Housing Fair 2019
“Where am I going to live next year?” is a question we are used to answering at CoSector - University of London Housing Services. We offer help and advice to students on any private housing issue they might have – whether it is general advice on finding somewhere to live, or more detailed legal advice when things go wrong.
Unlike other universities outside of London that often start their house hunting much earlier, the high turnover of private accommodation means that the summer is the most popular time of year for house-hunting for students in London. We make sure that students are prepared to find accommodation in a number of ways. We hold talks at our subscribing colleges, run online webinars, publish our annual Housing Guide, and have a database with thousands of student properties available. Our biggest event to help students start their housing hunt is our annual Housing Fair.
This year’s fair took place on Friday 3 May 2019 at Senate House, London. With over 1500 students from our 27 subscribing colleges in attendance and 49 exhibitors, the event is one of the biggest of its kind, and an exciting start to the house-hunting season. When we opened at 11am, students were queuing in the Senate House car park to get into the building and many told us how excited they were to come to the fair.
The event has six sponsors at different levels, and sponsorship is always highly competitive and offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Our gold sponsor this year was The Stay Club, who built a neon house in the Crush Hall to show students the types of rooms they had available for the next year. They also provided a photo booth so that students could capture a memorable moment from the day.
We ran our own stall along with Student Homes and the Intercollegiate Halls team, to ensure students received information about what the university had to offer them. Over 40 other stallholders provided plenty of fun, food and free giveaways to entice students to check out their properties and sign up to their mailing lists.
It’s always a fantastic experience to see so many students in attendance, chatting to stallholders and finding out more about what to expect. We invited a mixture of exhibitors, these included: private halls of residence, charitable halls of residence, private landlords, letting agents, charities and other useful organisations. We aim to be as inclusive as possible, and ensure that a fair mix of budgets and accommodation types are represented. Attendees had the opportunity to check out the different types of accommodation on offer, in order to make the right choice based on what suits them.
We’ll hold the fair again in early May next year. It’s only the start of the house hunting season, so there is still plenty of time to find somewhere to live in September. As usual, we will continue offering contract checks and advice to students, as well as holding webinars and talks to keep students informed.
Finally, on 3 May we also launched all properties on our database advertised for the summer and beyond. The database is open to students from our subscribing colleges and central University of London staff for use to find accommodation, with properties continually added throughout the year.
Written by Nicholas Coomber - Housing Team at CoSector - University of London