Private rented accommodation

Private rented house Untitled Page

You'll almost certainly be looking for a house or flat to rent at some point while studying with us. It’s a great way to be a part of the community and live independently.

We can help you find a place to live. Ask our Residential Services Team for advice about house hunting, renting, sharing a house, and keeping safe.

We have a range of videos for you, including a presentation on how to house hunt and a guide to living in rented accommodation. If you're studying in Cambridge, you might find our area guide and videos helpful when house-hunting. They’ll introduce you to the different neighbourhoods in and around the city, so you can decide where to start your search. 

Living in rented accommodation: video guides

Every year, we hold an Accommodation Fair in February or March, which is the perfect time to start looking for a place to live from the following September. We also hold house-hunting events for new students from July to September, and in January each year. 

Top tips for finding accommodation

Our accommodation website, Studentpad, lets you search for houses, flats and rooms in Cambridge, Chelmsford and Peterborough. (You’ll need a password from your local Residential Service before you can use it.) We also have lists of letting agencies in Cambridge and Chelmsford.

Cambridge agency list

Chelmsford agency list

It can be easier to find a whole house to rent than a single room, so if you’re looking for potential housemates, check out our message board.

Beware of scams

We've received reports of students being scammed with bogus tenancy agreements. The company poses as a student accommodation landlord and asks for money up front - before they've met students or shown them any rooms. 

Do not send money transfers or Western Union transfers as they are not secure. Seek advice from our Residential Service if you're unsure. Local Trading Standards officers are working with the police to investigate but in the meantime, we urge you to be vigilant.

To report a scam contact the Citizens Advice Consumer helpline on 03454 040506 and Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

Useful documents

Government publications

Everything you need to know about renting

While we can tell you about accommodation that’s available, we don’t visit or endorse the properties – or the people advertising them.

If you’re living in private rented accommodation, you’ll usually sign a contract with a landlord or an agent. It’s up to you to make sure you’re happy with the property, the rent, and the terms of your contract.

We recommend that you:

  • visit the property before signing a contract
  • do not pay a deposit or rent in advance over the internet
  • read our house hunter guide, which is full of handy hints about looking for rented accommodation.

If in doubt, contact your Residential Service for advice. We’re here to help.

Happy house hunting!