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Bristol Uni Accomodation

(32 Posts)
Twwotn Sun 31-Aug-14 08:55:03

Daughter has worked so hard to get on her course and what should have been an exciting time has turned into a nightmare! She has been allocated a single, no basin room costing £152 p week in a Unite building that wasn't one of the three choices she put on her application; seems she has been v. unlucky as the uni stats. say that 84% of students get what they have asked for. Trying to be positive and reassure her that it wld be ok we made a 3 hour journey to have a look.... The uni mentions on the blurb that there is some building work going on, OMG, new build on one side and demolition on the other! NCP multi-story, noise from a huge extractor fan coming out of the Chinese restaurant/Karaoke bar under rooms on one side of the building, buses and at 6oclock in the evening, groups of people lying around in doorways of what looked like a hostel. TBH I am struggling to find one positive and wld be worried sick about her walking around there at night. Advice please from anyone who has family at Bristol Uni.
Should we :-
accept the room, put her name on the transfer list, knowing that the uni have said they cannot give any guarantee she will get a move and hope that she can build up a friendship group?
Pay an extortionate rent for a private studio flat, if there are even any left?
Try and find a room in a house share.

nbee84 Sun 31-Aug-14 09:17:56

My son got Bristol as his insurance choice so all uni accommodation had already gone. He went down the house share route which turned out to be a lot cheaper - I think he was paying £90 a week including bills and the house had a washing machine so no laundry expenses. When he contacted the agents they had space in a few houses and told him roughly who was in each house ie. One house was mixed sexes, one all boys, one all foreign and another a mix of all sorts. He went for an all boy house with 8 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. There was 1 first year student and the rest were 2nd and 3rd years which was good as they had all the local knowledge and 2 were into the 2nd year of doing the course he was so good help with work etc. He was a bit worried about meeting others but got involved in freshers week and made plenty of friends from his course.

orangefusion Sun 31-Aug-14 09:20:02

Which unite place is it?
Sounds like charlotte st or trenchard st. Not ideal but not downright dangerous.
I know it looks awful but she will cope and it will make her more resilient.
I live in Bristol and was a student here, this is probably better than what she'll get when she goes out into private rented flats etc.
what dies she think of it?

orangefusion Sun 31-Aug-14 09:58:04

Does not dies smile

Dont pay for a studio flat, she will be lonely. House share or even homestay with a nice family would be better alternatives if you really cant cope with the Unite place.

Lifeisforlivingkatie Sun 31-Aug-14 10:10:15

I live in Bristol and I recommend she finds a house share near the area, or home stay. Socially it will be better for to accept the room. I am fanatical about bathrooms so I would want my own. Daughter going to warwick and we are waiting to hear about accommodation. Got in through clearing, she did not make LSE

Twwotn Sun 31-Aug-14 12:49:34

Thanks to all for taking the time to respond, it's helped just sharing this and getting impartial views.
I have thought of one positive from her point of view, Nelson House is close to the shops.........Hmm.
Hope your daughter gets happily settled soon LifLKatie.

LosBreakingBad Sun 31-Aug-14 12:52:45

My son went to Bristol and got into University Hall. His friend went to the accommodation allocated to your daughter. She had exactly the same reservations as you. However, she had a fantastic time and refused an offer of a transfer when it was offered.
I would put her name on the transfer list and see how she gets on.

Twwotn Sun 31-Aug-14 15:13:07

Thanks Los BB.
That's the decision she has made, to give it a go.
Just glad we made the trip so she knows what to expect.

Lifeisforlivingkatie Sun 31-Aug-14 15:55:56

Good decision, she will appreciate home comforts, lots of shops around there, ask her to freeze her bank card

MillyMollyMama Mon 01-Sep-14 15:04:47

My DD also went to Bristol as insurance. She, at the last minute, was allocated a room in Wills Hall. Another student had to go through her room to get to theirs and it was shared bathroom between 6 of them. I thought she would have to have a shared house and the University had a "find a house" day where you could meet other students, then look for accommodation together. However, most of these are overseas students and it is far from ideal. Eventually they cancelled the day because enough rooms in halls were found. I think this is why your DD has been allocated Unite. She has made the right decision to take it.

What you will not be aware of, is that Bristol University students sign up for the best student houses and flats in January, the minute they come on the market. What will be left now will be nowhere near the university or so awful you will not want your DD to live there. In fact, that is a big tip for the first week of the spring term. Look for houses immediately!!! In the Clifton area they go like hot cakes. They will be £100+ a week though for 52 weeks, starting on 1 July. The best landlords get student tenants on the first day of advertising. Early bird etc.....

There are movements into the Bristol University owned and run halls as people drop out or swap around. Go onto the transfer list, but be clear what the Unite contract says about transferring. At least what you are being charged is way less than it would be in London. We also spoke to the accommodation office repeatedly about getting a hall place. It kept her name at the forefront I think.

crazymum53 Mon 01-Sep-14 20:00:49

There is a shortage of student housing in Bristol as both Bristol university and UWE have expanded. Also in some areas such as Clifton there are restrictions on the number of properties that can be used as student lets.
The solution has been to convert many empty office blocks into student flats by companies such as Unite.
From what I can see on Nelson St (live in Bristol and was down there today for the shops) the demolition work is nearly complete.
Advantages of this area: you are close to department stores, cinemas, theatre, concert hall and other entertainment e.g. Laserquest. Being within walking distance saves on long bus journeys at night.
For food shops there are many convenience store sized supermarket branches e.g. Tesco Express, Co-op etc.
You are on a bus route for travelling to friends etc. and within walking distance of the bus station for coaches home etc.
Area is well-lit and would generally be regarded as safe at night.
In terms of study there are advantages being very close to the university for lectures. For private study many students use the library facilities during the day rather than Hall rooms.

Littleham Mon 01-Sep-14 21:16:10

My daughter got into Bristol as her Insurance choice (to start in September). She is really excited and we have been to see the Unite accommodation she will probably be allocated. Really happy with it, as she wants to be close to the university precinct. She isn't bothered about having en suite / distance to uni is more important issue to her.

Feel free to PM me as I live relatively near to Bristol and know the area well.

MillyMollyMama Mon 01-Sep-14 21:40:24

Bristol is a bit odd because many 1 st year students opt for Stoke Bishop halls. Not close to anything, except each other. Being close to the university in the first year does not appear to be a priority for many 1st choice students. However, Clifton is the place to be in 2nd year and most students hardly ever go to the department stores or the cinema! Clifton has a life of its own, so I believe!

ifitsnotanarse Mon 01-Sep-14 22:46:30

As a former student at Bristol I shared a basement flat in Clifton with 2 others. After staying in halls for 2 nights during a summer 'find a house' event I decided that halls were not for me. But... I was starting a MA in my late 20's and had been working full time for a number of years. I do think that for first year student halls are a great way to meet new friends and socialise.

If your daughter does decide to move into private accommodation later on, I will say that there are some dodgy houses and landlords out there. One house I saw I would not let a dog stay in. There was mould all over the walls, torn carpets, and worst of all, the landlord told me not to worry about the fire-alarms as most of the students staying there took the batteries for their cd players. shock

And now I've just shown how old I am by referring to cd players. blush

P.S. Bristol is a fabulous place to live and I would have stayed only I had to come home to my (now) DH.

Bonsoir Tue 02-Sep-14 13:30:30

My DSS1 started at Bristol University a year ago. He applied, on my advice (I am a Bristol graduate), for accommodation at Goldney (1st choice) and Manor but was allocated Favell House (Unite accommodation in the city centre). He applied for a transfer immediately and got one, to Goldney, in January. The Unite accommodation is extortionately overpriced and very depressing but many students got transfers if they really persisted. If you send me a message I will share the technique my (pushy) DSS1 used to get a transfer!

MillyMollyMama Tue 02-Sep-14 17:08:22

There are all sorts of techniques. Saying a flat is too noisy can work. DD's flat in Wills had a girl arrive into an unexpectedly vacant room on the basis of wanting a quieter flat. DD was astonished! The noisiest girl (DD) was considered a suitable flatmate for someone who disliked noise!!! Of course it was rubbish. All settled down happily! Goldney used to be the most over-subscribed followed by Wills and Churchill. Hyatt Baker has been refurbished and is now ok. Stoke Bishop is generally preferred over University area for halls because of socialising and good mix of students. Very few go home at the weekend. Very few brought cars. I am sure Bonsoir will have a good tip!

Iceangel8 Sun 24-Jan-16 23:46:08

Need urgent help - daughter and 4 friends need a house in Bristol near university. They are responsible students and need a nice house - any ideas seem to be scarcity

bojorojo Mon 25-Jan-16 16:41:31

Ice.. It really is not difficult to find a house in Bristol nearish to the University. Look at Clifton and roads nearby. Loads of student orientated estate agents. Go onto Rightmove or Prime Location. Yes, nice houses might be a bit difficult and lots get snapped up early. However, doing a good internet trawl should find something. Whiteladies Road, Clifton, Redland, Cotham all students areas for the University. "Near" the university comes at a premium and gets snapped up first.

bojorojo Mon 25-Jan-16 16:44:57

digs agency has absolutely loads with 5 bedrooms suitable for the University. Why are they so useless at looking?

Kirkenes Mon 25-Jan-16 21:21:56

Bojo hmm

Iceangel8 Tue 26-Jan-16 20:07:19

Digs has an awful reputation for keeping deposits and bad landlords. Believe me they go eveey day to view - either property is in an unsafe area or today the place was full of damp - the student living there said landlord did nothing and the dehumidifier was in 24/7 costing a fortune. She liked one but they require £3000 deposit!!! Crazy!!! Any suggestions would be appreciated!

titchy Tue 26-Jan-16 20:11:50

£3000 between 5 - that's the standard isn't it? About one months rent? Can't the university accommodation office help?

catslife Wed 27-Jan-16 10:42:31

Is your dd looking to move now or for a house for the new academic year?

Your dd (and her friends) need to draw up a list of priorities. As other people have said there is a (fairly large) premium on rents in the main student areas lose to the uni i.e. Clifton, Cotham, Kingsdown and Redland so if their main priority is living close to the uni then rents are very high because demand is also high as well. (I have heard that in some areas of Bristol there are up to 10 potential tenants and many properties are let within hours of coming on the market). Also many rental properties are old with problems such as damp.
Am not clear what you would define as a "safe" area (and perhaps your definition will be different from mine) but I also list other areas that may be suitable.
Other areas that would be regarded as "safe" would include: Bishopston, St Andrews, Ashley Down, Montpelier, Horfield, Henleaze, Westbury Park but these are also fairly high demand as they are popular with families.
Southville, Windmill Hill and Totterdown are more affordable areas that are still "safe". The have student properties but most of the students will be UWE Bower Ashton campus rather than Bristol uni.
If you would like to ask me about other areas please pm me.

Iceangel8 Wed 27-Jan-16 14:05:31

Shes looking for next year. I think she is just shocked at the cost and the fact that demand outstrips supply. Thank you for all your help re areas suitable - the fact that there are two university sites in a small area doesnt help much either. Her main priority is living near to University so yes prices are very high. She has lots of viewings this week so I hope she finds somewhere suitable. Its such a shame as they are such good kids and any landlord would snatch them up as great tenants but I guess landlords dont really consider the students just see ££££. The Uni letting agency have said there are no more properties on their list and they were misinformed by the University as they said not to start looking and I never thought that by January most desirable properties have already been signed up for July!

BlueStringPudding Thu 28-Jan-16 11:47:43

DD rented a house this year via Abode, and they have been really good and responsive Agents. They have a couple of 5 bedroom houses in Westbury Park which is a bit further out, but is on a good bus route to the University - might be worth a look.

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