Moving to a new country for studies can be hectic, especially when you are moving with your family. From sorting accommodation to finding the best nursery and schools for your kids, we understand that there can be a lot to think about. If you have a family and are planning to study here, read this blog post we have put together to help you balance your studies with caring for your family.
Although students with families are unable to secure university accommodation under Campus Living Villages currently, there are still viable options available for you around our campuses. Our askUS team will support you as much as possible, to help you find somewhere suitable.
It is important that you start looking for accommodation as soon as you know you want to make an application to study at Salford. There is limited accommodation for students with families across the UK, so it is best to prepare as early as possible. However, you should not sign any contracts until you have a confirmed place to study at Salford unless you have had your contract checked – askUS or Manchester Student Homes can help facilitate this for you.
There are many types of accommodation available in Salford and around Greater Manchester. These include studios, house shares, self-contained flats, single bed-sitting rooms and flatlets. Any of these can be rented on a long-term let which is a duration of six months and more.
We recommend using Manchester Student Homes where you can get free advice for finding somewhere suitable and for understanding your rights as a private tenant. You can also find an apartment by getting in touch with local estate agents who are willing to help you find suitable accommodation based on your budget.
Rent prices range from £600pcm to £800pcm or more for an apartment, depending on the location and rent package. If you opt for a room in a shared house you will pay less, with prices starting from £447 per month as a minimum. It is a good idea to choose accommodation with bills included to avoid the stress of paying electricity, gas, and water bills on top of the rent.
Another accommodation tip is to search for rooms further from the university, for example, Walkden in Salford or even outside Salford but within Greater Manchester, such as Bolton, Bury or Wigan. These areas might be cheaper and have an easy commute to the university using trams and trains. Since there is a train station located at Salford Crescent which is at the Peel Park Campus, living around, rather than in, Salford is still a good bargain.
Also, you should always have a look at the room yourself, and not just trust the pictures that you have seen online, just in case it is a scam. It is a good idea to come over to look for accommodation yourself before bringing your whole family with you, if possible, as you may need to look at multiple places before you find something suitable.
PAYING RENT AND BILLS
Most landlords will require a UK guarantor, who stands as a person to guarantee your rent, in case you weren’t able to pay it. This person will need to meet some criteria to stand in for you. Otherwise, an upfront payment of three to six months might be demanded, which might be a worry for international students.
Fortunately, the University of Salford has partnered with Housing Hand to offer rent guarantor services to students for 4% of annual rent when paid upfront and 4.5% of annual rent when paid in instalments of up to 12 monthly instalments, depending on length of tenancy. After which Housing Hand acts as a rent guarantor for up to 12 months. You can find information on the discounted rate for University of Salford students using this link.
Also, consider moving into a furnished apartment for a start as these come with kitchen and living room furniture which will save you some money. Note that some landlords might request a credit check before renting the place. Remember to apply for your council tax exemption to avoid getting charged by the council. Also note that this exemption applies to only students, this means that your partner will have to pay council tax if they are working.
CONTRACTS AND LEGAL MATTERS
To secure accommodation, you must sign a contract known as a tenancy agreement. This is a legally binding document between a landlord and a tenant specifying the terms and conditions of their rental agreement. This will include details of the house maintenance, utility information, rent deposit and more, so it’s important you read this carefully before you sign it.
Since looking for accommodation can be so daunting, you are more likely to fall victim to scams if you are in a hurry to find a place. The best way to avoid scams is to get your contract checked for free by askUS which is in partnership with Manchester Student Homes before you make any payments or commitments.
NURSERY FOR KIDS
If you need help with babysitting your kids, there are a couple of nurseries around the university to help you with this. Busy Bees Nursery at the University of Salford is a great place to babysit your kids when you are away for class or work. Your kids get to play and learn while being provided with NHS-approved meals and snacks. Also, you can find school excellence ratings based on their location or reference number on the UK government website. If you want to search more locally, Locrating is also a good place to find a nursery, primary or secondary school for children.
Finding accommodation with family can be stressful, so always manage your expectations and be prepared ahead of time. You can join societies and mingle with other students with families to learn how they combine work, family and studies. Remember that the University of Salford has various well-being support systems for students who might need help. Feel free to reach out whenever you need help.
All the websites of local agents or accommodation providers mentioned are not vetted by the University of Salford. We advise using Manchester Student Homes to find suitable accommodation.