Student housing doesn’t just have to be for students. Couples or friends sharing where only one is a student is increasingly popular. Maybe going back to study as a mature student to retrain whilst living with someone in full-time work. Many other situations can arise where not every member of the household or flat share is a student, and the other is a working professional. In any case, issues can arise both good and bad that you should be aware of when not everyone is in full-time education. We explain what you need to think about when Sharing accommodation between students and non-students
Who would most likely look for this sort of shared accommodation?
There are many personal situations that can arise where not everyone is a student in the household such as
Couples where one is in education and one is in employment
Families where one parent is a student.
Student friend groups where one has left studies either prematurely or after graduation, alternatively a time period in accommodation between finishing undergraduate and starting post-graduate studies.
Whatever the reason for having a mixed household, you will find that discounts and arrangements that would normally be available solely for students may well be unavailable with having “non” students sharing. On the other side of the coin though, your household may be able to claim other student discounts still.
What you need to think about when Sharing accommodation between students and non-students
Halls of residence
Sharing with a non-student in halls of residence is completely out of the question, as such you will miss out on the facilities and proximity to other student and student-related facilities. If you are thinking of sharing with a non-student you would have to look at renting from a private landlord.
Council tax is calculated by who is in the household, whereas a single person could claim a 25% discount for single occupancy if the other is a student, based on 2 people sharing 75% of the council tax charge would still be due. If 2 non-students are on the property all 100% of the council tax liability would be due.
It gets a bit more complicated if you are on a sandwich course or other vocational learning. but generally speaking, if a non-student is in the house, council tax liability comes into effect.
You can find out more at Citizens Advice and the Low Income Tax Reform Group
Check the contract and rent frequency of your property.
Carefully check the tenancy agreement of your property. If you already have one there may be stipulations about someone moving in with you. If you’re looking for a new property be sure to check whether the rental price is listed as PCM (per calendar month) PW (per week) or most importantly PPPW (per person per week). Renting an accommodation that is set at PPPW can result in the total cost being double that of it being listed. Even if you share a bedroom, for example, everything else used will be doubled.
Can you still get student deals on services/goods when sharing accommodation?
This is something that you would have to look at on each individual purchase. For example on a student broadband deal, only one of you would need to be a student but the contract responsibility would be in their name. The same goes for other services like mobile phone contracts.
Signing up for an Amazon Prime Student Account is great value for money at half the price of a normal account, however, no one but the student registered can use things like prime delivery or get prime discounts through their own account. They cannot be shared in a household.
Generally regarding goods, if the student buys them on their housemate’s behalf, they are entitled to a discount. But they technically remain responsible and can claim ownership.
For services like memberships and subscriptions. Only the student will get access to them, any non-students have to purchase them separately. Although probably few and far between, depending on what it is and your circumstances you could be paying double for access to them.
Is it right for both of you to live in Student accommodation?
When we say student accommodation we mean blocks of flats or houses where adjoining and adjacent rooms and properties are student based. For the students living there, this may not be a problem but for others that are in full-time employment. late night get-togethers on a Tuesday night may not be particularly wanted if you have to get up for work on Wednesday morning. Some situations may not bother you, but it’s always worth considering how the new dynamics in your household will function.
This may be of importance to mature or returning students, who may have or are not concerned about having the “full student” experience. Ideally, it’s down to you and your new household circumstances on whether looking at student accommodation is the right choice.
Do all student providers accept “mixed households”
This is dependent on several factors, some previously mentioned. It can depend on:
A) The type of property – Some landlords will only preferentially rent to full-time students, and some will only look to rent to professionals. It’s best to enquire with the company whether the property is suitable.
B) The costs involved – As previously mentioned it’s prudent to check the price of the property. Especially if it’s going to include a non-student. Additional costs can occur that are not directly advertised with having someone who does not become exempt from certain charges as they are not studying full time.
C) Is the house an HMO? (House of multiple occupancies) If the property is designated as an HMO designed to rent to a group of housemates. The landlord may deem that they would prefer it to be occupied by students or non-students only. Again it’s always worth enquiring with the landlord if they are happy to accept this arrangement. It may be a stipulation in the registration of the HMO who is allowed to reside in the property and they may be restricted to who they can offer it to.
About Thornsett Properties
Thornsett Properties have been providing modern student accommodation in Sheffield since 1985. We supply accommodation to over 650 undergraduates and postgraduate students studying at Sheffield University and Sheffield Hallam University every year. Designed to fit with your budget whilst looking for student accommodation. Thornsett Properties are property owners and not agents. All our properties are managed by ourselves and not reliant on third parties. We aim to help you succeed in our student accommodation in Sheffield