Talking Points

Private Housing vs Halls of Residence

Heading off to university can be one of the most exciting times of your life. However, leaving home for the first time can also be a bit daunting, so you’ll want to make sure you’re making the right choice when it comes to picking your Leeds student accommodation.

The accommodation you choose will not only be your place of study for the next few months, but also your home and a hub of socialisation. Getting this right is the first step on your path to independence.

But when you step out into that big wide world, you may be a little overwhelmed by the vast amount of choice. After all, when it comes to student accommodation Leeds certainly isn’t lacking in variety.

While the city boasts an incredible selection, from location to different price ranges, the most significant part of your decision making has to be the choice between student halls and private accommodation.

So how do you know which one is right for you?

Well, to help you out, we’ve compiled three of the most important considerations to help you make up your mind between Leeds’ bustling student halls or diverse private housing options.

The social factor

While you can absolutely have a wonderful social life regardless of where you stay during your time at university, we’d have to give the initial edge here to student halls.

The reasons for this are pretty simple: not only are you living under the same roof as your fellow students, some of whom might even be on your course, but you’re also living alongside them as well. It’s like a big student community.

This means that when it comes to making new friends or going to events, you are right in the heart of the action.

However, this may change after your first year. At this point, you’re likely to have cemented some valuable friendships. In fact, you’ll probably have met some people you’d rather live with than your current flat mates.

This brings us to our next point: being randomly assigned people to live with can be a hit or miss venture. Some make friends for life, while others… well, not so much.

Therefore, we’d say that halls are perfect if you want to meet new people, while private housing is better if you’ve already bonded with people at your university. The latter can also be great if you’re not such a social butterfly and prefer to live amongst people you already know.

The degree of change

Student halls are ideal for transitioning between living at home, where you likely don’t have that many responsibilities in terms of rent or bills, and going private, where you’re fully responsible for outgoing you may never have previously considered.

Really, this comes down to how confident you feel in coping with that transition into independent life.

If you want to ease yourself into all that newly founded financial responsibility, then student halls may be best for you. This is because they often include all bills within your rental payment, as well as usually scheduling payments around the time your student loan will be hitting your bank account.

If you’re ready to go it alone with both feet in the deep end, then private housing might be right for you. This can give you greater control over things like your energy or broadband provider. And if you don’t want to deal with an onslaught of monthly bills, you can easily find private student accommodation that offers all inclusive rent.

Cost and location

We’ll start with the latter. Student halls will pretty much guarantee you’ll be within at least a reasonable distance to your university. This means less stress and less time spent travelling.

Private housing can also offer excellent locations but cost can be more of a factor here. If you want to get very close to the university campus and you’re renting privately, things could get more expensive.

On the flipside of this however, if you’re penny pinching and you don’t mind living with quite a few flatmates and travelling a little further, you could find that flat sharing privately could make your university experience significantly cheaper.

The more of you there are under one roof, the more you can slash down that Sky bill for example.

Overall, student halls can be more predictable in terms of location and usually rental costs as well.

Private housing however, offers a great deal more variety, both good and bad. As long as you put a bit of research into hunting out your perfect accommodation though, you’re sure to feel right at home in Leeds’ fantastic student scene.

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