If you are starting or returning to your studies later in the year, specifically around the January start time, finding accommodation can often be a tricky challenge. Most of your peers, especially those who began in the September or October, will have had their housing sorted since the summer and so you often find that student housing is sparse or even non-existent at this time of the year. However, all is not lost! You still have a few options open to you.
While some students choose to rent a house with a group of friends cheaply in zone 4 or 5, it is possible to rent a single room in a fairly central London location if you know where to look. This could be renting someone’s spare room or it could be joining a pre-existing flat/house share. The cost of this is often significantly cheaper than renting a flat by yourself and is often the choice of professionals seeking to keep costs down, as well as students looking for a term-time home. Not all landlords are happy to rent a room to students but many are, as long as you’re willing to respect the house rules! That said, this can often still be an expensive option –especially in a city like London– and does not offer the same degree of security as a more formal renting setup. If you do decide to go down this route, make sure you have a proper contract.
However, there are other alternatives too. Universities offer halls of residence to students which may have some spare space mid-year although this is rare as they tend to get booked up very quickly by first-year undergraduates. There are also private halls of residences where you may be mixed in with students from different universities (particularly in London). These halls offer a fantastic opportunity to students whose courses run at different times of the year to the majority of courses, such as those running from January to June (with the extension to extend your contract over the summer or even for another year).
The Optivo student accommodation properties in London, often offer this type of short student accommodation contracts and currently have a few rooms available from January. There is Wood Green Hall, based in north London, which offers single rooms starting at £150 week – perfect for students on a budget. Another example is Park House, this property is very popular with Imperial College students. While Goldsmith House (female only) in Camden and the ever popular Helen Graham House, in Holborn have a short waiting list for January Semester start contracts. Their rooms all include access to Wi-Fi, social events and room contents insurance, and offer a secure, affordable alternative to students who are starting their course in January or February.
At a time when your main priority should be your education, the last thing you should need to be worrying about is something as fundamental as where you’re going to live in a city that where rent famously unaffordable. Remember that there are alternative accommodation options for students whose courses have less conventional start dates. There are always options and Optivo Students are here to provide you with safe, secure housing when it’s needed.