Steps to Finding and Choosing Postgraduate Accommodation |
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Posted on 23 May '19

Steps to Finding and Choosing Postgraduate Accommodation

If you’ve decided to complete a Masters or a PhD, you’re at the beginning of a very exciting academic journey. However, you still have other responsibilities to consider before starting your course, including finding a place to live. Whether you are studying in London, Manchester, Edinburgh or Exeter, you will need to plan carefully when choosing your accommodation.

#1 Set a budget

Funding can differ widely for postgraduate degrees and even a Masters loan or PhD loan won’t necessarily cover all of your costs. This means that often postgraduate students will be on a tight budget when it comes to daily living. That’s why the first thing you need to do is be realistic about what you can afford to pay for accommodation. Set a maximum budget and stick to it! You don’t want to be dealing with financial stress alongside your academic pressures.

#2 Research widely

When you’ve established your budget, the next step is to do your initial research with an open mind. Consider all the available options, including student halls and private rentals, as well as a variety of locations in your university town or city. You should also use all resources available through your university – most will have a specific advice service for accommodation. Also, remember to make use of any advice from friends or family members who have been through the process.

#3 Make a list of requirements

Now you’ve done your research, you’ve probably got more of an idea about what you’re looking for. This is the time to sit down and make a list of all the things you want from your accommodation. This can be physical facilities, such as a washing machine or a tumble dryer, but it can also be other things, like distance from the university. Remember that you might need to spend a little bit more time in the library or laboratory during a Masters or PhD. Another important thing to consider as a postgraduate student is how sociable a particular residence will be – you don’t want to be living with noisy undergraduates if you’ve got a massive workload to contend with.

#4 Narrow down your options

Once you’ve got your list of requirements, you can narrow down your options. You might choose to focus on a particular location at this stage, or look for accommodation which is only occupied by other postgraduate students. It’s important to strike a balance between being selective and honest, but also being open-minded. Go with your gut instincts!

#5 Consider private landlord vs estate agent

When you’ve narrowed down your options, you’ll probably have just a handful of residences to choose from. This is the point where you should think about who will be letting the house, flat or room to you. If you go through an estate agent, it can be a simpler and safer process, as they will sort everything out for you and make sure that the accommodation is legitimate. However, going through an estate agent can actually be more expensive because you have to pay admin fees. It could also mean that you miss out on some of the cheaper and less competitive options offered by private landlords.

#6 Do your calculations

Next, it’s important to do your calculations and make sure that you’re sticking to step one. You mainly need to account for the monthly rent payments but there are other factors to consider. Do you need to pay a significant upfront deposit? Are any bills included in your contract or will these be additional? This can all affect the final price of the accommodation so make sure you consider everything.

#7 Read the contract carefully

Once you’ve chosen your accommodation, you will need to sign a contract before it is officially yours. Remember - nothing is final until you’ve signed this contract. Make sure you read it through carefully, as you need to be aware of your responsibilities in the house and anything you could be penalised for. It’s a good idea to get the contract checked by a professional so that you don’t miss any hidden clauses – many universities offer this service for free!

#8 Enjoy your new home!

Finally, remember to make the most out of your new accommodation. Finding and choosing the right residence can be a stressful process but, once you’re there, you can really settle in and make it your own. You might get the chance to meet new people and make new experiences during your time in student accommodation!

Beaumont House provide student accommodation in West London for all UK and International students. Their accommodation is an inclusive, calm and supportive environment, ideal for postgraduate and international students.

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Last Updated: 23 May 2019