Feature

Student Accomodation in Brighton and Hove

accomodation in brighton

How to find the good student accommodation in Brighton, even at short notice.

WHERE you live affects HOW you live, so it’s important to get good accommodation sorted out. That can be especially daunting if you’re moving out of home for the first time, or moving to a new city like Brighton where you don’t necessarily know the area or have contacts, a support network, etc.

WaterBear values its students’ wellbeing and welfare, so here are some top tips on getting some quality, cost-effective accommodation in Brighton.

WaterBear’s Education Director, Bruce John Dickinson spoke to Dan Lyons from BAA (Brighton Accommodation Agency) to get his top 5 tips on how to secure accommodation in this vibrant city. Dan Lyons is a musician himself so fully understands the needs of musicians as students and gives us the inside story.

TIP 1: Pool Your Resources – Consider Shared House Options

One good strategy is to get a group of fellow students together. That will make renting and house sharing more financially viable. Shared houses are often the cheapest and most cost-effective option. Aiming for a house share between 3-6 bedrooms works well; the more bedrooms in the house, the less each person will pay per room.

An HMO is a house of multiple occupancy. HMO is a house of multiple occupancy. Each HMO must be licensed for this, and Brighton and Hove city council are very hot on this, so be sure to check the terms and legalities, and that you’ve got an HMO licence.

That sounds pretty bleak, right? So what can we do about it?

Pick the right people to share with. What you want are people who get on with each other, who’ll play their part in the running of the shared accommodation, pull their weight with bills and housework, who you might want to hang out and socialise with (though housemates may want their own space and privacy too). You might also pool resources and share cooking duties too, which can save money, buying food in bulk.

TIP 2: (From Bruce) Pick the Right Letting Agent

Letting agents act on behalf of a landlord and the landlord generally pays for this service, but they may also charge you fees.

Letting agents will help you find suitable properties to rent. They’ll have properties on their books and should help you match them to your requirements and budget. Search facilities are often available on companies’ websites.

Find the right letting agent. Someone like Dan and the BAA who likes and is used to working with students. You should get a feel for the agents – a good agent will help you find a place and be the contact and usually act as the liaison between you and the landlord

WaterBear recommends using agencies like Dan’s which are experienced in dealing with student accommodation.

Online websites like Rightmove, Zoopla, etc. can also help you search for suitable properties too.

TIP 3: Understand the Process and All the Steps Involved

Dan Lyons explains that at his agency, he will drive you around the properties and make sure you make the right choice for your needs. Remember - you will be in this property for a year, so don't rush into it!

Each person will need to provide a guarantor. If there are 6 people, there will be 6 guarantors needed.

You will all have equal liabilities for the rent, and will sign a shorthold tenancy agreement. shorthold tenancy agreement. This will make you jointly liable for the property.

Once you have signed your contracts, the agency will make sure the property is clean and tidy and you’ll be given your move-in date and payment schedule.

Deposits are usually paid a month before the move-in date, depending on which agency you are with. Deposits need to be registered with ‘My Deposits – DPS’ (the deposit protection service). This is really important because it remains your money and should be returned to you provided the property is in good repair and rent is up to date when you move out.

When you move in, you should be given a certificate to prove this. On move-in day, make sure you have been supplied with your DPC (deposit protection certificate), EPC (energy performance certificate) for the property and for a shared house make sure you see the HMO (house of multiple occupancy) licence. You should also have the gas safety certificate, if the property uses gas.

The agent or landlord will also provide an inventory. The inventory is there to describe and prove the condition and contents of the property when you move in and it will be compared with the condition and contents of the property when you move out.

Should any damage occur (e.g. you spill coffee on the carpet) don't be afraid to ask advice from the agent. They could put you in touch with cleaners, specialists and you might be able to sort the damage and get your deposit back.

TIP 4: Pick the Right Property for Your Needs

Pick the right property for your needs. For example, if you have a lot of equipment, you’ll need a big room. Think about location, facilities, shops, travel, parking and public transport.

Brighton & Hove is an excellent city, very cosmopolitan with lots of students coming here from all over the world. And everything is just a bus route away as Brighton occupies a geographically compact area.

Based at Hanover House on Queens Road in the City Centre, WaterBear is very centrally located. If however you decide to live in the city centre, you’ll be paying a lot for it! Instead, you could consider living on the outskirts and areas like Elm Grove, Falmer, Moulsecoomb, Kemp Town, Hollingdean, Coldean, Bevendean, Hanover the Lewes Road area.

Brighton has very good public transport and you can get around on busses very easily. The night bus services run all night.

TIP 5: Remember – This Isn’t Just About Bricks and Mortar…

…It’s also about a making a base and home for you as a student. It’s the hub of a support network that you put around yourself, especially while you’re setting up home and getting underway with your studies.

If you find you’re struggling, talk to someone! The team at WaterBear are always available to offer help and guidance.

Contact