Student accommodation options: Comparing property types

Two young students with a yellow background

Choosing a property to live in as a student is a challenging task and the first hurdle to get over is deciding on the type of student property. The main property types that are available to students are flats (studio flats, 1-bed apartments, or shared apartments), shared houses and university halls of residence or private halls.

Here, we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the possible student accommodation options to make your renting decision easier. You will also discover some alternatives to student halls of residence that most students aren’t aware of when they first apply for accommodation.

Male student packing boxes with box on head

Studio flats vs apartments

One of the most popular student accommodation options in the United Kingdom is a flat. Students tend to share a flat with other students, however there are plenty of apartment options for students wanting to live alone.

Studio flats are single-occupancy flats that have the living, sleeping and kitchen space in an open-plan layout; this layout helps to create more space in the compact studio apartment. Studio flats are a great option for students who are on a tight budget but wish to live alone. The great thing about studio flats is that rent and utilities are fairly low and you will have a bathroom and kitchen space all to yourself. Another benefit to studio flats is that they tend to be located more centrally so students living in a studio flat may get the benefits of lower living costs and also a shorter commute into the city and onto campus.

Student accommodation ensuite bedroomThe main downside to a studio flat is the space – the limited space may not be suitable for everyone, and this is where 1-bed apartments come in. A one-bedroom apartment is similar to a studio flat in that it is a single occupancy flat, however, there is usually more space and separate rooms. This space comes at a cost – rent and utilities tend to be higher than for a studio apartment so students will have to take budget into consideration.

Finally, as a compromise between space and budget, students often share a flat to split the cost of a larger apartment. Shared flats can be a great option for socialising and for saving money on rent. The downside to a shared flat is, of course, the sharing. Unless you opt for an en-suite room, you will have to get comfortable with sharing a bathroom with other students who you may not know before moving in. You will also have to share a kitchen and any communal area.

Read more about student accommodation flats here.

Student flats vs houses

Another popular student accommodation option is a student house or HMO as it is also known. Typically, student housing will be shared accommodation and there can often be as many as ten students sharing one HMO. Living in a student house is an iconic university experience and there are definitely some benefits, but also some disadvantages.

Student housing is a great way to socialise with other students and to live with a large friendship group from university. A student house is also an affordable accommodation option. On the other hand, living in a student house can be quite cramped, especially when there are many students sharing one property; you could be sharing one kitchen and 2 bathrooms with as many as 10 students. Additionally, student housing may not be very modern and may be located further away from the city centre. With all things considered, the cost of a student house tends to reflect the quality of living that the student will get.

Flats may be a preferred option for students looking for comfortable living in the city centre and near campus. Student flats tend to be more modern, centrally located and may also be less cramped. Another benefit to choosing a student flat is the additional security features that you wouldn’t get in a student house.

Whether you choose to live in a house or a flat may not affect your university experience but it’s worth taking your priorities into consideration – is your budget the deciding factor or would you want to live somewhere a bit more comfortable?

Read more about student flats compared to student housing.

Student halls vs private accommodation

You may think that university halls of residence is your only accommodation option as an undergraduate, however there are alternatives if the busy shared living does not appeal to you.

Student halls is a great accommodation option for first year students starting university because you will move in with a wide range of students who you haven’t met. It is a great way to build friendships after moving away from home, for the first time in most cases. Student halls are usually located away from the city centre so despite living with lots of other students you may have to consider your commute into town and onto campus.

In student halls it is fairly normal to be sharing a flat with lots of other students (up to 14 in some cases) and the rooms are often not vey spacious; because of this you might prefer privately rented accommodation. Private student accommodation is usually more modern and spacious and there are options for solo living if that is what you would prefer.

two happy women smilingMansion Student properties are located in the heart of major UK cities including Nottingham, Durham, Newcastle and Leeds so you need not stress about your commute. We also offer shared flats, studio flats and 1-bed apartments to students so that you can have the luxury of choice when it comes to your accommodation.

Read more about university accommodation compared to private accommodation here.

How Mansion Student can help

Since 2007, Mansion Student has acquired, developed and maintained modern student accommodations throughout some of the most popular student cities in the United Kingdom. We prioritise your welfare during your stay, and will help you through every stage of the booking and tenancy period. Browse through our different student accommodation locations below:

If you are interested in staying at any of our student accommodations, arrange a viewing here to ensure you are completely happy with the property before booking.

Browse through our student offers here.

Contact Mansion Student today for more information about booking accommodation, or call us at 0800 652 7844

Frequently asked questions

When can you move into student accommodation?

Student accommodation for most property types is available to live in during the academic year (from September to June). University halls usually allow students to move in 2 weeks before the start of university (fresher’s week and one week before that). Private properties and student houses may allow more leeway, so make sure to check your tenancy agreement for move-in and move-out dates.

What facilities are available in student rooms?

Most student rooms will have a single bed, however privately rented accommodation may offer a double bed or a three-quarter-sized bed. Student rooms will usually have a desk, a chair and storage space. Private accommodation with bills included will offer Wi-Fi as standard. University managed accommodation may have eduroam (the national academic internet network).

What is private student accommodation?

Private student accommodation is not managed by the university or by a student lettings agency. Here at Mansion Student we manage our own tenancies, so it is therefore considered private accommodation for students.

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