Westport Property - Dundee

Can Non Students Live in Student accommodation?

14 May 2024

Student accommodations are primarily designed to provide affordable housing options for individuals enrolled in educational institutions. Living in a student accommodation is often seen as a privilege. However, student housing doesn’t always have to be for students only. In many cases, nonstudents can also live in student accommodation with a student roommate or as a part of a mixed household, while in others, student accommodation may be strictly reserved for enrolled students. However, the rules and regulations may vary privileges reserved depending on the county or institution.  In this blog post, we’ll explore the possibilities, considerations, and alternatives for non-students seeking to reside in student housing alongside enrolled students.

Understanding Student Accommodation

Student accommodation refers to housing that is specifically designed and intended for students enrolled in higher education institutions such as universities or colleges. Student housing is a kind of accommodation that university or college students may choose as an alternative to on-campus housing. Typically, student housing is located near the college’s campus or in areas of a city renowned for its affordable housing. Student accommodation typically falls into two main categories:

– University-Provided Accommodations

University-provided accommodations are directly affiliated with academic institutions. Many universities and colleges offer on-campus housing options for their students. These accommodations are owned and managed by the educational institution itself, typically reserved exclusively for enrolled students.

These accommodations can take various forms, such as halls of residence resembling apartment buildings or smaller houses. Typically, university accommodation includes a furnished bedroom, shared kitchen, and bathroom facilities. Each flat usually accommodates around five to eight bedrooms, meaning you’ll share living space with a few other students. Some places offer a choice between a shared bathroom or having your own en-suite.

Additionally, some university accommodations offer catered options, providing meals at set times, while others are self-catered, requiring you to cook for yourself. Self-catered flats generally feature a full kitchen, while catered ones may only offer basic facilities.

– Private Student Accommodations

In addition to university-provided housing, there are private student accommodations, which are owned and operated by independent companies or landlords. These can include privately run halls of residence or rooms in regular flats or houses managed by landlords or independent companies. Rent is typically paid in terms or monthly instalments, and it’s important to check whether bills are included in the rent or separately before signing any contracts.

These accommodations are tailored specifically for students, offering amenities such as shared living spaces, furnished rooms, and sometimes even meal plans. This means you might be living with students from other universities, as the halls aren’t exclusively for one institution.

In the second year of university, many students tend to opt for private accommodations. You can also ask your university for a list of recommended independent companies or landlords if you prefer not to live in university halls. This ensures you’ll be living in a property with a landlord who will take care of your needs.

Reasons Non-Students Might Want to Live in Student Housing

There are several reasons why a non-student might consider living in student accommodation with a student:

1. Affordability: Student housing is generally more affordable compared to regular rental properties in the same area, making it an attractive option for those on a tight budget. Student accommodations often offer shared living spaces, such as dormitories or apartments, which can significantly reduce the overall cost of housing. This can be particularly appealing for non-students who are just starting their careers or have limited financial resources.

2. Proximity to Campus: If the non-student is dating or in a relationship with a student, living together in student accommodation can provide convenience and easier access to the campus. This can be beneficial for couples who want to spend more time together and reduce commuting time for the student partner. Additionally, it can be a practical solution for non-student partners who work or have commitments near the university.

3. Shared Living Experience: Student accommodations often foster a sense of community and shared living experience, which can be appealing to some non-students seeking a similar lifestyle. These housing options typically offer shared common areas, social events, and opportunities for interaction with other residents. Non-students who enjoy a vibrant and social living environment may find student housing an attractive option, especially if they are looking to meet new people and expand their social circle.

4. Temporary Housing Solution: For non-students who are in transition or temporary situations, such as internships, job relocations, or short-term assignments, student housing can provide a flexible and affordable living arrangement. These accommodations often offer short-term leases or even monthly rental options, making them a convenient choice for those who need temporary housing.

5. Access to Amenities: Many student housing complexes offer amenities that may be appealing to non-students as well. These can include fitness centres, study spaces, recreational facilities, and other on-site services. While non-students may not have full access to all university resources, they can still benefit from some of the amenities available in student housing.

Considerations for Sharing Student Accommodations

While living in student accommodation as a non-student can be an attractive option, there are several important considerations to keep in mind:

1. Legal Aspects: It is crucial to ensure that the arrangement complies with local laws and regulations regarding occupancy and tenancy agreements. Some housing providers or educational institutions may have specific rules or restrictions in place regarding non-student residents.

2. Financial Implications: Non-students may be required to pay higher rent or additional fees compared to their student roommates. It is essential to understand the financial obligations and ensure that the costs are manageable.

3. Contractual Obligations: Both the student and non-student should thoroughly review and understand the terms and conditions of the housing contract. This includes potential restrictions or limitations on non-student residents, as well as rules regarding guests, noise levels, and other policies.

4. Eligibility for Student Discounts and Services: Non-students may not be eligible for certain student-exclusive discounts, services, or amenities offered by the university or housing provider. It is important to clarify what benefits and resources are available to non-student residents.

Alternatives for Non-Students

If living in student accommodation is not an option or preferred, non-students can explore alternative housing options, such as:

  1. Regular rental apartments or houses in the vicinity of the university.
  2. Shared accommodations with non-student roommates.
  3. Privately owned apartment complexes or housing communities not specifically designated for students.
  4. Sublets or short-term rentals near the campus area.

These alternatives may offer more flexibility and independence but may also come with higher costs or longer-term commitments.

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Living in student accommodation as a non-student can be a viable option for those seeking an affordable, convenient, and social living environment. However, it is essential to carefully consider the legal, financial, and contractual implications, as well as the limitations on access to certain student-exclusive resources and services. By weighing the pros and cons and understanding the specific policies of the housing provider or educational institution, non-students can make an informed decision about whether sharing student accommodations aligns with their needs and preferences.

At Westport property, we are one of the largest providers of student accommodation in Tayside and can help you find student accommodation and also other rental properties aligned with your requirements that are best suited for you. Contact us today 

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  • Adam Hutcheson
  • Meet Adam, a proud native of Dundee with over 20 years of extensive experience in the local property market. Following his tenure with national chartered surveying firms, he founded Westport Property in 2012. Specialising in all aspects of residential and commercial property, Adam holds full MRICS membership with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, alongside a CIH Level 3 certificate in Housing Practice.