Choosing UCLan student accommodation is one of the most important parts of preparing for university. You need to live somewhere where you can feel safe and comfortable, with easy access to campus and all the facilities you need. If you intend to study at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), then it is likely that you will need to familiarise yourself with the city of Preston.
Preston is a relatively small city, but it has a high student population and provides everything you need for an enjoyable university life. It also gives you easy access to the other major cities and seaside towns of the North and beautiful rural areas, including fells and moors. There is plenty of space for freshers to find their feet without being overwhelmed, and the cost of living is not too high.
Many properties for students are situated within five or ten minutes of campus. You can walk to lectures and into the city with ease. Even if you move further out because you want somewhere a little quieter, public transport links are good, and there are still plenty of shopping and leisure facilities.
Areas of Preston that are popular with students include Ashton and Plunington, both of which are situated in convenient central locations, and Fullwood, which for a slightly higher price, allows you to enjoy a more peaceful residential area with smaller, more local shops and eateries. Students tend to congregate in the same areas, where they have access to the same facilities and are less likely to upset elderly neighbours or families who are not part of the student lifestyle.
Accommodation for students may include everything from charming terraced houses to share to more modern apartment blocks where you have your own flat, but also access to a shared common room, leisure facilities and other amenities. Individuals, couples and groups of five or six friends may all be able to find properties for their distinct needs, dependent on factors such as price and transport links. There are many things to be considered to ensure you get the best value for money whilst still being able to have everything you need.
Can students rent privately?
Students can rent privately, but you do need to be careful to find a trustworthy landlord. Some will try to take advantage. Universities will generally have advice and support available to help you choose a private rental, and there are agents and online sites that specialise in finding accommodation for students to rent.
To check the quality of a potential property, you first need to visit and see it for yourself. A common scam is for fraudsters to advertise a property that has already been let, or even does not exist, then demand an upfront fee before disappearing with your money. The National Code is a voluntary scheme that some landlords sign up to to provide higher standards for their tenants and is an excellent way to try and ensure quality.
Once you have signed a tenancy agreement, you are bound to its terms, and it may be difficult to extract yourself. Leaving a tenancy early is nearly always difficult, especially if you share a joint tenancy with your housemates. That means it is important to ensure you read all paperwork thoroughly before signing anything. You also need to be clear on the terms of your lease before you start paying for it. Your rights and responsibilities may vary depending on whether you are an assured shorthold tenant or considered a lodger living in the same house as your landlord.
Tenancy agreements may be for a fixed term or periodic. Periodic tenancies run for a certain period of time (often monthly) before rolling over to the next month. Sometimes you may switch from one type of tenancy to another, such as if you fail to renew your agreement when your fixed term comes to a close, but you still remain in the property, which can lead to your tenancy becoming periodic.
There is also a difference between a sole or joint tenancy. Sole tenancy gives you the right to your own bedroom, though shared areas (such as the kitchen) are still available to you. In a joint tenancy, you split responsibility with everyone else staying in the property. If someone fails to pay their share or moves away, then in a joint tenancy, you are still liable for their portion of the rent.
When you sign a contract with an agent or landlord, they may want you to provide a guarantor who will be responsible for ensuring your rent is delivered, even if you fail to pay. This is a legal agreement in its own right, so the guarantor should ensure they understand exactly what they are doing before signing. They may want to receive legal advice first. Parents are one of the most common guarantors, but they will not necessarily want to provide for your housemates as well as you.
Another thing you may need before you can move in is a deposit. This should cover damage to the property whilst you live there, or any unpaid rent. Your deposit should be returned at the end of your tenancy if the property is still in good condition and you have paid all that you owe. To ensure you are not forced to pay for damage that is not your responsibility, ensure you do a full inventory before taking up residence, including recording photographic or video proof.
Your landlord has a responsibility to organise any repairs after you report a fault, and they should do it in a timely manner. They also have obligations to install smoke alarms and arrange yearly safety checks by a qualified gas engineer. Smaller jobs, such as testing the smoke alarms or changing a lightbulb, remain yours, and you still have the responsibility to report any damage and to allow inspectors into the property.
If the property is shared by at least three unrelated people, in that case, it may be considered a house in multiple occupation (HMO), which conveys extra responsibilities on landlords regarding fire safety, electrical installations, cleanliness, refuse arrangements (such as providing bins) and maintenance of outside areas such as gardens and boundaries. Some councils require all HMOs to be licensed, but it is a legal requirement for all HMOs with more than five residents, which means further requirements regarding health and safety.
Houses where every resident is a student are exempt from paying council tax. You may need to show the council an official document from your university to prove your student status. If you are a lodger, live in a property adapted to multiple households or have a sole tenancy for an individual room, any council tax bill should be paid by the landlord.
Can my partner live with me in student accommodation?
Understandably, a couple may want to live together, and if you are both students, then there is no reason that you cannot both live in the same student property. However, being in the same house is not necessarily the same as being able to live together properly as a couple, and if one of you is not a student, there could be extra difficulties.
Student accommodation in Preston tends to be designed for multiple people, with the average number of rooms probably being four or five, maybe even six. If you want to set up a home with your partner, you would probably prefer just one or two bedrooms. There is nothing particularly romantic about trying to enjoy some quiet time together when your housemates are busy living their own lives all around you. Even with the best will in the world, shared accommodation is shared accommodation; privacy is always going to be lacking.
Problems with couples' accommodation can be exacerbated if only one of you is a student. Not all landlords will accept non-student tenants in the same property as their student tenants, narrowing the range of possible homes available to you. You will need to find one of the few providers that allow students and non-students to share accommodation. You may also need to consider if the property is conveniently situated for both of you if you are not studying at the same location. You may need to travel different directions and distances and probably want to find somewhere that minimises journeying for both of you.
If you are looking for suitable student accommodation for both of you (even if you are not both), the best option is probably a self-contained studio apartment. They can still offer plenty of space and facilities whilst ensuring you have privacy not just in the bedroom but through the kitchen, bathroom and living space as well. If the apartment is part of a larger student building, you will probably still have access to communal areas where you can meet other students, meaning you will not miss out on social experiences and the chance to make friends. You just get to control when you go out and when you stay in your own space.
What is the best UCLan student Accommodation?
Why not consider living at Brunel Court? We offer luxury pods that are even more high quality than the traditional student apartment, with increased levels of privacy. We have more standard studios as well, at various price levels, offering you all the facilities you could need (including ensuite bathrooms) and plenty of space, whether you want to share with a partner (if they are also a student), have a group of friends, or want a space of your own.
Living at Brunel Court also gives you access to our games and common room, the gym, cinema, study room, laundrette and even a retro arcade. This is all available just ten minutes from the UCLan campus and within easy reach of Preston city centre and all the shops, eateries and leisure facilities you could want.