Living in Halls – Top Tips to find Private Accommodation

Some pointers for finding accomodation!

Birds eye view of buildings in a urban area.

Once you’ve received your acceptance to Strathclyde the hunt for a place to stay in Glasgow is often the next logical step. There are lots of options in the city for both undergraduate and postgraduate students. The most obvious is University provided accommodation on campus but if you are looking to rent privately or stay at private university accommodation here are some top tips.

Top Tip 1 – Start Early

Once you’ve been accepted or decide you’d like to move to a privately rented space, accommodation should be up there on your list of priorities to sort out before you arrive in the city for the new academic year. This is true if you are a student living in halls already, elsewhere in the UK or live further afield.

The city is larger than it first appears with areas like Merchant City, Finnieston, Townhead, the West and the East End all popular with university students. The city is home to three different universities so there is definitely some competition depending on the area you choose.

If you start early the chances of finding the place right for you are high and the longer you wait the more likely you are to have to sacrifice some of the things you desire in your new accommodation.

Top Tip 2 – Share the costs

If you can find someone to share the monthly cost of renting privately, I would highly recommend it. This is easy enough if you a current 1st year student moving out of halls with friends but may be harder for incoming students or even international students who want to rent private accommodation.

To start to find like-minded people to share costs with, try group chats or Facebook groups with students in a similar situation to you. At Strathclyde there is the International Student Facebook page which you can find here as well as an elected International Student Officer whose details can be found here. They can connect you to other students or offer advice on looking for accommodation having been through the same experience.

I can also vouch for the website Spare Room as a great way to look at ads for those with a spare room in their place or in need of a buddy to flat share a place with. It helped me secure accommodation while I was stuck on exchange at the start of the pandemic and resulted in a great roommate who I now share my flat with.

Top Tip 3 – Know your rights

As students renting private accommodation can be somewhat of a confusing process if you have never done it before. Even those who have done it before can be caught out with things.

That is why it is important to read contracts before you sign them and have someone else double check it too. It is also vital if you rent privately in a partially furnished place to take pictures of the space and any damage that already exists when you first move in.

This year’s VP Welfare Benn alongside student renters launched the Greater Glasgow Student Tenants Union to empower student tenants across Glasgow. You can find out more about the campaign here and like their Facebook page here.

For more top tips and advice when it comes to housing check out the Advice Hub Housing page here.

Written by student journalist Emily