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Private accommodation

Guidance for Students currently living in Private accommodation.

If you have signed a fixed term contract and are living within private sector housing, the current Government advice is that you should continue to pay rent and abide by all other terms of your tenancy agreement to the best of your ability. If you have, or are planning to move of your current accommodation before the end of the fixed term tenancy, you would still remain liable for the full rental payment until the fixed term tenancy ends.

If you are currently, or believe that at a later date, you will have difficulty in paying your rent, it’s important to contact your landlord or letting agent immediately to discuss this.

An early conversation between yourself and landlord / agent could help both parties to agree a plan if you are struggling to pay you rent. This plan could include reaching a temporary agreement not to seek possession action for a period of time and instead accept a lower level of rent, or agree a plan to pay off arrears at a later date.

Government Guidance for Tenants and Landlords

University of London Housing Services legal advice for students living within private sector Housing

Housing Services provides advice and guidance on all aspects of renting in the private sector, an online property search, contract reading and arbitration service.

An essential tool to assist you is the comprehensive Private Accommodation Guide [PDF 471KB], please ensure you read the guide before commencing your search.

To support this Guide we have produced a number of short videos for you that cover; how and when to start looking, inspecting a property, tenancy agreements, deposits and tenancy deposits schemes and repair issues. You can view the full-length video guide or select specific topics that may interest you. We do recommend you view the whole guide if you have never rented in the private sector before. These guides are applicable for students renting a whole vacant house or flat. If you are thinking of renting just a room in a house share, you may wish to book onto one of our online Private Housing Advice talks.

Overseas students should note that you will need to be in the UK before you begin your search, as the accommodation must be inspected and cannot be pre-booked from overseas. We advise booking a temporary place to stay while you complete your search (short stayhotels / hostels).

Styles of private accommodation include:

  • Whole vacant flats/houses suitable for couples
  • Families or groups of student sharers who wish to live together having exclusive use of all the facilities
  • Rooms/bedsits suitable for individuals who do not form part of a group but share the kitchen and bathroom facilities with other tenants or the owner occupier
  • Lodging with a landlord and his/her family.

Other types of accommodation include hostels, home stay accommodation or independently built private halls of residence.

Please feel free to pop in and speak to one of the Housing Advisors if you have any questions regarding how to find private housing, require your contract to be checked or are having any problems during your stay in the private sector. We are here to help.