Off-Campus Student Accommodation Tips for International Students in the UK


With the expansion of British universities, an increasing number of international students are studying in various cities. However, most on-campus student halls provided by British universities can only cover less than 20% of the student population. Since the 1980s, student apartment providers have emerged and evolved into a robust student accommodation system. This article aims to introduce the distinctive features and necessary precautions associated with off-campus student accommodation, also called Purpose-Built Student Accommodation (PBSA), to assist students in finding their ideal accommodations.

What's inside off-campus student accommodation?

Student accommodation providers are well-funded, offer a diverse range of rooms and employ a professional management team. The majority of apartment buildings are equipped with surveillance systems and access control measures to ensure students' safety. Additionally, some apartments feature extensive community amenities such as fitness centres, study rooms, recreational spaces, and audio-visual facilities. Strategically located around campuses, these off-campus student apartments provide convenience for living and studying purposes.

The rooms in student accommodation in Manchester generally feature desks, chairs, beds, nightstands, wardrobes, shelves, and other necessary furnishings. The bathrooms are equipped with a toilet, shower and sink. The kitchen and living room serve as communal spaces with a stove, refrigerator, microwave and oven. The common area is often designed as an open-concept layout combining the kitchen and living room. Additionally, most apartments do not include washing machines within the units but provide laundry facilities in the common areas of the building. Utilities such as water and electricity are usually included in the rent, so students don't have to pay for them separately.

Different Rooms in Off-Campus Student Accommodation

The most common types of rooms in student accommodation in Glasgow are Basic rooms, En-suite rooms, Studio rooms and One-bedroom flats.

Basic Room, also called Non-En-Suite room, provides only basic facilities such as bed, desk, wardrobe, etc., while the toilet, kitchen and bathroom are shared by many people. Generally speaking, a flat with three or fewer Basic Rooms is equipped with one toilet, while a flat with four to seven rooms has two toilets. Although sharing toilets with others may be inconvenient, this kind of room is the most affordable option and is chosen by many students.

The En-suite Room is the most common student room in the UK. It is the same as the Basic Room, but more expensive. The only difference is that there is a separate bathroom attached to the bedroom. However, because of the built-in bathroom, the living area may be reduced. Some apartments will have more than one Basic Room or En-suite Room together, which is called a Cluster Flat or Flat.

Studio Room is the star room in most apartments. It contains a bedroom, bathroom and kitchen together, and the size varies from 12 square meters to 30 square meters. Students can arrange their lives freely in an independent space. Studio rooms are more expensive and are suitable for students who are affluent and like to live in a quiet place.

1 Bedroom Flat(1B) is the most luxurious room type in student apartments. It has the same facilities as social apartments, providing a separate bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and living room. This room type is the most fully equipped and largest in student apartments and is also the most expensive. In addition, some apartments also provide 2-bedroom flats(2B), which provide two separate bedrooms, and the bathroom and living room are shared by two people, which is suitable for friends to live together. This room type suits students with high living requirements and does not care about the cost.

In addition to the standard rooms mentioned above, some apartments have special features, such as double-decker or loft apartments. Students can check the apartments' official websites for details.

Advantages of Off-Campus Student Accommodation.

The room is well-equipped and there is no need to pay water, electricity, Internet fees and other bills.

Apartment companies have good reputations and guarantees, and Britain has a serious accommodation supervision system.

The student apartments are maintained by a professional management team, which can solve any problems quickly and efficiently.

Students' apartments are equipped with all-around surveillance cameras, and only students are allowed to live in them, ensuring the safety of the living area.

How to Book an Off-Campus Student Accommodation

If you are searching for student accommodation, uhomes is a recommended platform to consider. It is a reputable website that helps students find the ideal living space in various cities, including London, Manchester, Sheffield, and many others. uhomes collaborates with a diverse range of affordable student accommodation providers across the UK, such as Unite, Fresh, IQ, Mansion, CRM, Sanctuary, Host Students, Derwent Living and more. Unite Students stands out as the most prominent student accommodation company in the UK, offering cost-effective rooms in numerous cities. Fresh Student Living and IQ also enjoy popularity among students. Mansion Student and CRM provide studio options which cater to students who prefer independent living.

Notes for Living in Student Accommodation

Tenancy Agreement

When signing the contract, don't forget to check the termination clause and payment terms. Also, keep the contract and all reported communications with the student housing administrator after signing the contract.

Cancellation Policy

In the UK, students are required to pay a Booking Fee when booking a room, which can range from £200 to £400. The cancellation policy varies from company to company. Take the Mansion Student as an example:

All advance payments will be refunded upon written notice to the Apartment Owner within seven business days of successful order submission.

If you cancel your booking after seven days but before your start date, you will be charged £75.

If a student moves out or terminates their contract after moving in, they have to find a replacement tenant and pay £75. The deposit is refunded proportionately to the length of stay. However, some student housing deposits are not refundable at all.

Therefore, when booking a student apartment, pay attention to the cancellation policy. If you need to cancel the room, be sure to inform the apartment owners as soon as possible to minimize the loss.

Property Protection.

We advise students to clean their rooms regularly and report any problems with the facilities. If the room is unclean or damaged upon check-out, a cleaning and management fee will be deducted from the deposit.

Instalment & Guarantor

Generally, student accommodation in London requires full payment in full. If a student wishes to pay by instalment, they must be guaranteed by a British resident. The guarantor must meet the following conditions:

  • An adult, other than the renter.

A Resident or principal resident in the UK can provide evidence of British nationality and the ability to sponsor.

Be able to ensure that the tenants fulfil their obligations in the housing contract.

The guarantor is responsible for the student's compensation in the event of a tenant's failure to fulfil his obligations, such as rent evasion or damage to the premises. The guaranty period shall continue until the tenant has paid all outstanding obligations.


Can you live off-campus at UK?

Living off campus is a popular option for students in the UK. This option offers the freedom to choose your living environment and provides a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the community and experience British life first-hand. You can choose from a wide range of professional apartment providers such as Unite, Fresh, IQ, Liberty, Opal, Mansion, CRM, Sanctuary, Host Students, Derwent Living and many more. They all offer diverse room options, professional management teams and high-quality community facilities.

How can I find student accommodation in UK?

Students can take advantage of resources offered by universities, such as housing services or international student guidance, as they often have partnerships with local housing providers. In addition, exploring online platforms and forums dedicated to student accommodation can provide valuable insights and authentic reviews from fellow students.

How much is student accommodation UK?

The cost of student accommodation varies greatly, ranging from £80 to £400 per week. Prices usually depend on the city, location, type of accommodation and amenities. Places like London are among the more expensive areas, while smaller towns may offer more affordable options.


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