House Hustler visited the University of East London Docklands campus this week with our touch-screen in tow to meet the students and to find out a bit more about accommodation issues, likes, dislikes and preferences. After spending most of the day bothering the student body trying to harvest from them their different opinions we quickly mapped out a few points of view. Sometimes some highly conflicting ideas of where is safe, and where is rubbish to live, how much people hoped to pay for rent, and some simple expectations of somewhere to live while studying.
Students on the whole wanted to live near the Docklands campus, which is obvious I grant you but the feeling was that Stratford, Woolwich, Barking seemed to be the as far as people wanted to live. The list also included Canning Town, East Town, Newham, Docklands, Hackney, Shoreditch, Clapham, and Forest Gate to name but a few. Rent per week ranged from £90 to £300 which shows the different budgets, but it does have to be remembered that spending power increases if you live in a 3 or 4 bedroom house, compared to a 1 bedroom or studio place. And no one asked for anything out of the ordinary: such as roof hot-tub, personal climbing wall, or basement garage! Just that the houses were clean, and they met all legal standards (pest control, gas certificate etc).
What really stood out is there doesn’t seem to be a single letting agent that was universally recommended. When asked it appeared they all moulded into one mass of agents, emailing, calling and failing to offer accommodation that ticked enough boxes to get the go ahead. It also came across that most students would, probably unhappily, rent somewhere within an hour commute. Past that measure and it was a no go. Although one girl we spoke to lives by Heathrow, and has a daily commute leaving her with an average of 4 hours sleep a night, with her weekend working at Heathrow Airport with a pleasant start of 5am…
Now we have done some reconnaissance, UEL students watch this space as we try and find enough different accommodation to satisfy the varied requests from the students who were kind enough to talk with us. If you feel there are areas we missed, or letting agents we should contact please don’t hesitate on contacting us.