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Sankirtana Kumar Tharamel

June 27th, 2022

Pros and cons of student accommodation in Northumberland House

0 comments | 2 shares

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Sankirtana Kumar Tharamel

June 27th, 2022

Pros and cons of student accommodation in Northumberland House

0 comments | 2 shares

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

The season to hunt for accommodation is upon us and what a vision it is indeed! It is an interesting mix of excitement and nerves for most of us and so we must approach it with fresh eyes to keep our emotions from getting the better of us.

One of the key decisions to make as an “accommodation hunter”, as detailed in my blog “How I chose my accommodation – top tips for choosing something that works for you“, is to choose between private housing and student accommodation. As a master’s student who spent a year in student accommodation, I write this blog to provide my view on living in one of the key student accommodations. This is just one of many opinion pieces on student accommodation that you will most certainly find online, so I hope you will find my insights valid.

I have been living in a privately-owned student accommodation named Northumberland House (previously an LSE student hall, currently owned by CRM). I live in a twin sharing room with an en-suite bathroom and a shared kitchen – shared with all my “flatmates”. We live in a single hallway with about eight rooms and ten people. Here, I break down my experience into a simple list of pros and cons, all written from my perspective and my perspective alone.

Pros

  • I have not really had the chance to feel lonely yet. Yay! When my roommate is out of town and I need company, I literally walk out of my room, and lo and behold! There are literally hundreds of people in the same building!
  • Community support has been strong. I get along with most people in my “flat” and have made some great friends. I also have a few people of the same nationality as me, so in case I feel like some “home food”, I have people to go out with, if not cook with.
  • Central location: The accommodation is a brisk fifteen-minute walk from the LSE campus and about three minutes away (by foot) from Trafalgar Square and the river Thames.
  • Maintenance is taken care of by the management of this accommodation, so I do not have to worry about faulty infrastructure.
  • All-inclusive bills: electricity, gas, heating, water and WiFi are covered within the rent I pay. I do not have to allocate a variable amount of money or even think about these bills each month.
  • Laundry rooms are conveniently located within the building. They have about 5-6 different washers and dryers that we can pay to use.
  • Cleaning services are provided for all the common areas including the kitchens.

Cons

  • Hygiene and cleanliness are dependent on a lot of other people in the common areas. The shared kitchen has been an area of discomfort for a lot of us. The kitchen has been through a lot, seemingly! Clogged sinks, food waste littered on the floors and slabs, among other things – are just a few of the very many issues it has been through.
  • Although maintenance is taken care of by the management, it means that I am dependent on them to get things fixed. So if the relevant authority/professional is unavailable, I will have to wait for them to come back. My comfort, in a way, is dependent on them.
  • The accommodation has not provided very many social gatherings – a key opportunity to interact with people from around the accommodation. Right now, most interactions happen by serendipitous encounters or introductions, so a lot of it is left to luck and chance.
  • Depending on certain conditions – in my case, being a non-UK national – guarantors might be required. This caused last-minute commotion for me, so I opted for paying all the rent in advance instead of trying to find a guarantor.
  • The young age of the residents implies that, on occasion, things get loud and untidy. Late-night parties or just hang-outs have caused some raucous moments.
  • During the first month (or so), we did not have stable WiFi. Small routers, installed in the kitchens, provided a semi-stable connection to the rooms that were nearby, but for the rest of us, located further from the kitchens, there was almost nothing. Those who were lucky enough got portable internet dongles to make up for the bad connection.

Overall, the list is quite a mixed bag. To sum it up, I believe that the accommodation’s pros certainly outweigh the cons bearing in mind my personal priorities. I would suggest you consider your own priorities and strategically choose the kind of room you want to book, should you consider this accommodation a viable option.

About the author

Sankirtana Kumar Tharamel

Hi! I am Sanku. You will mostly find me dancing my legs off, pouring over a book, or just deeply engaged in conversation. An engineering graduate and STEM girl at heart, I have been exploring the development sector for greater than half a decade now, and hope to continue this line of work after my MSc in Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Posted In: Accommodation

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