Finding private sector accommodation
What to do when looking for a privately-rented house, flat or room in Bath and the surrounding area.
When to start looking
Demand for housing in Bath is high and availability is limited, so keep looking on a regular basis to have the best chance of finding somewhere to live that's right for you.
You can start researching private sector accommodation early online to get an idea of location, price and availability. Landlords usually start advertising student properties in December, ready for the following September.
Most privately rented accommodation does not include bills in the rent.
When working out your budget, make sure you allow for gas, electricity, water and internet.
If you're a student who lives on your own or with other students, you do not have to pay council tax.
If you live in private accommodation with non-students, you may be eligible for a council tax discount.
It is likely that you’ll need to travel to University by bus so make sure you include transport costs in your budget.
When you move into private accommodation, you will need to pay:
- A deposit (usually one month’s rent)
- The first month’s rent
- Administration fees
This can total over £1000 per person.
How to find student accommodation
There are many ways to find student accommodation. You could make enquiries at local lettings agents or search online.
Studentpad accommodation search engine
We recommend that you use Studentpad to search for houses, flats and rooms.
The Accommodation Team manages and maintains Studentpad to list available properties in and around Bath.
You can search Studentpad by:
- type of accommodation
- contract type
- living arrangements
- number of bedrooms
- price of rent
- date property is available
You can also meet potential housemates through the Studentpad message board.
Alternative methods of finding accommodation
You can also find private sector accommodation by searching on:
Demand for accommodation in Bath is high, so you may find it helpful to search in other local areas too.
Widening your accommodation search
Good alternatives to Bath are the nearby towns of Chippenham, Frome, Keynsham, Trowbridge and the city of Bristol.
Keynsham is a small town on the south eastern outskirts of Bristol and it's well placed for students to enjoy the best of both Bath and Bristol.
- Around 10 miles from the University of Bath
- Around 5.5 miles from Bristol city centre
- Regular trains from Keynsham railway station to Bath Spa and Bristol Temple Meads
- Regular buses to Bath and Bristol
Trowbridge is in the county town of Wiltshire, to the south east of Bath.
Frome is a small town to the south of Bath, on the eastern edge of the Mendip Hills.
Bristol is the largest city in the South West. Well connected to Bath by train, bus and road, there is also the Bristol to Bath cycle path if you like to exercise while you commute.
- Around 13.5 miles from the University of Bath
- Regular trains to Bath from Bristol Temple Meads and Bristol Parkway railway stations
- Regular buses to Bath
Chippenham is a market town in Wiltshire, north east of Bath.
Travelling to University of Bath from outside the city
Travelling to the University from outside Bath is affordable and simple.
Using public transport
Bath is well connected by public transport to towns and cities in the region. You can use the Travelwest website to plan your journey.
If you are 16 to 25 years old, you can buy a Young Person's Railcard. This will give you discounted rail travel.
Using your own vehicle
If you would prefer to drive to campus, and you live outside the BA1 or BA2 postcodes, you will be eligible to apply for a student parking permit.
Email the Student Accommodation team for advice on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Checking and signing your contract
Once you have found somewhere to live you will need to sign a housing contract or tenancy agreement.
Make sure you read and understand what you are agreeing to, and know your rights and responsibilities before signing anything.
Check that the dates, address, rent and terms are correct and meet your needs.
You can use the free contract checking service offered by the Student Accommodation Team and the Students’ Union Advice and Representation Centre.
Email email@example.com to make an appointment.
Right to rent
Before you start renting you will need to prove you have the right to rent a property in the UK.
You will be asked to provide your passport and/or visa when signing the contract or when collecting your keys.
Finding a guarantor
If you are a UK or international student living in private housing you may need a UK based guarantor. This is someone who will be responsible for paying your rent if you fall into debt whilst living here.
Your guarantor must live and work in the UK on a permanent basis. If you cannot provide a guarantor you can choose from two other options:
- use a guarantor service like Housing Hand
- pay the full rental fee up front at the start of the contract
Homestay accommodation is a popular, alternative option for exchange and visiting international students because:
- the cost of homestay rent is affordable
- it can help you adapt to living in the UK
- you'll be introduced to new cultures and traditions
- contracts are more flexible
You can stay with a host family for one or two semesters.
Some websites that list homestay accommodation are:
Purpose built student accommodation
There are several private student accommodation blocks in the area that are similar to halls of residence but not associated with the University of Bath.
These are a popular option as:
- All residents are students
- Bills are usually included in the rent
- The accommodation is high end
The contracts for these can be more than 50 weeks long.
Many are for studio rooms, which can be expensive, so consider your budget before applying.
More help and advice
Other useful information can be found on: