Student accommodation: Flats vs houses

Students celebrating together

The student property you choose is a massive part of your university experience. Will you spend your upcoming year in a private study haven, a lively social space or with the best of both?

This article will cover the advantages and disadvantages of living in a private flat as a student, compared to student housing. You will also learn why students might want to choose either option and whether Mansion Student can offer you a suitable alternative to university accommodation.

Student housing options

A student house is usually referred to as an HMO – a house of multiple occupation that you will share with other students. You would have your own private bedroom but a communal kitchen, bathroom, and living areas.

A flat can be shared or single occupancy. In a shared apartment, you would again have your own bedroom and sometimes an en-suite bathroom but would share areas such as the kitchen area and living space. Alternatively, you can choose to have your own flat, which can be a studio or a one-bed.

Students, especially first-years, usually choose to live in university halls or private halls. In these, you would usually have your own bedroom but share a kitchen and also any additional living space. Some university halls offer the option of a private bathroom; however, you may have to share yours with fellow students. Adjusting to university life and sharing with many other students in university halls can be challenging. Read about halls compared to private accommodation here.

Comparing student accommodation options

Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of each student property option, including shared student flats, single occupancy flats and student housing.

Shared student flats

One of the great things about sharing a student flat is the ease of socialising. You can move in with people you have already met and formed friendships with during your first year at university, or it offers you the opportunity to make new friends. Great memories are made, and lifelong friendships are cemented by living together in a student property. Student flats are usually strategically located near the city centre, campus buildings, other student areas and local amenities such as bars, restaurants, and shops.

Shared kitchen student accommodation

Student flats are often more modern than houses, featuring increased security such as a keyless secure door entry system and 24-hour CCTV combined with onsite maintenance staff, providing you with a safe and secure environment. With your own secure room, you’ll still be able to get some time to yourself, especially since many flats have the option of an en-suite bathroom. You may find that sharing a communal area is not for you; this is where single-occupancy apartments come in.

Student single occupancy flats

The main benefit of a single-occupancy flat is the privacy and the potential for more space. If you value time and space to yourself, having your own apartment could be ideal. When you want to socialise, Mansion Student’s properties offer many amazing social spaces and amenities to mingle with other residents and friends, including cinema rooms, rooftop terraces and gyms. Similarly to shared flats, single occupancy flats are often more modern than student lets, with higher security and a central location close to campus.

Solo living can be more expensive, as you’re not sharing living costs. However, studio flats, particularly, can be affordable if you are on a lower budget. You might find that solo living can get lonely and isolating as a student; often, students form tight friendships with their housemates, especially in their first and second years of university.

Student shared house

Like shared flats, a house share is an excellent way to meet new people and socialise. A student property tends to accommodate much larger groups of students, which can be a great benefit if you have a bigger friendship group. Student housing is popular because it is usually the most affordable option after leaving student halls, as bills and rent are shared.

Students taking notes together

It is not uncommon that student housing can be of lower quality and less modern than student flats. There may also be less space as many tenants are squeezed into the multiple occupancy property. If you’re lucky, you may find a student house near campus and the city centre, but on the whole, student houses tend to be located further away. You may want to consider the cost of your commute when weighing up student accommodation costs.

Some student landlords include bills in the tenancy agreement; however, many don’t, which can complicate your budgeting and even cause arguments among your housemates about bill-splitting and energy use.

Choosing your student accommodation

Here, we summarise the different options to make it easier for you to decide on your next student property.

Student Housing

Live with and near your peersLive less centrally
Have lots of opportunities for socialisingLive in a lower quality, less modern property
Save money on rent and billsBills may not be included
Shared bathrooms, kitchen and living spaces
Lower security

Shared flats

Live with and near your peersShare a kitchen and living space
Have lots of opportunities for socialising
Save money on rent
Bills included in rent
Higher security
Have the option of an en-suite room
Live centrally and near campus
Live in a higher quality, modern property
Access in-building amenities

Single-occupancy flats

Live alone with plenty of privacyLiving alone may be isolating
Have the highest level of securityPay Potentially higher rent prices
Live in a modern and high-quality propertyHave potentially less living space
Live centrally and close to campus
Access in-building amenities
Bills included in rent

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

Renting privately with Mansion Student

Student with laptop and coffeeBy renting purpose-built student accommodation with Mansion Student, you can get all the benefits of modern, all-inclusive living, with the option to share with friends or live alone. We offer a range of single-occupancy and shared flats in the city centre and near the university campus. We have student apartments in all of the United Kingdom’s major university cities, including Leeds, Durham and Nottingham.

Our studio flats are affordable for those who want to enjoy solo living; with all utility bills included in the tenancy for easier finance management, you’ll know exactly how much to pay with each rental instalment and budget accordingly.

Frequently asked questions

Should I live alone or with flatmates at university?

Living with flatmates is the most popular option as it’s easier to make friends. Still, if you’d prefer to live alone, there are plenty of opportunities to make friends at university on your course or through many social and sports groups.

Which is better, a student or residential property?

A student property can be of lower quality since the landlord may assume that students will have lower expectations. However, student HMOs are designed to accommodate many tenants and are usually located closer to the campus than residential properties. Private housing is sometimes higher in quality, but there may be fewer bedrooms, and they may not be central. The tenancy agreement may also not follow the academic year.

Where can I get more advice?

At Mansion Student, we have you covered. Find out more here.

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