If you are on the search for student housing, Selly Oak, is the place to look. However, as there is so much accommodation for students of University of Birmingham, it can be hard to pick out the right one for you. The last thing you want is to make the wrong choice and then be stuck paying rent on a student flat you don’t like with people you don’t like for a year of Uni or more.

That’s why we have put together this post that will help you find the right student lets in Birmingham for you.

Housemates

Although you may want to get out there and look at actual properties, it makes sense when choosing student flats in Birmingham to think about who your ideal housemates will be. Remember, you are going to be sharing with these people for at least a year and possibly more if you decide to renew the rental agreement. Think about whether you want the flat to be all boys, all girls, or a mixed bag.

Think About Your Budget

You need to be careful to keep your expectations and desires under control when looking at student properties. The last thing you need is getting carried away with the different types of student accommodation available. Figure out what you, and your soon-to-be housemates can afford and stay within that limit. As well as the deposit and rent for the accommodation, think about utility bills, your food, social life, and transportation.

Consider the Available Different Types of Property

Do you want to live in a big, shared house or would you prefer to rent a flat with a balcony and other features? This will likely be dictated by the budget you have available.

Make Sure You All Understand and Agree With the Contract and Tenancy Agreement

If you’ve found an agency or landlord and found the perfect property, you may think it’s plain sailing from therein and that you don’t need to do anything else. Wrong! You, and any other people who may be signing up to stay in the same accommodation as you, need to look carefully at the contract and tenancy agreement that you and the landlord need to sign. Make sure you understand who is responsible for what in the property, as this is where a lot of disputes can occur. For example, who is responsible for the garden and who is responsible for things like the boiler or other appliances? Don’t sign anything until you are fully aware of what you are signing up for.

 

How to Find the Best Student Housing?

University life opens up new avenues for you as it opens the gates to adult life. Moving out of your parents’ house and scouting a decent living situation for yourself is the first step to becoming an adult. While it gives you the much-awaited freedom, if you do not make the right pick regarding your housing, it can easily turn into a nightmare. You have to constantly juggle between studies and living on your own. Hence, making necessary arrangements that you can fall back on at the end of a busy day is imperative. It is every bit as exciting to live on your own as you had imagined if you can find your ideal student housing. We bring you a bunch of extremely helpful tips that will direct you towards finding the best student housing within your budget.

Deciding the Kind of Housing You Want

Rather than going into discussions with all concerned authorities and getting yourself into a rut, it is ideal that you decide the kind of living situation you will be most comfortable with. This way you will have a list that is narrowed down, and you will save yourself the hassle of getting confused. There are on-campus and off-campus housing available for students. On-campus housing is provided by the university and are mostly dorm rooms shared by a group of people chosen arbitrarily. These are good if you are on a tight budget and are comfortable with the dorm rules. However, if you want more freedom, facilities and convenience, then finding off-campus private housing services will be ideal. You can share a house or an apartment with a group of friends and avail for facilities like internet, room heating, cooking facilities, TV and much more. Off-campus housing rates are a bit higher given the amenities you are provided with. Make your decision depending on your budget, your preferences and the kind of facilities you want.

Compare Rates and Reviews

Be it University housing or off-campus housing, make sure you talk to people who have had firsthand experience with the living situation. Prices vary according to the facilities that you are offered. For instance, both on-campus and off-campus housing might have extra charges for internet, gas, parking and so on. You must compare the rates of additional facilities of similar housing services and opt for the best pricing. In order to get into the thick of things and to do the best research, log on to the official websites and do a thorough reading of the policies, view the gallery for pictures of the housing vicinity, and read the reviews of the tenant. If possible, contact a current tenant of each of the housing facility that you have narrowed down. This will help you figure out authentic details regarding the pros and cons of living in that particular place. You must also make a detailed list of the base rates and additional charges of potential housings to narrow down the perfect one according to your needs. We do not advice you to go either for the cheapest one or the costliest one because everyone’s necessities and budgets vary. Finding a middle-ground is the best way to go.

Make a Visit in Person for Quality Check

The pictures on websites and other social media platforms are always glamorous because of marketing purposes. Even if you have heard good things about the housing facilities, visiting in person for a quality check is a must. If you are making an investment, you should see for yourself what you are getting into. Talking one-on-one with the concerned authorities and clearing up doubts about rent, amenities, rules and regulations will help mitigate any surprises during the course of your stay. If it is absolutely not feasible for you to make a visit, may be a friend could help and show you the place digitally.

These are a few tips from our end to help you make the right decision while picking the best housing. The first few steps into your adult life should be the most memorable ones for the right reasons. Do your research, be thorough and be prepared while hunting for housing, and you will thank us later!

Is Birmingham a good place to be a student?  

Situated at the heart of the country, Birmingham is one of the most culturally rich, diverse, and a modern city with a glorious historical and intellectual heritage. “Brum”, as the locals call it, has plenty to offer- from the charming and quintessential English countryside to the facilities and convenience of the city life. Birmingham is green, comprises professional communities, affordable and hosts every aspect of comfort that a student can ask for. Let us walk you through some of the top reasons why you should consider Birmingham if you are a student.

Good universities

The second largest city in the UK is home to the top five universities in the country. Names like the University of Birmingham, Birmingham City University, Newman University, Aston University and University College Birmingham are the biggest ones in the city. These universities provide global exposure to students across the world. Partnered with the best industries, these universities provide top-tier internships and maximum placements to their students. Birmingham is considered as the education hub of the country, and is therefore a top pick amongst researchers and students pursuing higher education.

Lots of entertainment

You will never run out of things to do or places to visit when you are in Birmingham. You’ll get an opportunity to meet people from all over the world over shared interests. At Birmingham, you will never be starved of entertainment and it will not burn a hole in your pocket. If you are an art connoisseur you will feel at home at the Birmingham Art Gallery and Museum. Peruse through the most extensive pre-Raphaelite art collection, and don’t forget to visit their Edwardian Tearooms!

Digbeth, also known as UK’s coolest neighbourhood, is home to the Custard Factory. The Custard factory, located at the heart of Digbeth, is full of independent design studios, digital agencies and pop ups. You could also make a visit to the Digbeth Dinning Club, and other independent craft-beer bars and restaurants. You could simply walk through the streets of the neighbourhood to witness some of the most creative and profound wall arts and graffities.

Birmingham is nothing if not scenic. On days when you wish to take a break from studying, strolling around parks and canals could also make for a great pastime. Birmingham actually has more canals than Venice! With over 8,000 acres worth of park and open space, Birmingham is one of the greenest cities in the UK. Find your own little nook to chill out during those afternoon study breaks.

Cheaper costs of living and transportation

Birmingham is teeming with housing facilities and well-connected transportation. All of which are affordable and make for a great option for students living on a budget. Rent in Birmingham is 65% lesser than that in London. Moreover, the government allows international students to pursue a job for sustenance during an academic year. The city is an industrial hub and booming with potential. If you want to work part-time to support your academic and accommodation costs, then you will find a suitable job or internship in no time. The work ethic and culture also make for the top reasons why students are drawn to Birmingham.

Culturally diverse

Birmingham is a welcoming city with a history of cultural diversity and heritage. Finding a community that makes you feel rooted and at home is essential for any student, but more so for international students. Birmingham is a cosy home to diverse cultures and ethnicities all over the world. All faiths and beliefs are well represented in the city with over 650 diverse religious institutions and places of worship. Studying in Birmingham is truly an enriching and life-changing experience.

Birmingham is preferred by students across the UK and all over the world for the class-apart educational facilities that the city has to offer. It is also considered the youngest city in Europe with 60% of the population belonging to the age group 25 and less. Teeming with opportunities, and affordability of housing and transportation, Birmingham welcomes students with arms wide open. From top-tier education to good food, drinks and social life- Brum has it all. If you want to experience student life at its finest, do consider Birmingham.

When you are in the market for student housing, Selly Oak Birmingham is a great place to consider rental accommodation for students Birmingham University. With such a wide variety of students lets in Birmingham, though, you may find it tricky and more than a little overwhelming to choose the best one. To give you a helping hand and a nudge in the right direction, we are going to look at some of the most important things you need to look for when choosing student flats in Birmingham.

To do this we are going to consider each area of the average accommodation.

Shared Space

The first thing you need to consider when looking at the shared spaces of any student accommodation is that there is enough room for everyone. Although you are likely going to have to compromise to some extent, you want to make sure you are all going to be comfortable enough for the duration of the time you are house sharing together.

You also need to check that all the mod cons are supplied, or you will have some expensive purchases to make. Some landlords tend to avoid investing and supplying certain appliances because they know it's their responsibility to sort out repairs when they are needed. So always check that appliances like a washing machine, microwave, oven and even television are included in the rental price and agreement.

The Bedrooms

As the bedrooms are going to be your own and your housemate’s personal spaces you need to make sure they meet several important criteria.

You are probably going to spend a lot of time in there studying, so it should have enough room for a desk in addition to a bed and storage.

Last but not least when it comes to the bedroom, it needs to be a place where you will feel comfortable spending time there.

Bathroom

In a shared house, although it’s not always possible, it’s a good idea to choose one with more than one bathroom. The last thing you want is to have disputes and fall ours because of the length of time you all spend in the shower.

On the subject of showers, we would suggest that when looking at student properties in Birmingham, one of the non-negotiables should be at least one working shower. You may feel uncomfortable checking this, but there is no need to be scared to ask about the shower during the viewing. As anyone reading this who has had experience with a temperamental shower in the past will vouch for, it is not fun when you are trying to get ready in the morning, but the shower keeps switching from cold to hot erratically or is just not powerful enough. If it doesn’t meet your preferences you could ask about it being repaired, replaced, or even upgraded.

 

“Annus horribilis” was the expression used by the Queen in 1992 when describing a year in which 3 of her children’s marriages failed and on top of that, there was a massive fire at Windsor Palace.

This past year could also be described in the same way due to the Covid pandemic which has had a devastating effect on students’ health and well-being.

The Prime Minister announced the 1st lockdown in March 2020 and so students were pressured into an immediate decision. “Do we go home during this lockdown or do we stay in Birmingham ?”.

At Unipads, we had a mixed response from our tenants. Some students went home and some stayed. Those who went home then had to come back in order to clear out their rooms prior to the end of the tenancy.

During those first few Covid months, Unipads took part in several online zoom meetings and chats with other landlords to discuss a whole range of subjects. The major topics were “what will happen in September 2020 ?”. “Will the University open for business ?”. “Will lectures be online or can they be face-to-face ?”. So many questions and so few answers.

The next subject for serious discussion arrived in early October and Unipads, just like other landlords and agents were faced with the dilemma with regards to viewings for the following year’s tenancies. How can viewings take place safely ? How can the 2 metre social distancing rule be applied in a small terraced house ? How will six students be able to view a six bedroom house safely ?

We decided to manufacture a face mask with our Unipads logo on the front and we distributed these to every Unipads house. Our viewings were carried out with safety being the overriding priority. Our tenants were incredibly helpful and understanding of the situation. Some residents stepped out into the back garden during viewings whereas others gathered into one bedroom in order to lessen the risk of infection. Every student viewing was asked to wear a mask and also to hand sanitise as they entered the property.

Where has time gone ?

It is now almost one year later and very soon we will be carrying out viewings for the 2022/23 academic year. It seems likely that the same precautions we took last year will need to be observed this year.

Safety must be our main concern and at Unipads, this will remain our overriding priority.

We are already receiving enquiries from university students for accommodation for the 2022-23 year...our properties in Selly Oak will be released in the next few weeks so please keep checking the website! If you can't wait that long feel free to drop us an email or call the Unipads Team!

 

The tenants in our Unipads properties are experiencing very testing times and we have been most impressed so far with the resilience that is being shown by them.

 

It cannot be a lot of fun being stuck indoors and almost every couple of days my Unipads colleagues are hearing about another house where someone has tested positive and so they have to isolate for a certain period. That then affects the rest of the house as well.

 

Not much fun !! but there is no choice other than to accept things as they are and make the most of it. If you have to be stuck in at home then a Unipads house is the best place to be.

 

When we created Unipads, it was at a time when student housing was generally not very inviting and we decided then to do our little bit to improve standards generally.

 

To give you an idea:

 

1. Landlords did not provide lounge TV’s. We at Unipads were one of the first landlords to do this. I remember the first TV we supplied was a 14” box TV which sat on a stool in the lounge with an indoor aerial attached. The tenants were so grateful.

 

2.Washing machines were not provided and if they were then the tenant was responsible for the maintenance costs if the unit broke down or didn’t work. Unipads houses were amongst the first to include these in the rent and were also responsible if they broke down.

 

3. Landlords did not provide tumble dryers or dishwashers – Unipads houses were amongst the first to include these.

 

4. Not every house had double glazing in those days. Whenever we purchased a new Unipads property that was always the first thing that was corrected.

 

5. Smoke detectors were not installed in houses. This is an absolute must, so again, whenever we bought a new Unipads house, one of the first jobs was to install mains-wired detectors.

 

All this was over 20 years ago but how things have changed !!

 

Our mission at Unipads is to provide the very best possible accommodation for students in Birmingham and we think we are doing a pretty good job !!




 

 

What happens if things go wrong? Unipads have the answers.

 

More often than not, when prospective student tenants from the University of Birmingham are looking for a house in Selly Oak for the next year, they do not really think about problems that might occur in the house.

 

 

What happens if the shower stops working or if a radiator starts to leak ?

 

We, at Unipads, are aware of the importance of providing a speedy response to this type of problem and we are very proud of our record on this subject. Our trusted maintenance team are usually in the Selly Oak student area and deal with most issues within 24 hours.

 

Our suggestion to you when viewing a property is "speak to the current tenants". They will tell you about our record on the subject. Hopefully there won't have been any problems, but if there have been any, we like to think that the issue was corrected swiftly.

 

This should give you the confidence to know that a Unipads house is a safe house and that everything works properly.

 

This has been the theme suggested by Birmingham University on the subject of student housing in Selly Oak every year that we can remember. For those students looking for accommodation for next year they tell you not to rush, indeed in many cases they say "leave it until the New Year".

 

One short story tells the tale of one girl who adhered to Birmingham University's advice not to rush when she was looking for a student house in Selly Oak.

 

 

A couple of years ago, on the first day back at Uni in January she went into one of the local estate agents and all she wanted was a 5 bed house but the minimum criteria was that the house had to have 2 bathrooms.

 

 

When I saw her she was sitting there in tears having been told that all the 5 bed 2 bathroom houses had gone before Christmas. I asked her why she had left it so late to look and she told me the housing department at the University had told her so.

 

 

The bottom line is this: if you are looking for student accommodation in Selly Oak for next year follow the 3 point plan.

 

 

1. discuss with your friends how many people you want to live with.

2. set your upper budget for price.

3. check out our Unipads website for houses of your chosen size and price and select up to a maximum of 5 to view.

 

 

We will then show you our superb houses, all in Selly Oak, and you can select the one that you like the best.

You do not have to take our word for it but please believe us when we tell you that THE BEST HOUSES ALWAYS GO FIRST".

 

 

Thinking about student accommodation in Selly Oak ? Think UNIPADS 

 

 

Wow !! Where did the past year go ?

 

It doesn’t seem like 5 minutes since we were showing prospective tenants around our Selly Oak properties last year.

 

The world of student accommodation doesn’t stand still nor do we at Unipads. 

 

In the past year we have completed our magnificent development at Elliott Apartments. 

 

In the same way as an old pub on Coronation Road was turned into 6 beautiful student homes (Elliott Villas) just a couple of years ago, so an old tyre replacement garage has been turned into our state of the art Elliott Apartments on Selly Hill Road. 8 superb apartments, all with ensuite facilities, each one designed to offer the ultimate in student accommodation. 

 

Elsewhere, during this summer we are refurbishing no fewer than 5 of our houses in Selly Oak, ranging from ground floor improvements at 175 Hubert Road and 6 Rose Cottages through to a total re-design at 282 Hubert Road converting a tired, old style house into a 6 bedroom house with all en-suite bathrooms.

 

Check out the details on our Unipads website. 

 

You won’t be disappointed.

 

 

We are already receiving enquiries for the 2020-21 year...our properties will be released in the next few weeks so please keep checking the website! If you can't wait that long feel free to drop us an email or call the Unipads Team!