If you’re wondering how to find student accommodation and not sure where to start, we’ve got some handy tips to help you out. They’re worth considering if you’re a first-year student looking for university halls, or returning student looking for more private student accommodation.  

Finding the right student accommodation is worth making time for. After all, it’s where you’ll be spending time when you’re not in class or out clubbing. It’s nice to have a space that you can crawl back to after a heavy night out, or when you want to focus on studying or completing an assignment.

Even if you’re studying in your home city, making your student accommodation your retreat while at university is a great idea. That’s why our tips to find an ideal student house or hall are important.

Tips to help you find the best student accommodation

We’ve noted the best tips to get you started in your search for the perfect student accommodation. From when to start to considering what you need our of your student home, these pointers are here to help.

1. Start early

The earlier you start your search for student accommodation, the more options you will have and the better chance you will have of securing your preferred accommodation. It’s always a good idea to start looking for accommodation several months before your intended move-in date.

2. Find the right type of student accommodation for you

student halls type of student accommodation in Nottingham
Source: The University of Nottingham

As a student, you have a number of different options for accommodation. Doing research on different types of student accommodation can help make finding a place to live that much easier. Here’s a summary of the most popular types of student accommodation to help you out:

University halls of residence

This is usually accommodation which is owned by your university. This student accommodation is usually hugely popular and there tend to be more applicants than places so it’s important to get your application in early. However, it’s always worth asking even if you are only looking into accommodation now, as there are sometimes students who pull out, leaving a room available.

Private student accommodation

There are lots of options out there which are great alternatives to university halls of residence and are a similar style to the university accommodation. Usually, you’ll have your own room, usually an en-suite bathroom and shared kitchen facilities. However, some providers offer more.

Rented accommodation

If you aren’t able to secure halls of residence then you can look to rent a flat or house within your chosen city. You can choose to rent on your own or with friends. This is popular amongst second-year and onwards students who move away from halls of residence, but the culture is largely down to the city. For instance, in Liverpool, a lot of second and third-years choose to go back into halls of residence. You should find the right option for you.


A homestay is when you chose to stay with a UK family in their house. You’ll get your own room and sometimes your own bathroom depending on the family. This is particularly popular amongst international students as it gives you a chance to immerse yourself in the UK culture.

So now you’ve decided which student accommodation option is right for you, check out our further tips which will help you on your student accommodation journey.

2. Do thorough research into your student accommodation facilities

9 tips on how to find student accommodation
Source: Pexels


When you’re thinking about how to find student accommodation, it’s also important to consider any onsite benefits and perks you can get. It’s important to be aware of the facilities that are available to you within your student accommodation facility, as well as to ensure you feel safe, happy and secure. If you’re going for private student accommodation or halls of residence make sure to find out the answers to the below:
  • How long does it take to get to your campus?
  • How many people will you be sharing a bathroom or kitchen with?
  • Do you have access to a communal area?
  • Is there internet access and is this included?
  • What security does the accommodation have?
  • Are all bills included? (it usually is but always worth checking for your budgeting)

3. What’s included in the price?

As we touched on previously, it’s important to check whether further costs are included in the monthly rent. Utility bills such as gas, electricity and water. Internet access, laundry services, bedding and kitchen equipment. This will help you to budget and work out if you can afford the accommodation.

4. Do some research into the location

9 tips on how to find student accommodation
Source: Pexels


Perhaps one of the most important tips on how to find student accommodation is to consider location. Think about your commute and make sure your location isn’t too far away from your university. The last thing you want is an hour-long trip there and another back. However, it tends to work out that the further you are from the university, the cheaper accommodation is, so work out what is right for you and your circumstances.
It’s also important to do some research into the crime in the potential area you’ll be living in. To help you out, we’ve researched the safest UK cities to live in, as well as the most dangerous universities around! The last thing you want is to feel unsafe in an area you’ll be tied into for the academic year.

5. Utilise online resources

There are many online resources available to help you find student accommodation. Websites such as Rightmove, Accommodation for Students, and Spareroom are great options, as well as university websites that provide information about student housing.

6. Consider using letting agents

Letting agents can be a great resource and provide great tips on how to find student accommodation. They will be able to provide you with a list of properties that meet your criteria, and they will also handle the paperwork and negotiations on your behalf. You can find some of the best student accommodation providers in the UK in our guide, or visit our city accommodation pages for more. Make sure you also understand all the terminology – such as what does ‘let agreed’ actually mean?

7. Visit the properties before you sign

The ultimate guide to student accommodation in Nottingham
Source: Unsplash
Once you’ve found a few properties that meet your criteria, it’s important to visit them in person. This will give you a better idea of the location, size, and overall condition of the property. It’s not always possible if you’re finding student accommodation last minute, therefore it’s a good idea to look at reviews of the neighbourhood and agency.

8. Be prepared to compromise

Finding the perfect student accommodation can be a challenge, so be prepared to compromise on certain aspects of the property. For example, you may have to choose a property that is a little further from the university than you would like, or one that is a bit more expensive than you wanted to pay.

9. Check the contract and inventory carefully

Before signing any contract, make sure to read it carefully and understand the terms and conditions. Also, make sure to check the inventory and take note of any damages or issues with the property.
Knowing how to find student accommodation can be a challenging task, but with the right approach, you can find the perfect place to call home during your studies. Start early, research your options, utilise online resources, and consider using letting agents.

Last Updated on May 21, 2024