Choosing private accommodation gives you the freedom to choose where you live, what facilities are important to you and how you want to spend your budget.
To find out about different housing options, house hunting tips, places to look and more, download our Housing Guide or pick up a copy from Student Services:Housing Guide 2022/23
Many landlords advertise their properties through letting agents as well as using Zoopla, Rightmove and other online portals. It can be useful to get in touch with a number of letting agents, in the area you are searching, who can keep you up to date with available properties; letting agent websites are often out of date and don’t show the latest offers, if you meet or speak to an agent they can inform you of properties that meet your requirements. There are a few things you should bear in mind when using such an agency:
Agencies cannot charge you for registering with them or for supplying addresses of available accommodation.
From 1 June 2019 agency fees will be banned.
You can check the agency you are using are members of ARLA (The Association of Residential Letting Agents) or NALS (The National Approved Lettings Scheme). If they are, they will have met good practice requirements and have more accountability than other letting agents. Each of these organisations lists its member letting agencies on its website. All letting agents have to be a member of a letting agent redress scheme which you can complain to if you have had issues with an agency.
Homestay/Host family accommodation
If searching for host family accommodation and/or short term lets, try Homestay London who works on behalf of London’s top universities, language schools, and educational institutions to supply accommodation to both UK and international students. Visit the HFS London website.
If you are looking for housemates, Student Services can help put you in touch with other students. We send out regular emails to students looking for housemates, which includes contact information of other students. Please email email@example.com and ask to be added to the housing bulletin.
The rental market in London fluctuates and so the time it takes to find a property is variable. Ideally you should start your search 10-12 weeks before your moving date but it’s also possible on a shorter timescale. Please be aware it can be harder to find properties during busy periods when lots of students are looking.
Before you approach estate agents or look online, do your research about the areas you want to live in, what you can afford and have conversations about the people you want to live with. You can approach agents about 2-3 months before you want to move in. You can call or email agents in the local area to register interest and to be added to mailing lists about new properties.
We recommend viewing a property in person, this may not be possible if you are unable to move to the UK before you have secured housing. If you cannot view the property in person try to get someone you trust view it and ask questions on your behalf.
Make sure you ask questions about the property (e.g. about gas, electric and fire safety) and check for damp and signs of pests/vermin. More advice on the Shelter England website.
Lauren McKillop (Student Adviser, Faculty of Music)
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8305 9350
McMillan Halls of Residence
Jennifer Asare (Student Adviser, Faculty of Dance)
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8305 9342