Hi there! Hope you are doing well!
I recently posted two blogs telling you guys my experiences of living in Band D and C accommodations. This blog follows the previous two, and today I am going to be letting you guys know about my experiences living in private accommodation. Once again, I don’t want to include specific details regarding accommodations as they are subject to change, especially during Covid-19, but I will include links which might help you out!
So, this blog is going to be about my time living in private accommodation in Guildford. I started searching for private accommodation during the second semester of my first year. I had also applied for university accommodation to keep my options open, however my application did not get accepted. The way I started searching for private accommodation was to first ask around my friends and course mates if they were looking for people to rent a house with. Once I found a few people that I would like to live with, we agreed on an approximate budget that we would be willing to pay each month (some houses have their rents listed per week). We decided to start searching online for houses to rent from which we got into contact with some estate agency companies which helped us look around even more.
While this is the option we took, when you start your accommodation search you also have the choice of getting in touch with University of Surrey Lettings (USL). USL is a not -for-profit lettings service formed by the University of Surrey to provide students with support and advice when they are planning to rent off campus. The USL also manages a number of private sector properties which are under the university’s head leasing scheme. As me and my housemates chose to search for private accommodation online and through estate agency companies, I cannot give you a lot more information about the USL service. However you can find more information here: https://www.surrey.ac.uk/lettings.
My personal experience of living in private accommodation was tough but great at the same time. The house we rented was approximately a 20-minute walk from the university and a 10-minute walk into town. The location was great as I’d get some daily physical activity done by walking to and from the university. Also meant that if I needed to go into town to eat food, watch a movie, or to shop, everything was quite easily accessible. But the main difference between living in university accommodation and private accommodation is the payment and sorting out of bills. It is very important for any person moving into a house to choose their water, electricity, gas, and Wi-Fi providers carefully and judge them on the basis of rate, customer satisfaction, and service amongst other factors. I’ll be honest, paying bills, and having to sort them out when there is a miscalculation or and error is a hassle. I most certainly did not enjoy it. However, I am grateful that I had the experience of doing so before I graduate, as I would have had to learn all these things at some point during my life. So, I am very happy that I had the chance to live in a private accommodation with my housemates and get a very good look into how adulting is going to be after university.
Whether living in private accommodation is for you, I don’t know. Do you want to avoid paying bills for as long as you can and fully live the ‘student’ life in university accommodation? Or would you like to stay slightly outside of university and get a glimpse of what living is going to be like after university? That is completely your choice. I have just tried to share my experience with you, but there would be a lot of other people who might have experienced the exact same things or the completely opposite. One thing I would like to say for sure is that living in private accommodation seems daunting, from the first house hunt to the last bill, but it does prepare you for what you are eventually going to be doing at some point during your life. Once again if you are trying to decide on which type of accommodation you want to apply for, I’d suggest exploring through the options at: https://www.surrey.ac.uk/accommodation. See you in my next post!