Student housing agencies are insisting students get a good deal despite rents increasing as much as £7 a week at one of Lincoln’s most popular private student halls.
A standard en-suite room at Brayford Quays will increase from £73 to £81 a week next year, at The Junxion prices are increasing from £85.95 to £89.95 a week and at Hayes Wharf from £80 to £85 but The Pavilions are freezing their prices at £85.95. The University halls of residence are awaiting confirmation about next year’s prices but are currently £91 a week.
Brayford Quay’s accommodation manager Lesley Mawson blames growing utility bills for the £368 a year price rise but insists that students are still getting good value for money.
“We managed to keep our prices down last year but now even people at home are facing higher rent. All of our 336 rooms will have tenants in next year so I feel we are still competitive. Internet and all costs are included and we have a 24 hour helpline and a night security guard too to make students feel safe,” said Mawson.
Student Ruth Booker, who has lived at Brayford for two years has mixed feelings about the accommodation.
She said: “The rooms are modern and it is nice having your own bathroom but the internet always seems to be down when you’ve got a hand-in, and I got stuck in the lift last year! I was in the lift for an hour but Lesley was really comforting and talked me through it.”
With two children who have been to University, Mawson knows some of the problems the students have.
“I like to think we provide a friendly service and find myself and staff have a good relationship with students. On top of this we plan to spend money on making some improvements in the courtyard area and are even hoping for a common room.”
To make a comparison: a small one bedroom flat or studio apartment in Lincoln of a similar standard would cost between £87.50 and £100 a week. However, this is not in the city centre and there are often electricity and water metres used.
The Lincoln manager of Club Easy student accommodation, Tess Hebblewhite, added that private landlords can be less understanding.
She said: “We know students rely on loans so we schedule our rent instalments around the time students get their loans. We also offer a five per cent discount if they pay up front and if they have any problems and are open with us we can put rent payments back a month”.
There is a wide range of student accommodation available in Lincoln with cheaper halls are available. The University halls offer a 40 week contract so students can save money if they are at home over the summer. As well as this there are a lot of houses available for rent in the city. If you can get your friends organised rooms are available from just over £50 a week.
If you have thought about living as a couple a good deal for 2009/10 is a studio apartment at The Pavilions. With two people living there they start at less than £50 each per week.
There is a lot to consider when choosing accommodation so it is not a last minute job. The University advises students to take time to shop around and find the place that best suits you.
All of the agents have websites and it is also important to make time to visit the place you choose as pictures don’t tell you everything.