Moving to university is a thrilling experience! Despite this, the arrangements pertaining to your accommodation in your second and third year can prove to be overwhelming. Due to the current predicament, attending university in 2021 is expected to be somewhat different to most other years, making living arrangements much more stressful. But fear not! I have come up with my top 5 platforms to help you find the perfect private accommodation, as well as a few tips on how to make the most out of the LSE Private Housing Service!
This service is perfect to get you started if you’re looking for private student accommodation in London, inclusive of apartments, flats, flat shares, and lodgings. You can check for suitable properties and contact landlords directly after registering for free. The private housing database, LSE Studentpad, is available online here.
Enter CocoonSync. Typically, students living in a hall will be there for one year. Those students are aware that they will need to find housing, but the problem is that most property portals show places available immediately. This platform, on the other hand, shows you flats that will be available to rent in the future, allowing you to plan ahead. Whilst offering a peer-to-peer rental marketplace, CocoonSync permits departing tenants to provide you with local information and tips so you don’t feel disconnected from the local community!
Ultimately, Unilodgers bridges the gap between students and ideal housing all over the world. As the first, and now the biggest student accommodation marketplace, it is utilised by over 5 million students. Not only does Unilodgers allow you to filter the properties according to your preferences (price range, property type, university, etc), due to the size of the platform, it also has a live chat service on Facebook as well as a Facebook community page allowing you to connect with other property hunters and potential housemates!
One of my personal favourites, the UoL Property Search ensures all housing suppliers must sign up to the UoL Code of Good Practice safeguarding you from potential fraudsters. The platform allows any complaints to be raised via their complaints procedure providing some peace of mind if there are any issues that need to be resolved. Additionally, it also offers exclusive accommodation pricing meaning you can save a little more money from your maintenance loan!
I have complied a small list of a few trusted general letting agents’ websites in the UK below, however please read through their small-print to see exactly how long the tenancy agreements are:
What if you can’t find a place to stay before the start of the semester?
Unfortunately, as a result of COVID-19, your living situation may be unpredictable. In the meantime, you can always stay in halls while searching for a place to live. *There is, in fact, a 20% student discount for short-term hall rooms!* Every year, many students find housing by staying in halls while looking for a place to rent. It’s also a chance to meet other students with whom you can form a flat share.
Alternatively, you could always try booking accommodation with an Airbnb. If you’re lucky enough, you may be able to get a discount if you negotiate the price with the Host if you are staying over a long duration!
What other services does the LSE Private Housing Service offer?
- Tenancy reference requests
If you stayed in halls, the previous year and now want a tenancy reference from LSE, you can order this from the administration team at the hall where you stayed (for Sidney Webb House references, please contact the Residential Services Office).
The LSE Rent Guarantor Scheme can be of assistance if you are required to have a guarantor while renting in London.
- General housing advice
You can either contact the LSE Residential Services Office, University of London Housing Services (ULHS) or the LSE Students’ Union Advice Centre. Further details can be found here, under the heading ‘Housing advice office near LSE’.
I hope the tips that I have provided have eased your nerves and I wish you the best of luck on your hunt for your ideal accommodation! Let me know in the comments section below, if you end up using any of them!