In the UK the UK, the majority of first-year students decide to live either in university halls or in private student accommodation, with many students opting to live in private accommodation in the second and third year.

Private student accommodation and halls for university students share many similarities. The primary distinction is that private accommodation is run by a private company, rather than by a university. Companies such as Unite, Scape and Student Living offer student-only living locations in cities across the UK.

Private student accommodation usually has impressive facilities and luxurious amenities which is why it is usually a little more expensive than the traditional halls of universities, which have more basic amenities.

Both kinds of accommodations can be a fantastic way to make new friends, but have differences in the location, cost, social life and the length of the lease.

To help make your decision simpler, here we outline the advantages and disadvantages of these two top choices for students at universities.

Location

Student halls that are not private are provided directly by universities to students attending that university. For this reason, they’re generally closer to campus. This is extremely convenient in the morning when you’re awake five minutes early for the 9am class.

Private student accommodation is likely to be located in cities that have numerous universities, for example, London, Leeds and Manchester. They are usually located within the city’s center, they attract students from universities across the city, making it a great way to get to know people from other universities. The downside is that it could be necessary to travel further to reach your classes.

It’s all about your personal preferences. If you’d rather be living in the central city with all its energy and excitement, private accommodation might be the right choice for you. If you’d prefer to be close to university buildings and campus, you may prefer living in halls of residence for students.

Costs

Private halls are run for the purpose of profit, and generally have a higher price than halls for students at universities. For this additional price, you will get modern amenities, luxurious amenities such as en-suite bathrooms, private kitchens, and an excellent position in the middle of the city.

The halls at universities are generally costlier, however they can differ in cost, based on the type of halls you prefer and the amenities that you need.

The two types of accommodation for university students can help you to avoid hidden costs as utility bills, contents insurance and cleaning of communal spaces are included in the cost.

It’s worth noting that the price of private accommodation and university halls vary based on the place of residence.

Social life

Students’ accommodation is a great way to get to know new faces because you’ll be living with between four to 12 people. In both accommodation options, you don’t get to pick who you will be living with.

However, in university halls it is common to live in more friendly halls, quiet halls or in the company of other students and universities will strive to meet your request. If you live in private rooms, you might also be able to request to live near friends or in quieter halls. In any kind of lodging, there’s no guarantee that you’ll receive your first choice.

In student residences at universities generally, you’ll be sharing the kitchen and lounge as well as a bathroom, except if you’ve chosen an ensuite.

Private accommodation may also have communal areas, which may include restaurants and lounges where you can socialise in. If you’re in search of privacy, studio apartments may be available as student accommodation, though they’ll be more expensive.

Accommodation providers could also organize regular events for residents that allow students to meet each other and socialise.

Facilities

From a grand piano in Nottingham or a renting a surfboard service in Bournemouth accommodations for private students may offer unexpected advantages. As private student accommodation is typically located in newly built or renovated buildings, they could have better facilities that are not found in standard student accommodation.

There are halls at universities that provide premium accommodations, which consist of double bed, superfast Wi-Fi and en-suite bathrooms. There’s also the option to select between uncatered and catered, where catered gives you the option of a certain amount to spend on food at campus.

In the majority of cases, student accommodations come with Wi-Fi and a communal area. However, typically, the amenities in private Leicester uni accommodation will be of higher quality and include twin beds, on-site gyms and high-speed Wi-Fi.

You get what you pay for, and the more expensive halls – both private and non-private – will generally have more amenities.

How long are you allowed to stay?

Although standard university accommodation may allow you to choose between staying for 40 weeks (September to June) or 52 weeks (September to September) Private accommodations may have longer periods, meaning you’ll have to pay all 52 weeks.

Learn the terms of the rental before making a decision.