Alternative accommodation for UCL students

The top floor of a large redbrick house
The top floor of a large redbrick house

Information, resources and upcoming events during Housing Week 2023 (9-12 May) to help you find alternative accommodation if you don’t live in UCL Halls of Residence.

The majority of students don’t live in UCL Accommodation. They live in other types of accommodation such as private student halls, privately rented rooms or house shares with friends, or at home with family. 

To help support our students with their housing search, we’ve put together a resource page around how and where to find alternative accommodation.  

The page also includes important information about the UCL Guarantor Scheme for students who need a UK guarantor, and where students can access housing advice. 

3 Steps to start your accommodation research 

What is my budget?

This will have a huge impact on what type of accommodation you should be looking for. Definitely consider realistic costs for travel, food, and utilities - as well as entertainment and activities. The best way to get a feel for how much renting a room in London will cost is to browse property websites and student accommodation websites. 

Do you want to live in student accommodation?  

Private student halls are a great option, as the rental price usually includes utilities and Wi-Fi.  For this type of accommodation, we suggest you start looking as early as possible. The rooms are in high demand and are booked on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Do you want to rent privately with friends or on your own?

This option will allow you to choose a location and living situation that is suitable for your budget. The rental market in London is competitive and moves very quickly. Make sure you’ve planned ahead on what you’re looking for, give yourselves time to do viewings (normally during the summer), and be ready to make an offer when you find somewhere suitable.

Don’t let estate agents or landlords pressure you into a situation you’re not happy with and use resources like Shelter Citizens Advice to get a better understanding of your rights as a tenant before you start your property search. Remember, most agency fees for tenants are banned and your tenancy deposit must be put into a deposit protection scheme. 

Housing Week 2023 

The University of London (UofL) Housing Services is putting on a range of events from 9-12 May as a part of Housing Week 2023. 

Housing Fair

Learn more about the different types of accommodation that are available, enquire about prices and meet with exhibitors from London’s leading private halls, letting agents and other housing providers and services.   

University of London Housing Fair 2023 
When: Thursday 11 May  
Time: 11am to 3pm 
Location: Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU 

You do not need to book a place to attend, you will just need to provide proof of your student status on the day - so remember to bring your student ID!  

Learn more about the University of London ULHS Housing Fair 2023  

Live Housing Advice Webinars 

UofL’s experienced Housing Advisors will be delivering a series of online presentations about house-hunting, deposits, disrepair, etc from 9-12 May. 

Learn more about these events and register on the UofL Housing Services website  

Bookmark University of London Housing Services to stay up to date on all upcoming events.

UCL’s Rent Guarantor Scheme

Did you know that UCL has a Rent Guarantor Scheme - The purpose of this scheme is to assist eligible full-time UCL students to rent private accommodation that might not otherwise be available, by UCL acting as a guarantor where the student is unable to secure any other UK-based rent guarantor.  

The Scheme is open to overseas and EU students and in exceptional circumstances to UK students where no alternative UK guarantors are available.  

You’ll need to have all of your documentation in place so that you are ready to apply as soon as you have found a property. This will include gathering: 

  • Evidence of funding that will cover rent and living costs (e.g. bank statements showing family contribution, loan paperwork, bursary/scholarship award letters, wage slips, etc.) 
  • Bank statements (all accounts) for 3 months prior to application 
  • Evidence of details of proposed tenancy including cost, number of tenants, start date and duration (a provisional email agreement or draft agreement will be sufficient) 

Learn more, including how to apply for the Rent Guarantor Scheme. 

Other helpful resources 

The housing market in London is competitive and it’s never too early to start thinking about where you will live while studying at UCL. We encourage you to think about your budget and the type of alternative accommodation you will need to ensure that you allow yourself enough time to secure the housing that you require. 

The University of London has a Private Housing Guide , that is available for all UCL students. Additionally, they can assist with: 

  • Contract checking  
  • Legal Advice  
  • Events  

Citizens advice is a charity that offers confidential advice online, over the phone, and in person, for free. 

Shelter is a housing and homelessness charity that offers housing advice and support online and over the phone, for free. 

What if I’m a student with additional requirements? 

If you have additional needs that impact your requirements for accommodation whilst studying at UCL, you may be entitled to stay in UCL accommodation throughout your studies. 

Learn more about the accommodation offer for students with additional requirements.

Photo by David Ramírez on Unsplash

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