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Finding a Home - Halls v Private Rented

Finding somewhere that you will be happy living in for the next year is an important decision and it can feel overwhelming with all of the options out there to you. We will be releasing a series of blogs over the next couple of weeks that will help you make these tough choices. Today we are looking at the never-ending student debate: Halls v Private Rented. 

Firstly, you need to decide what kind of accommodation you are looking for. Do you want to live in specialised student accommodation (ie ‘Halls’) or are you looking to rent a property in the private sector? Both have their positives, some of which we’ve listed below:


Halls of Residence 

  • Community. Halls of Residences are great for meeting new, like minded, fellow LSE students, with lots of common spaces to socialise and study in. 

  • All inclusive rent. Utility bills, Wi-Fi internet access and contents insurance, as well as the welfare support are included in the rent you pay. Some contracts include catering, so you don't have to cook. 

  • Location. Live close to London landmarks, and in famous areas like Bloomsbury, Clerkenwell or Westminster. You'll even save on travel costs because most residences are within walking distance of LSE. 

  • Safe and secure living. All halls have 24-hour reception and security teams so there's always someone available. Dedicated maintenance staff work in each hall, so any fault will get fixed quickly. Your hall reception team is your point of contact for any query and they'll even sign for your parcels, too! 

  • Welfare support. Just in case anything goes wrong for you or your flatmates whilst you're at LSE, there's a warden team in every hall which can be contacted for help with almost anything (health, finances, exams, relationships and more). They're on duty overnight and all weekend, so there's never a time that support isn't available. Most halls also have a Peer Supporter who are students trained to provide you with a space to talk and be listened to. 


Private Housing 

  • More Choice. London is your oyster! There are private rental properties available all over the city in many different types of properties. Get a real taste for London living outside of the tourist brochures and experience the city how locals do. 

  • Independence. Your housing will not be connected to the university so it will be your business what you do there. You will also learn skills around budgeting, paying bills and rent, dealing with landlords, basically: ADULTING! 

  • Cost of Living (maybe!). Depending on where you choose to rent, it is likely that you will pay less overall even with separate bills, rent and travel costs. As long as you don’t expect to be able to live in Covent Garden on a student budget that is. 

  • Less Distractions. OK, living with a hundred fellow students in halls means there is always a party to go to. But, are you here to party every night or get a good degree? Living outside of the university system means less distractions/irritations and more time to focus on what is important to you. Plus I can guarantee there will be less fire alarms going off in the middle of the night because someone drunkenly left their chips cooking for 5 hours. 

Ultimately, it is up to you. Have a think about it, have a look at the useful links below and be as informed as you can before making the right decision for you! 


Useful Links - Halls Of Residence 

LSE Accommodation is LSE’s official page with all the information you’ll need on their Halls of Residence 

UOL Intercollegiate Halls. Want to mix with students from other universities? The UOL offers Halls for students across many different London universities.  

LSESU Advice Service. As we are impartial and separate from LSE, our Advisors can help you navigate any Halls of Residence issues without bias. 


Useful Links - Private Rented 

Shelter is the UK’s best online resource for quick advice on private rented accomodation. We would strongly recommend you read through their advice before beginning to look for properties. 

UOL Housing Services offers free legal housing advice to students of LSE. A great place to go if you are unsure of anything or need a tenancy checking. 

LSESU Advice Service. Some more shameless self promotion, our Advisors can help with contract checks, landlord issues, council tax and much more surrounding housing. 


Next time we’ll be taking a deeper dive into Private Rented Accommodation, where to look and what to look out for. 


Blog written by Laurence Mackavoy.

Roxana works as an Advice Assistant in the LSESU Advice Team.

The LSESU Advice Team

The LSESU Advice Team is based on the 3rd floor of the Saw Swee Hock Building and we provide free, independent and confidential advice to all LSE students on academic and housing matters. We also administer the Hardship Fund, the Childcare Fund and the Graduation Gown Support Fund (GGSF).

Our service is currently operating using a hybrid working pattern. We are still open and can be accessed by emailing You can also book a telephone or Zoom appointment with an adviser through Student Hub.