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Miranda

July 26th, 2023

The pros and cons of choosing private accommodation

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Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Miranda

July 26th, 2023

The pros and cons of choosing private accommodation

0 comments

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

Figuring out your housing situation before your start university can be daunting and a major challenge. The two main options you will have besides living at home (if that is an option for you), is either private accommodation or student housing. There are upsides and downsides to both options. Personally, I chose to live in private accommodation. Here follows some of the good and the bad I have experienced, so you can better grasp whether private accommodation is a suitable option for you. 

There were two main reasons why I picked private accommodation; I had friends looking to move at the same time to London, and I was looking for a cheaper option than the halls offered by LSE. 

I was very lucky that I had a couple of friends also looking for a place to live in London, so we decided to look together. It can be a good idea to reach out to your network to see if anyone else you know is looking at the same time, as you might be surprised by how many people somehow end up in London! Moreover, there are plenty of Facebook pages for incoming LSE students where you can post that you are looking for roommates, or find other people that are looking. 

Who you live with will be quite important, as they will be a major part of your every day life. If you don’t know anyone you want to live with and are searching for roommates, it is a good idea to think about what is important to you for your home surroundings, and what you are looking for in a roommate. If you are upfront about what is important to you, more likely, you will be be able to avoid conflict and tension down the road. Even though I was moving in with friends, we had a conversation before starting to look for a place about what our expectations were for cleaning, guests, shared expenses and the shared living spaces. It is important to not only connect as friends, but also as roommates. 

In terms of rent, depending on location, living in private accommodation will likely be cheaper than living in a student hall. However, remember that bills are often not included in the rent, and with current energy prices it can be a good idea to search for places below your budget so you have some leniency when it comes to your bills. The same can be said for food and groceries. Some of the student halls are catered, so if you are someone who does not like to cook, or that finds shopping on a budget difficult, they could be something to consider. Moreover, a lot of the student halls are quite central and close to campus which can save you a lot of time and money on travel. For me, I compromised on location and live in North London, quite far from campus. However, transport links are very good in London, so even if you choose to live somewhere that seems far, the commute might not be too long. When looking for private accommodation I would make sure that your new place is close to a tube station or bus stop which can take you to campus easily. 

Central London is very convenient, but it is also very busy and a prime tourist location. Living somewhere further away allows you to explore new, quieter neighbourhoods. Personally, I live in a residential area with a pleasant high street, full of independent shops and cafés. I have loved having my own neighbourhood, where I get nice breaks when coming home from campus. 

Good luck with your search!

About the author

Miranda

Hi! I’m Miranda, a Norwegian Master’s student at LSE. I am currently studying International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies, and I have a background in anthropology and sociology. I love to travel and learn about and experience new cultures. My hobbies include reading, exploring the city, crocheting and hiking!

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