If you're a first year who is making the transition from on campus accommodation to privately rented accommodation you may find that everyone starts talking about housing before you've properly settled in. The main thing is to not panic! There are a number of things you will need to consider such as who you will live with, where you will live and how much you want to pay but there is plenty of accommodation available and plenty of time to work these things out.

How can I find out about accommodation?

The university runs many events about accommodation.

  • If you are a first year, considering searching for privately-rented accommodation for your second year, you will also find this Housing Forum presentation useful.
  • Two drop-ins have been arranged for second and third year students about renting privately and any issues faced. They will take place on level 2 of the SU on the 2nd and 4th of November from 11am-2pm.
  • There are also two events run specifically for international students which have been schedule for 30th November in 8W 2.15 and 8th December in CB 3.15. Both events will run from 12-2pm and you will be able to drop in and ask any questions relating to your accommodation.
  • If you are a Postgraduate or Exchange student you may need to wait until the summer months to start looking for accommodation.
  • The Advice & Representation Centre with Accommodation host a House Hunting Weekend every August to assist students in their search.

You will be able to see accommodation available through various websites throughout the year but be weary of higher agency fees you may pay by going through these especially if you sign up early. Studentpad is the Univeristy of Bath's Accommodation finder which has an online database you can access at any time throughout the year to look up accommodation or even find other housemates. Properties for the 2016-17 academic year will be uploaded on 7th December but this doesn't mean that you need to rush to get a house straight away. We encourage everyone to start thinking about who they want to live with in November; however, we suggest that you wait until January to find accommodation. There will be plenty of accommodation available after your exams in February/March.

Right to rent

From 1 February 2016, if you start a new private renting contract, you must prove to your landlord that you have the right to rent in England. If you can't prove your right to rent, you will not be able to rent a house in the UK. You will not require this to stay in University accommodation though.

As an international student it’s important that you are aware of your rights and that you are able to explain your visa status to landlords. Having your documents ready for a landlord to check is really important, but you should also keep copies for yourself for reference.

While you are going through this process there are several people who can help you, from finding out what documents you need to answering questions about your visa. The University has put together a guide to help you if you have any questions about right to rent.

For further help please drop into the Advice & Representation Centre on level 3 of the Students Union or contact the Student Immigration Advice team:
student-immigration-advice@bath.ac.uk
01225 385538

Where should I live?

OK, so you hear that you have to live in "town". But what is town? Is it really that important to live in the centre? You've heard of Oldfield Park but where is this place and what does it have to offer? Like most cities, Bath is made up of smaller communities that are focussed around the City Centre. There are plenty of places to choose from and living in Bath you are lucky that nowhere is too far away to get to. It's worth thinking about what is most important to you (and your housemates!) when looking for a house.  

  • Is being close to campus important to you?

  • How much are you willing to pay in rent?

  • What are the local transport links to the university like?

  • Is there a community near by with shops and local amenities?

To help you pick out areas in Bath to live in, the Student Community Partnership (SCP) have put together local profiles about each community in Bath, including feedback from students who live there.

Alternatively drop into the Advice & Representation Centre and talk to an advisor, especially if you are all looking for different things and may want another opinion.

Who should I live with?

If you are worried about who you are going to live with first of all don't panic. It can take a while to find your good friends and when you do whether or not you want to live with them or not. Try not to feel stressed as there is plenty of time to find accommodation and plenty of people in the same position who may or may not have a group sorted already. Start off by having a think about some of the following:

  • Do you want to live in a small or large group?

  • Do you want to live with your best friends?

  • Would you like to be nearer to campus or town?

  • Do you want a party house or a place you can retreat to?

If you'd  like the opportunity to meet new people to live with or add an additional person to your group you can also use the message board on Studentpad to advertise this.

There will also be a 'Find a housemate' event organised by the Advice & Representation which will take place in February. Leave your details on our boards outside the Advice & Representation centre and see who comes back to you!

Viewing a Property

Once you have decided who you want to live with and where you want to live, you are ready to start viewing properties. When you view a property for the first time there are a lot of important things you need to consider. The Advice and Representation Centre has created a Housing Checklist to help.