If you are a student looking for a place to stay in Leicester city in the UK, keep reading. Choosing the right accommodation for your student self in Leicester can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. If you are diving into this topic for the first time, you might feel overwhelmed by many questions, such as what living conditions are like? Do they provide meals? Is there any chance of getting internet access? What is the crime rate like in this area? How close is the nearest train station or bus stop? These are certainly all important things to consider when choosing where you’ll stay during your time abroad. In this article, I will answer all of these questions and more!
What Type of a Place Do You Want?
If you are looking for student accommodations in Leicester, the first thing to assess is what kind of accommodation you want. There are many options available – from shared rooms with communal kitchens and bathrooms to self-contained apartments that come fully furnished with all utilities included.
The next step is to decide on your budget – there’s no point looking at expensive properties if your budget won’t stretch that far! The final consideration is location; it’s important to find out how close the property is to campus so you can be sure not to spend time commuting unnecessarily.
Make Sure the Accommodation is in a Safe Area
No matter how cheap the place is, safety always comes first! Always check the crime rate in the neighbourhood before and how helpful the nearest police department is before considering living there. Lots of apps have been invented that help you notify the police if you encounter a pickpocketer or something worse.
Make sure you check if you have those facilities there. Always try to befriend your neighbours who can help you in such situations or educate you with their experiences in that neighbourhood. You can never go wrong with a smile, or a mouth-watering lasagna should do the trick to befriend the neighbours.
Check the Room Size and Floor Plan to Make Sure It Suits Your Needs
Looking for a new place to stay can be exhausting, especially when you have a smaller budget. As a result, sometimes, a lot of us seal the deal with the landlords when we notice that the place fits our budget, without taking a look at the apartment at first. Don’t make that mistake because you will be up for a lot of surprises later. A general rule for an apartment is that the bigger the place, the better. However, if you find yourself struggling to find an affordable larger apartment within your budget, always make sure that there is enough storage space for all your belongings, including clothes and study materials, before renting the place. If you plan to study from home during the pandemic lockdown, renting a place with a separate study room might be a better choice if you can afford it.
Look at reviews for any problems with noise or cleanliness.
In this era of technology where wifi completes the air, an authentic online review is all you need to determine whether a place is worth renting or not. The person showing you the apartment might be telling you that it’s all sunshine and rainbows, but you are smarter than that! Search for online reviews from people who had lived there before at different renting sites that focus on Leicester. If you are lucky enough to meet the previous tenant, ask them about the issues they faced and the reason for moving out. You are most likely to come across some facts which will help you assess the place better.
Beware of your landlord too! Sometimes if it’s not the place, it’s the landlord who can make your life miserable. Enquire if the landlord fixes apartment issues like pests, plumbing, water supply, electrical appliances, etc. Ask his permission before making any changes to the apartment, like drilling for hanging photos. Make sure your landlord is a good fit for you.
Are there any parks around you?
Sometimes apartments can be suffocating. Hence you might want to check if your apartment building has a lobby or a roof. If you like outdoor activities or studying outside, look for any parks or coffee shops near you. Socialize with your neighbours. All of these will make your stay in Leicester memorable.
Take Note of How Close You Will Be to Your University if Living Off-campus
Be aware of how far away from campus you will be living. Some people prefer to live closer while others prefer to have more space. On top of that, unnecessary commuting is an additional cost and time commitment that adds up over time. You should also pay attention to the commuting facilities near your apartment.
There are two main bus stations in Leicester- St. Margaret’s Bus Station and Haymarket Bus Station. Buses usually operate every fifteen minutes. Therefore, make sure to educate yourself about the bus or train timings around you in case you have to use them.
Check for Amenities That are Included in the Room Rate, Such As Kitchen or Laundry Facilities
Before you decide to move into any accommodation, you must check if they include all utilities. Sometimes students can find themselves paying for water bills and electricity usage when these things come with rent but not trash pickup or internet access in their apartment accommodations!
To be clear, this is not to say you should avoid units where utilities are not included in rent – just know what kind of services are included before signing up, so there aren’t any unpleasant surprises later down the line.
Are You Comfortable With Sharing the Apartment With People?
Roommates will always make the rent cost-friendly. However, finding a roommate who sees eye to eye with you is a tough job. You are lucky if you have best friends who go to the same university as you. Sharing your apartment with them should be a piece of cake.
However, if that’s not the case, here is what you can do. If you already have someone in mind from your class and you don’t know how to approach them in person, text them on WhatsApp. Since it’s a big decision, it will allow him/her to think about it. Once you have approached them, ask them to make their decision by a certain time. This way, you won’t be left hanging and have time to take other measures if necessary. If they decline you, don’t be disheartened. There can be so many reasons behind their decision. Also, there are still lots of good potential roommates out there.
In another scenario, you might have a roommate whom you don’t like. In that case, if the person is reliable, tidy, and pays the rent on time, you might have to make some adjustments. If the squabbles are petty, try to look the other way. Adjustment is key here – and a great life lesson! Besides, after lectures, jobs, exams, social activities, and holidays, you hardly see your roommate.
However, there are limits to adjustments. Remember, you live here too. You will be paying the rent too. Therefore, if the person makes you feel uncomfortable and unsafe in your apartment, always stand up for yourself and take measures if necessary.
Find out how much it costs per month and compare this with renting privately in Leicester city center.
You may have to pay a deposit lower than your rent amount. This is taken as a safety deposit by the landlord which will be returned after you move out and have abided by all of its terms for an early departure, including returning this security in case there are any damages incurred during your time in the apartment.
Carefully read the lease agreement and note all of its details. The length of your tenancy, move in or move out dates. Should you need them to be flexible, contact the owner. Check if the utilities such as electricity and gas bills are included in the rent. If not, how much does it cost extra per month for use on top of your rent payment each month, and whether there are any additional charges mentioned or not?
Don’t be reluctant about reading the lease agreement before signing. Make sure you understand everything thoroughly. Don’t sign anything you are not comfortable with. Discuss it with the landlord and reason with them until you come to an agreement that you are okay with.
Beware of scams on craigslist! Do not send money for accommodation before meeting the owner in person or seeing your new apartment. Regardless of which option you choose, be sure it’s a comfortable and safe place that is welcoming to all roommates – this will help make your stay with Leicester an enjoyable one!
Enjoy the journey of renting your place and take it as a learning experience instead of stressing about it. Know that if anything goes wrong, you can always start over and relocate.
Luciana joined our team as a mum blogger in 2020. A dedicated mum to a lively daughter and a dog, Luna, Luciana brings authenticity and passion to every post. Her expertise in parenting and lifestyle topics offers practical, relatable advice for real-life situations.