impact on the way they live their lives. Additionally, 80% admitted to actively cutting their spending.
With that in mind, a really important question to ask yourself and any potential letting agents when looking for second year accommodation is whether bills are included in the rent price.
For most purpose-built student accommodation, water, gas and electricity bills are all included, so there’s no need for you to worry about that.
If you’re living in a privately rented house however, you’ll most likely have to pay for bills on top of your rent, which can make budgeting a little harder.
When you’re searching for a property, the best thing to do is ask the landlord or letting agent exactly what’s included in the price so you can work out whether it’s suitable for your financial situation.
Is insurance included?
If you’ve been living in halls in the first year, you probably haven’t had to give much thought to security. But that might change if you opt for a privately rented house in a popular student area.
Why? Well, with multiple students under one roof, each with their own laptop and gadgets, privately rented student houses are often easy targets for burglars.
That’s why it’s always important to get contents insurance. Not ideal when you might already have extra bills to consider, but you’ll have peace of mind that your belongings are covered should anything happen.
If you’re living in private student accommodation, contents insurance is usually included in your tenancy agreement so your belongings will be protected automatically. That’s one less thing to worry about!
Many universities and purpose-built student accommodation providers also have associated partners for insurance, offering specific deals to suit student needs and budgets.
When should I start looking?
There’s no right or wrong time to start looking for second year accommodation, but it’s best to start early to avoid disappointment. Some people begin the search in October as that’s when many accommodation providers start advertising for the following academic year, but this might be a little early for others.
Starting in January could be a better option as you’ll have had more time to decide who you want to live with. Plus, there will still be plenty of student housing options available on the market at this stage.
Bear in mind though, you’ll want to book viewings so make sure you allow time for this in your accommodation hunting schedule!
Whether it’s noisy neighbours or extra costs you hadn’t accounted for, moving into accommodation that’s not right for you could hamper your university experience. It seems you agree, with 35% of UK students saying that their accommodation choices were key to performing well at university.
At Yugo, we’re all about empowering students to live their best life. With over 100 student spaces in the US, Ireland, the UK, Spain, Germany and Australia, we offer a truly different living experience that is environmentally and socially conscious, emotionally supportive and safe.
Start your search for your second-year accommodation here.