A common question which we are asked is whether or not student accommodation is exclusively for students, or whether they are in fact spaces that are available for everyone? In truth, there is no hard and fast rule when it comes to student rooms which are not on the campus. Naturally, any student accommodation on campus is strictly for those who are studying at that university. With regards to outside of campus however, the answer is maybe.
There are, of course, many benefits of staying in student accommodation, such as the low cost of rent and the vibrant social scene, but as a non-student, you cannot always guarantee that you will be able to get a room.
Striking a Balance
Ultimately universities have to be able to ensure that their students have enough options with regards to accommodation, so they are unlikely to look at filling those student rooms with non-students. With this being said, apartments or rooms which stay empty for long periods of time will do little more than lose money, so there is occasionally some motivation for universities, or private landlords to rent out accommodation to someone who is not a student.
Speaking to the Campus
It is always worthwhile having a go at speaking with the housing officers at the university which has accommodation that you have your eye on. If you don’t ask, then you will never know, and they just may have some ideas that can help you out. Many student accommodation officers have close ties to private landlords and these connections may well present an opportunity for you in your hunt for a student spot.
Something which is absolutely forbidden is sub-letting one of your rooms or the space in the property that you are renting. It is very rare that you would be able to enter into the apartment of your friend who is a student for example, and then sub-let one of the rooms there. What you may be able to do, is to stay over at a friend’s house, even if it is student accommodation.
Let’s say they are in student accommodation in Melbourne, the student may have to check with the landlord or the hall’s warden if they wish to do this, although in most cases it is not required if it is only an overnight stay.
The Importance of Keeping Students Together
In most cases, the reason why you will not be allowed to stay or rent student rooms or accommodation is that it is critical for the university to ensure that students remain close together and safe. This not only greatly enhances the experience for the student, but it also maintains the solidarity which the university wishes to maintain. Having students scattered about and interspersed with non-students could result in a complete loss of the social side of university, which so many students enjoy.
As we said in the intro, there really are no clear rules about non-students staying in student accommodation, so the best option is for you is to check with universities and private landlords to see where they stand.