Student Accommodation vs Student Housing: Which is Better? | true student | true

Student Accommodation vs Student Housing: Which is Better?

Posted 11 Feb 2022

If you’re in your first year at uni, you’re likely already thinking about where you’re going to move to next year. Or perhaps you’re starting university this year and you’re still weighing up your options. 

There are so many horror stories from students who’ve lived in awful housing. Everyone knows that one guy who woke up with slugs climbing up the wardrobe, or someone who endured using a mould-infested bathroom for a year. It’s enough to think they’ve been transported into a horror movie…

So how can you make sure you end up in accommodation that’s clean, safe and comfortable?

There are a few options when it comes to student living. Two of the most popular choices are student accommodation (also known as PBSA, or Purpose Built Student Accommodation) and student housing (sometimes referred to as HMO, or House Multiple Occupancy). But which is the best option?

Here at true student, we think student accommodation (or PBSA) are the way to go. Here’s why:

A Sense of Community

In PBSA, you’ll be living in the same building as lots of other students. You might be in your own studio, or share an apartment with a handful of other students. This means that other students are never far away. 

There’s nothing like the sense of community you get with student accommodation. There are often social areas – like communal kitchens, hangout rooms and study spaces – where you can meet like-minded people. 

A huge part of university life is meeting new people. Living in PBSA presents the perfect opportunity to mix with your peers who are in a similar situation to you. 

At true student accommodation, for example, we have a trueLife calendar of social events for all our residents to enjoy. You can come on socials, days out, brunches and take part in activities and workshops to bond with your fellow residents. Our personal faves have included trips to Alton Towers, alpaca visits on our doorstep and our infamous welcome party!

Bills Are Included

One of the main drawbacks of living in a student house is that, in most cases, you have to sort out the bills yourself. This can be stressful if you’ve never done it before. Pre drinks are no fun if you’ve not paid your electricity bill and you’re sat in the dark!

It can be a cause of tension between you and your housemates, too. We all have that friend that refuses to turn the heating on until it reaches -1 degrees outside…

In PBSA, bills are often included. This means you don’t have to worry about setting up your gas, electricity, Wi-Fi and council tax. At true student, bills are included in the price of your rent, saving you time and unnecessary stress. 

Better Facilities

The quality of most student housing is poor. Typically, private landlords will purchase old houses and convert them into student houses with multiple bedrooms. The only facilities to enjoy are your bathroom, kitchen and living room…

In comparison, PBSA often comes with lots of unique (and luxury) features. For example, lots of private student accommodations have cool features like gyms, communal kitchens and even cinemas. 

At true student, our sites have lots of fun spaces for you to enjoy. We have roof terraces, study areas and festival zones to name a few. Explore our locations in the navigation bar to see what facilities we have in our accommodation near your university. 

Wellbeing is a Priority

In student housing, it’s unlikely you’ll get mental health support from your landlord. But some PBSA now have mental health support included as part of their packages. 

At true student, wellbeing is a huge part of what we do. You can enjoy free access to our gyms and personal trainers. But not only that, each resident can get individual mental health support during their stay with us. 

On-Site Team

There are lots of risks that come with choosing to rent from a private landlord. If you’re unlucky, you’ll get stuck with a landlord that conveniently doesn’t answer your text messages when there’s something to fix. 

With PBSA, you’ll usually have an on-site team to contact. At true, our team members are on-hand 24 hours a day to help you with any questions you may have. They’ll be at our Welcome Hub or just a call away. 

If there are any maintenance issues with your flat, our caretaker team respond to them quickly. And, if we do have to order parts, we’ll keep you updated throughout the process to minimise disruption. 


If you don’t take precautions, you may be vulnerable to a break in if you live in student housing. There are instances where people may break in via open windows and unlocked doors – putting you and your belongings at risk. 

However, PBSA have an additional layer of security. At true student, we have team members in the building 24/7 who are able to spot intruders. We also have CCTV cameras installed to give you peace of mind. Have a safer, more comfortable stay at university in one of our apartments or studios. 

true student Accommodation

All in all, we believe that PBSA is a superior option to shared student housing. At true student, you get more security, bills included, an on-site team, plus a sense of community where wellbeing is at the heart of everything we do. 

We have sites in locations such as Birmingham, Newcastle, Manchester/Salford, Swansea, Liverpool and Glasgow

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Posted 11 Feb 2022