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Saoirse

July 24th, 2023

Is living in private accommodation the right choice for you?

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Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Saoirse

July 24th, 2023

Is living in private accommodation the right choice for you?

0 comments

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Finding a place to live in London can be a daunting process, especially when you are moving away from home for the first time. There are many different factors to consider when finding a place to live, much of which depends on your individual preferences. As a second-year undergraduate student, I have greatly enjoyed living in private accommodation, so if you are wondering whether living in private accommodation is the right choice for you, read on to find out the highlights and drawbacks.

The perks of living in private accommodation

One of my favourite things about living in private accommodation is being able to live with my flatmates, who also happen to be good friends of mine. When moving into private accommodation, unlike in halls, you are able to choose who you live with. Whilst I met most of my flatmates in halls in the first year of my university degree, it is also quite easy to find flatmates on Facebook groups. Resultantly, this is a great way to ensure you get along well with the people you live with before moving in.

Another great thing about living in private accommodation is that you have more flexibility over where you live. Accordingly, during my second year, I have been able to live near Spitalfields, which must be one of my favourite places in London. Brimming with street art, vintage shops and food markets, there are endless things to do, and with only a 10-minute walk away from Liverpool Street Station, I also have access to a great transport network. By having greater flexibility over where you live, you are much more likely to be able to live in a location which suits your interests and needs.

Private accommodation can be costly

One downside of living in private accommodation can be the cost. As many student halls allow you to move out in the holidays, you can save a lot of rent by only paying for it during term time. However, many private accommodations do not offer this flexibility, as they often have 12 month contracts, which can make living in London more expensive, if you do not plan to live there year-round. Although, for many students, having a 12-month contract is a great advantage and gives you the opportunity to take on internships in London.

Finding private accommodation

One of the downsides of living in private accommodation in London is finding it. However, do not let this put you off as it is still definitely possible. One of the most difficult aspects of finding private accommodation is the speed at which the London housing market operates. When my flatmates and I were looking for accommodation, houses would often be taken off the market the same day of which they were advertised. Consequently, this means that when you do find a place that you like, it is vital to put an offer on the accommodation almost immediately, as it is highly likely that the accommodation will be taken off the market after viewings.

Despite the disadvantages that the quick overturn of the London housing market brings about, it can also have its benefits. Namely, it is quite easy to find accommodation after the academic year, in summer time from June to August. As a result, when looking for housing, it is easier to dedicate more time to it. As the turnover in the housing market is very fast, I highly recommend being in London to be able to search for accommodation. Many estate agents will call you up to offer house viewings the same day, so it is key that you are able to take these opportunities when given to be able to secure accommodation.

About the author

Saoirse

Hello! My name is Saoirse. I'm in my second year at LSE, studying Environment and Development.

Posted In: Accommodation

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