Private rented sector and specialist student blocks
- 20th August 2013
- Renting Property News
What is the best choice for cash-strapped students looking at housing options for the year ahead?
Privately developed specialist student blocks are an increasing phenomenon in London, providing students with more options regarding their living arrangements after the first year of university.
Traditionally, it was conventional for students to move into the private rented sector, in shared houses or flats, but which option is really best for today’s more cash strapped student, who faces higher fees than ever before?
Stephen Ludlow, Chairman of ludlowthompson, comments: "The private rented sector allows students immense flexibility when choosing where to live. It is possible to find property within walking or easy commuting distance of the University to save on time and travel costs. Specialist student blocks are often built near universities but they are rarely located on university campus. Some aren't even located that near any university."
Renting privately gives you the opportunity to live with a select group of friends, who you know you get on with. This won't be an option with most specialist student blocks, where people are thrown together with strangers. Many students prefer moving into private rental accomodation after their first year for this reason. They want to live with the friends they've made in their first year.
Specialist student blocks can seem financially attractive to students, as they often offer a monthly fixed fee for all utilities (water, electric etc.) helping to avoid the hassle of having to budget for multiple bills and simplifying monthly outgoings substantially.
However, renting privately with friends means you can take more control of your usage of the utilities, severely cutting down on your costs if you prefer. You’ll only pay for what you use, and allocating specific bills to every housemate will mean that they’ll be paid promptly.
A specialist student block on Holloway Road, for example, costs approximately £1,000 per person per month. Sharers on the private rental market could rent a three bedroom maisonnette in the same area for around £1,900 per month or £635 each, meaning significant savings even after bills are paid.
Stephen Ludlow says: “Renting privately offers students the option of joint tenancy, which means that every tenant is equally responsible for the property. This is really helpful if something goes wrong, as the financial responsibility doesn’t fall on one person’s shoulders.”
It is also the contract preferred by landlords, meaning students have a wider selection of properties to choose from.Through renting privately, everyday costs could be reduced too. For example, agreeing to split the food bill with housemates will mean not doubling up on everyday essentials, which could mean a substantial saving at the end of the year.
The private rented sector allows students immense flexibility when choosing where to live.
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