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Student Accommodation

 

Guide to finding accomodation in Brighton 2017/18

Brighton and Hove is a vibrant and multicultural ‘city by the sea’. It boasts a relaxed, cosmopolitan air, buzzing nightlife and thriving culture.

City College’s Central Campus on Pelham Street is located right in the heart of Brighton. Eating out, shopping, culture and of course one of the most famous beaches in the country are just a few minutes walk from our central campus.
Brighton is considered to be one of the most dynamic and exciting cities in the country and with good reason. We have international festivals, major theatres, four cinemas, Championship football and County cricket, a city marathon, beach life and an unrivalled relaxed cosmopolitan atmosphere. There are also areas of tranquillity including city centre parks, the grounds surrounding the Pavilion and the famous beach.

Brighton is also a popular university city and, as such, demand for student accommodation is unsurprisingly high. It is therefore vital that you do not leave your accommodation search to the last minute. City College Brighton and Hove does not have halls of residence which means you will be looking to rent in the private sector. This guide aims to point you in the right direction and help you on your way to finding a place that suits your needs.

Living at Home

If you are local to the area you may like to continue living at home. If you choose this option, don’t worry, you won’t be the only one. Around one third of our students studying an undergraduate degree live at home. If you choose this option you’re likely to save money. You can still join in all the campus events and you’ll have plenty of opportunities to make new friends and experience student life to the full.

Please note: The services listed in the following sections have not been visited or vetted in any way by City College Brighton and Hove and you should therefore use them at your own risk. Make sure you are fully aware of Terms and Conditions before entering into any agreements. There is no requirement for letting agents to be registered with a regulatory body. However, registration with professional bodies such as the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) or the National Approved Lettings Scheme (NALS) is something to look out for.

Independent Accommodation Adviser

City College applicants can access the services of Jackie Phillips, an independent accommodation adviser, who has a wealth of experience and knowledge in finding properties for students in the Brighton area. Jackie charges a one-off admin fee which includes finding suitable accommodation and helping with any problems, should they arise, during your tenancy. She deals with both private landlords and letting agents who keep properties specifically for the educational institutions she supports. She can provide you with information on accommodation in the local area including flat and house shares, bedsits and, occasionally, host family accommodation. She is also well placed to link together people who are looking for shared accommodation. Find out more about the services Jackie offers by contacting her directly on 01273 493409 or email her jke.phillips@btinternet.com. Please bear in mind that Jackie is likely to be very busy towards the start of term so the earlier you can secure her services, the better.

If you do not wish to use this service and prefer to be more independent then the following information gives you a good alternative selection of other ways to find your perfect accommodation.

Private Halls of Residence

There are two in Brighton, both within easy walking distance of the main City College campus.

‘Abacus House’, Prodigy Living
www.prodigy-living.co.uk/abacus-house

‘Sawmills’, CRM Students
www.crm-students.com/crm-accommodation/brighton/sawmills/

Property Websites

Locally available accommodation can be found on these websites.

www.accommodationforstudents.com
www.studenthousesonline.com
www.padsforstudents.co.uk
www.uk.easyroommate.com/south-east/east-sussex/brighton-and-hove-flatshare
www.theargus.co.uk/property
www.fish4lettings.co.uk
www.findaproperty.com
www.latesthomes.co.uk
www.ineedaplace.co.uk
www.rightmove.co.uk
www.zoopla.co.uk
www.friday-ad.co.uk
www.sturents.com/student-accommodation/brighton/
 

Things to think about

• Register for free property alerts straight to your email or your phone. Use the ‘listed in the last 24 hours’ option on the search screen. This will show you the newest properties so you don’t waste time looking at properties that have already gone.
• Always exercise caution, particularly if using a site such as Gumtree. Never send any personal ID info or money online before seeing a property and meeting the landlord/agent – be aware of scams involving transfer services like Western Union.
• Rightmove, in particular, has a separate student section and also contains useful guides on aspects such as deposits and tenancy contracts.
• Make a good impression on your landlord/agent by dressing smartly and turning up on time – this could stand you in good stead if there is competition for a particular property.

House Shares

Facebook can be a good way to find people who are starting University at the same time as you. As a starting point, send a request to join the ‘CCB Freshers 2016’ group. You can use this facility to post information about yourself, the type of housing you are looking for and also any rooms that you or others may know of which are available for rent. Also use this group as a way of getting to know your new fellow students.

You can also find a number of existing house shares in Brighton where you can potentially join an already established group of people. Have a look at

www.accommodationforstudents.com
www.spareroom.co.uk

for example, to see what’s available.

Things to think about

• How many people? The more people sharing a property, the cheaper the bills. However, this could also mean more disagreements, noise and competition for the best rooms!

• Friends and relationships. Are your potential housemates in couples? This could affect how people expect to pay bills and share house resources. What if a housemate allows a friend to stay on the sofa – how will this go down?

• Cleanliness. If you’re very tidy, how will you get on sharing a property with someone who is completely the opposite?

• Bills. Think about how bills will be split, particularly for basics. Eg. Will you have a communal jar for things like cleaning products and toilet rolls?

Letting Agents

There are several agencies in Brighton specialising in student accommodation. Be aware that there is no requirement for letting agents to be registered with a regulatory body. However, registration with professional bodies such as the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) or the National Approved Lettings Scheme (NALS) is something to look out for.

A simple search on the internet will provide you with details of all available letting agents.

Things to think about

• When entering into a rental agreement you will be entering into a legally binding agreement so it’s worth taking your time and carefully considering your options.

• You may be asked to put down a holding deposit to secure the accommodation – don’t do this until you know for sure what the conditions are for getting your money back should you need to.

• Don’t sign anything until you are confident all your finances are in place and you can afford any upfront charges as well as your monthly rent and bills.

• If you are asked to pay a holding deposit then ensure that this is offset against the balance of your damage deposit or deducted from the rent.

• Ask as many questions are you can think of about the property and the tenancy, eg. If bills are included.

• The cheapest agent isn’t necessarily the most professional so a good idea is to check online for reviews of their service. Try www.whichpad.com which has reviews from students of the agents they’ve rented through which could be helpful. Bear in mind, however, that if people have a good service they will post a review much less often than if they feel they have had a bad service. Be objective when using reviews as sometimes someone may have had unrealistic expectations that could not be met.

• Make a good impression on your landlord/agent by dressing smartly and turning up on time – this could stand you in good stead if there is competition for a particular property.

• You can get a tenancy agreement checked by an informed person such as an advisor from the Citizens Advice Bureau. Think twice about signing about anything that needs to be done there and then.

• Above all, use your common sense – if it’s too good to be true, it most probably is.

Temporary Accommodation

There are many hotels and hostels offering cheap rooms in the Brighton/Hove area.
Look at www.visitbrighton.com/accommodation for suggestions or for a full list of hostels in the city, please phone the VisitBrighton call centre on 01273 290337 or email visitor.info@visitbrighton.com.

Determining your budget

Don’t underestimate what it’s going to cost you.

www.studentcalculator.org is a budgeting calculator and will help you work out what you can afford as well as providing you with case studies.

As a guide, average costs in Brighton during 2016 were as follows:

If you live in private accommodation the Average weekly costs/ Average annual costs are:

Shared house (per person) - £120–125/ £6,240–£6,500
1-bed flat - £165+/ £8,580+
Contents insurance - £1.50/ £78
Gas, electricity, television licence, water - £14/ £728

Remember, these figures are likely to be higher for 2017.