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Where To Apply For Student Accommodation
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Where To Apply For Student Accommodation

Written by Sam | December 12, 2020

This is a common question that is asked by a lot of first years who are looking to go in to university halls. I’ll answer this and where you can go to find your second and third year housing.

Where To Apply As a First Year

If you are first year wanting to go in to student halls then the accommodation team within the university is the best place to start.

If you are accepted into university, then they should be in contact with you about the buildings they have to offer and what type of room you want. To understand the differences between university-owned, PBSA and private student accommodation, you can get more information in this article

These rooms aren’t the cheapest, if you are on a budget then finding a house would be cheaper for you. However, with university owned accommodation, it is usually in the best locations and that is close to university.

If you haven’t heard anything about the accommodation in the first instance, make sure you head to the university’s website and contact the accommodation from there.

If however, you are waiting for the allocation of your room, this can be done quite late this is because they will wait for applications to be decided and clearing finalised before they start giving all the allocations out.

Where To Apply For Student Accommodation If You Are a Second Year Student

If you are going into the second year, you can read our detailed article about the steps you need to take to get second-year accommodation in this article and also this article about How To Spot Bad Student Accommodation will help you stay away from the bad landlords and student accommodation providers. If you need to do it virtually, these are our top tips if you can’t get in the house.

Most students start looking for student accommodation in and around the time frame of November to March. A lot will book early to make sure they have the accommodation secured for the following year and they know it is good quality.

As a student going into the second year, you can’t apply to anywhere like you do in your first year. They sort of leaving you to it and give you lots of information on where you can find student accommodation and what to look out for in the pitfalls.

The best place to start is online and with recommendations. Make sure you know who is in the area, who are the good landlords and who are the bad landlords.

From then you need to figure out what you value most, is it location, is it price, or is it the service. It can be most things, however, the main ones are:

  • location
  • price
  • security
  • distance from university
  • service
  • what’s included in rent e.g. bills, gym or cinema room.

Applying For Student Accommodation As An International Student

If you are an international student, then these processes are the same, but you will need to have your student accommodation booked before you arrive for your visa.

A lot of international students tend to go towards Purpose Built Student Accommodation because they can stay there more than one year and they have a lot of extra services included as well as bills and they come with an accommodation manager who can make sure they are alright.

If you are an international student and you want to search for student accommodation, you can speak to the university accommodation team and they will be able to advise you or point you in the right direct. However, you are most likely going to have to search from afar and rely on information from the internet or others. I have done an in-depth article on how to spot bad student accommodation virtually. In short:

  • Always get on a video call and tour with the provider, it means you can look around
  • Have your questions ready for the video tour
  • Look in all rooms and get a 360 spin, this just makes sure that they aren’t hiding anything (most aren’t)
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for a closer look at the areas you might use most like the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom


To apply for student accommodation is different for different years. As a first year university student, then you will need to speak to the accommodation office at the university, normally they will email or write to you about securing your accommodation and then speak to you again once they have it all confirmed.

As a second year, you are left to your devices a little more and there is nowhere you can apply, you will have to search for your student accommodation. Make sure that you follow the necessary steps to make sure you find the best accommodation for you. You can speak to the accommodation office at university or the SU, and they will have a lot of accredited landlords and agents (landlords that pay into a scheme and not always have the best quality) they can point you in the direction of.

As an international student, again the accommodation office might be able to point you towards some of the better student accommodation, however, you will still need to do your own research and view the accommodation virtually to make sure that it is suitable for you.

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