Although many students have an experience of living in Student Accommodation, this is not the only option available. Many students decide to rent privately either by themselves or with other people. MBA student Andres tells us a little bit more about his experience.
As an International Student travelling from Colombia to London my main goal was to find accommodation close to the campus which was affordable.
Prospective students have to keep in mind that Coventry University London Campus is located in the Heart of London, making it a great location which is close to a range of amenities and major stores (Oxford Street is only ten minutes away!), but also that living in this area can be a little expensive.
As I wanted to live close by, I decided to look on my own for private accommodation. I soon discovered that room sharing with another person (perhaps a classmate) is a great way to share the rent and cut expenses. So, I had found private accommodation close to the university and someone to split the bills with…Great! But there were a few things that I wish someone had asked me:
Is the person you are renting with going to remain in the contract for the full length of time?
It is really important to know the person you are going to live with and their plans, as a joint agreement will make one person responsible for covering any money that the other person is supposed to pay if they walk away from the contract earlier than expected.
I unfortunately found myself in this position and had to cover the full rent of the accommodation. The process of looking for someone to replace my roommate was as not as easy as I had originally thought. Luckily, the Student Services team at the London Campus were on board to help. They helped me to make a poster and guide me on how to advertise the property. I was able to find another flatmate in less than a month and they ended up being one of my best friends in London. As an added bonus, I now know how to market a property efficiently.
Have you checked all the fees?
Keep in mind from the beginning that if you decided to look for rented accommodation through an agency, you will more than likely have to pay a one off agency fee of around £200 per person. In addition, you will also need to pay the required deposit! Be aware that when you return the property, it should be in the best condition otherwise anything broken or damaged will be deducted from the deposit. Once the contract ends and you return the keys with everything in order, the agency or landlord can take up to 28 days to return your deposit, so don’t expect to receive your deposit at the time you give back the key.
Have you considered an Agency?
In my experience I found that dealing with a big agency was the best way to get a nice place in London, as they have many properties on inventory and the agents really know the housing market well. They can advise on the best accommodation possible at the best price.
Finally living in London doesn’t have to be expensive. You can make it affordable if you meet the right people, get the right advisors and act on it.