Looking for housing

Last modified: 29 April 2022

University housing and other purpose-built student housing is usually booked in advance. For more information, see Planning your housing.

This page has information about looking for other private rented housing after you arrive in the UK.

Many institutions work with other organisations to help students who are looking for privately rented housing. If you are unsure about anything or if you want to know more, contact your institution’s housing office.


The property

Last modified: 15 January 2019

Here are some suggestions for issues to think about when choosing accommodation.

Communal living space

En suite bathroom

Mix of people

Social opportunities

Management and security




Last modified: 15 January 2019

Many students prefer to live close to their place of study, but this may not always be the best choice.  You may need to balance cost, quality and convenience, especially in larger cities.  Issues to think about include the following:

Where is the housing located?

It may be on campus; it may be near your place of study; or it may be some distance away. If it is not on campus, check that the locality offers you what you need and what you want: for instance shops, friends living nearby, places for meeting friends and socialising, good transport links, parking provision (if needed), a safe environment.

What are the transport links and what are the costs?

This is particularly important if your housing is not on campus or if you can’t reasonably walk (or cycle) to your place of study or to other places that you need or want to get to frequently. In some towns living further out, away from college, shops etc, can save money, as housing may be cheaper. If you are thinking of living further out, try and check that possible extra travel costs do not outweigh your savings on rent.

Rent and other costs

Last modified: 29 April 2022

When considering housing, there are many associated costs, not just the rent. Here are some issues to think about.

Can you afford it?

Bills included?


Council Tax



Payment terms

Do you need a guarantor?

Your contract

Last modified: 03 September 2015
Be aware that you will be signing a legally-binding contract when you finally commit to your accommodation, so be aware of the implications.

If I sign a joint contract will my liability be different?

If you have signed the same contract as your friends and you all agree to take the property at the same time, you will be jointly and severally liable with each of your housemates for any rent arrears and/or damage to the property. So, if one tenant moves out, the landlord/agent can pursue the remaining tenants (as well as the tenant who has left) for any rent due.

Does the length of the contract fit my period of study?

The standard academic year runs from September/October to May/June for undergraduates and September/October to September for postgraduates. The letting year for housing typically runs from August or September to the end of June. It is sometimes possible to negotiate an extension to include residence for the summer months – July, August and the first 10 days or so of September. Make sure that your housing requirements fit your study requirements. You may be on a course which operates to a non-standard calendar (for example a Semester 2 start); you may have a requirement for a postgraduate writing-up period at the end of your studies; or you may want to attend a graduation ceremony beyond the end of your course and your housing contract. Think about these issues and check with your institution or landlord if you have concerns.

Immigration checks

Last modified: 11 March 2022

‘Right to rent’ checks

Exemptions from ‘right to rent’ checks

The evidence needed of your right to be in the UK

If you have limited immigration permission to be in the UK

If you sub-let your accommodation

If you have any questions or concerns

Coronavirus (Covid-19): Right to rent checks