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Novel Student

Deciding When to Book Uni Accommodation

11 February 2022

So, you’ve applied for your chosen university and have been offered a place on your course – now, your thoughts are on when to book uni accommodation. 

There are multiple options to choose from when it comes to the types of accommodation available to students. For those who are moving to a new city (or country) and not living at home, most first-year students will choose to live in either private halls or university accommodation. 


Choosing the Right Accommodation

Before it’s time to apply for student accommodation it’s important to research and think about what’s important to you. 

Living in halls is often the first time most students will live away from home. Making sure you choose the right option is important as it can have such a huge impact on your student experience. 

Here are some important things to consider when deciding on your student housing: 


Before submitting your accommodation application be sure to check out where it is situated.  

If you visit your university for an open day, weigh up your accommodation options and try to visit the area. This way you can make an informed decision on where exactly you want to be located. 

How close it is to your campus/ lecture theatres will make all the difference to your daily schedule. 

Added travel time means there is less time to study, socialise and even sleep. 

Ideally, if your student room is not within walking distance of your university it should be well connected by public transport. Easy access to both university and the wider city will make your student experience much easier.

Location is also important in terms of other amenities in the area. You’ll be spending potentially the next 3 or 4 years here. Research the best restaurants, bars, shops and cultural offerings that are nearby. 

All our Novel buildings are within close proximity to the Cities main universities and City Centres, check out the “nearby” section on each of our property pages.



As important as what’s nearby is, you also need to consider what facilities are available in your uni accommodation. 

Things such as onsite-gyms and laundry facilities are a huge benefit and will free up travel time to and from them. 

Consider what essentials your accommodation provides for example in the kitchen or bedroom. This way you won’t have to buy things such as kettles or storage unnecessarily. 

Double-check what bills are included (if any) in your rent. Usually, student accommodation covers the cost of electricity and water and will file council tax exemptions. However,  you’ll still need to pay for your own TV licence and contents insurance. 



Often student accommodation providers will have a range of mixed flats and studio apartments. 

In the UK shared flats typically consist of your bedroom and shared communal spaces like the kitchen and living room.  

It is a great way to meet people as soon as you start university. From the day you arrive,  you’ll have people to explore your brand new city with. 

A dealbreaker for some people can be sharing a bathroom. So, be sure if you want to live in a mixed flat to see if there are en suite facilities or not. 

Alternatively, studio apartments offer complete privacy. If opting for a studio, look into whether the accommodation building itself hosts social space or events. This way you can still easily meet new people.


Other Special Requirements

When making your application it’s important to make clear any special requirements. For example with disabilities or specific dietary needs,  your chosen student housing will be able to consider them so that you have the best experience possible. 


The Best Time to Book 

New Students

Starting your research early means you can decide and apply for your chosen accommodation as quickly as possible. 

If you have an unconditional offer we’d recommend getting in your application as soon as possible. 

Searching early means that you get the most options of availability and you’re more likely to secure your firm choice (it’s also a good idea to book early because you’re likely to get access to early booking offers, just like our early bird booking offer which offers up £350).


After Your First Year 

Accommodations including Novel will often provide discounts and incentives for early bookers. 

As soon as you’ve figured out what you want to do housing-wise after the first year we’d recommend enquiring about your chosen property. 

If moving in with your friends, booking early will ensure you can secure a flat of the right size. 

There are often group booking discounts available. Booking early also means you will also get the best choice of floor, view, layout etc. 

Other Information

Most accommodation providers will require a security deposit which is refundable at the end of your tenancy. At Novel we require a holding despot which is equivalent to one weeks rent and it is then abducted from your rental payment. 

Before signing a tenancy agreement remember to read the small print. Most accommodation providers will outline guidelines on what you can/cannot bring with you. As well as further information on things such as parking restrictions and health and safety protocol. 


Novel is a provider of student accommodation centred around one thing – creating communities of happier healthier students. 

In prime locations, they offer everything from incredible wellness services, to free weekday grab and go breakfasts. 

Start your university accommodation journey with Novel today. 

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