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Looking for a place

While the team at Accommodation Services cannot find houses or flats for you, we are always happy to provide support, information and advice to help you search.

You may find the idea of looking for a flat or house very daunting, especially if you are new to London, but don't worry - with a little advice and common sense you can find a wonderful home in the capital.

You can also read advice on money and contracts and the process of moving in and out.

Searching for a place to rent

Top 5 house hunting tips

When to look

In London, very few landlords advertise their flats in advance. The whole process can take over a month. So with UAL’s courses starting in mid- to late September, we suggest you look for your accommodation in late July or in August.

How much will it cost?

London is not cheap, and accommodation costs do take a big chunk out of Londoner's budgets. Before you start looking for accommodation you should calculate how much money you will have to live on and budget accordingly.

The Student finance calculator may help you with working out how much you will need to spend on rent and basic expenses.

The Additional and Living Costs information provided by UAL’s Student Advice Service can help you with working out how much you will need to spend on rent and basic expenses.

When budgeting don't forget to allow for the following:

  • utility bills (water, gas, and electricity)
  • TV licence
  • internet connection
  • telephone line.

How to find a place

There are plenty of websites you can use to find suitable accommodation.

Start with our list of approved landlords and agents, the ULHS accommodation property platform. Here you will find offers of rooms, flats and houses, advertised specifically for students.

If you are just looking for a room, we recommend you keep an eye on the Facebook groups managed by the Arts SU and by ULHS.

Many landlords renting out houses and flats use lettings agents to advertise their properties and find tenants. You can find a list of agents on the ULHS pages.

When using lettings agents, always make sure the agents you are dealing with are a member of a Redress Scheme. We also recommend that you check they are a member of a professional organisation, such as ARLA.

If you are interested in private halls of residence, you can also use the Property Platform to find out what is available.
Due to the current pandemic situation we recommend you do not book early for next academic year – don’t rush! And as you explore what is available, please do make sure you check out the full terms and conditions and cancellation policy of each independent hall you are interested in.

Top 5 tips on avoiding issues (house hunting)

Viewing properties

You should always view a property before deciding to move in. We know this is more difficult in the current pandemic, but it is still best to come and view a place in person. If anyone offers you a video viewing, make sure you are dealing with a reputable agent or landlord.

Please be aware that accommodation contracts cannot be cancelled, they are not the same as booking a hotel. And you will live there for 1 year, so it needs to be good.

If you need temporary accommodation while looking for something permanent, please look at Summer Stays accommodation or the ULHS website.

Do not agree to any contracts online, or pay any money without seeing the property first. Remember you can always ask us for advice!

For examples of what can go wrong, watch these 2 videos produced by Shelter.

Do you want a check list to take with you? You can find these in the Private Housing Guide and also on the Shelter website.