For the first year of university, most students will live in university run accommodation on campus. Generally, (except for perhaps a lucky few) the majority of students will leave university halls for their second year and seek other accommodation. This usually comes in the form of a shared flat or house but recently another option has become available – private student halls.
These halls are very similar to those that most students live in during their first year. They are operated by a student housing company instead of university staff. These flats are normally 2-5 bedrooms with a living room and kitchen, or for those who enjoy more privacy, there is the option of studio apartments. These rooms can be booked by students online or over the phone and rent can be paid in yearly or termly instalments depending on what suits you best (and in some cases, no deposit is required).
A major perk for many students living in private accommodation is the fact that there are no added bills to pay. Most private student housing companies include heating, Wi-Fi and electricity into the price of your rent (no matter how much you use it) so there’s no need to worry about bills racking up in the winter! Also, with a shared house or flat the cost of rent may be greatly lower (we all know what St. Andrews prices can be like) so perhaps it may be worth the added effort of splitting bills if the cost of rent is significantly lower.
Also, as stated above, private halls are very similar to university halls. There are very little differences between the two, so it may be worth staying at university ran accommodation if you can.
In saying this, be prepared to pay for car parking if you take a car on campus. Often, unlike university accommodation which does not require a parking fee, you will have an additional parking charge added on top of your overall rent. Usually this is due to a lack of parking spaces and part of a wider scheme to encourage students not to take their cars with them to university. The cost can range anywhere from £100 to £250 for the year, so it’s important to keep this in mind. It may be significantly cheaper to park your car on a street nearby or in one of the university’s car parks, such as the David Russell Apartments.
Additionally, these private halls always have staff on site to assist you. Much like university halls, there is an office on-site with staff to help you with everything from maintenance, re-booking, planning events, and parcel deliveries. This gives you the support you expect from halls without the annoyance of monthly room inspections and random warden visits. This is perhaps the biggest inconvenience that comes with living in a flat as you will have to arrange parcel deliveries and re-booking alone.
Private halls and university halls can provide students with the security they need for those who do not feel quite ready to tackle all the responsibilities that come with private letting!