How to avoid housing scams in your search for student accommodation

A hand holding a bunch of keys, in front of a white front door with the handle a
A hand holding a bunch of keys, in front of a white front door with the handle and lock visible
At UCL, we understand the concern around securing safe, reliable, and legitimate accommodation. As your housing search begins, you will see plenty of great options. However, it is important to stay vigilant.

With the rate of scams across the housing market rising, it is important to understand the resources available to you as a UCL student and to be able to recognise trusted, legitimate places for long and short-term accommodation. 

To assist you throughout this process, we have compiled a comprehensive list of resources to help you secure trustworthy housing outside of UCL Accommodation.  

UCL is committed to understanding your worries in a safe, non-judgemental environment. If something in your housing search doesn’t feel right at any point, raise your concerns with the UCL Crime Prevention and Personal Safety Team.   

UCL Crime Prevention and Personal Safety  

The Crime Prevention and Personal Safety Team will support you with any concerns you may have regarding your safety and security.  

Sophie Bimson, Crime Prevention and Personal Safety Advisor, has stated that:  

"At UCL, my team and I provide students with the highest quality care and support for their personal safety and security. No matter the problem, big or small, we will be available at any stage to assist in your concerns". 

Any issues raised by UCL students will be addressed in a non-judgemental, confidential, and supportive way. After discussing your situation or concerns, UCL’s Crime Prevention and Personal Safety Team will be able to inform you what options are available to you, whilst giving advice to keep you safe. 

Alternative Accommodation

UCL Accommodation is pleased to recommend alternative accommodation providers to students who are looking for housing outside of UCL Accommodation. This resource offers free advice, links to University of London Housing Service , guidance on private housing providers and portals, options for short stay accommodation in London, as well as information about the Rent Guarantor Scheme. 

Upcoming Webinars on finding private housing

UCL will be providing information and advice on how to rent private accommodation in two upcoming webinars. Learn about your housing options whilst studying at UCL, with representatives from the University of London Housing Advice Service, UCL Accommodation and the UCL Students’ Union Advice Service available to answer your questions. 

Students’ Union Housing Advice

Students’ Union UCL will be available throughout the summer and academic year to offer advice to students on how to secure private accommodation. They can also advise on what to look out for in a tenancy agreement. Find out more information on private housing by reviewing the Students’ Union UCL guide to finding accommodation for the next academic year.  

Finding Short Stay Accommodation in London 

The University of London Housing Services offers trusted short stay accommodation. You may need to find short-stay accommodation when you first arrive in London or when leaving UCL Accommodation or private accommodation. 

Accommodation and Housing Scams

UCL can provide advice regarding accommodation and housing scams, but there are other money and housing advice websites available with guidance and information on how to be safe and secure whilst renting accommodation in London.  

Sites such as ’Which’’ have partnered with experts in housing markets to provide advice on how to proceed if you have fallen victim to a housing scam. Don’t hesitate to seek out guidance from other trusted student accommodation resources, too! You can also contact UCL’s Crime Prevention and Personal Safety Team if you have fallen victim to a scam, your concerns and problems will be handled with complete confidentiality. 

Below are some helpful resources to help you learn how to identify and avoid any scams: 
  • University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT (0) 20 7679 2000