Private sector housing advice
For the majority of students, their time living in private-rented accommodation is fun and hassle-free. But if you do run into difficulties with any aspect of your accommodation, the information on these pages can help.
On this page
- Leaving a tenancy early
- Deposit being withheld
- Repair an maintenance issues
- Guarantors agreements
- Understanding Council Tax
- About Contents insurance
- Finding accommodation
- Avoiding scams
- Short term accommodation
- Right to rent
- Choosing accommodation
- Understanding a tenancy agreement
Detailed guidance on housing issues
We have thorough resources you should read if you encounter any of these common housing issues.
Wanting to leave a tenancy early
If you signed a fixed-term tenancy but want to move out, for whatever reason, before you tenancy expires, you need to be aware of serval issues. Download and keep our Leaving a tenancy early factshet (PDF).
Deposit being withehld
If your landlord is withholding your deposit there are steps you can take to ensure any amount is fair and accountable. Download our deposits factsheet (PDF) for full details of what you need to do.
Repairs and maintenance
Responsibility for repairs can depend on the type of repair and the contract you have with your landlord. Download our repairs factsheet (PDF) for full information on how to proceed.
Some private housing providers want students to have a guarantor who lives in the UK. Find out more about guarantors and what you can do you do not have one on our gurantor information.
Understanding council tax including what it is, who is exempt and how to apply is covered in our Council Tax Factsheet (PDF).
Getting your belongings insured when you move into private rented accommodation is a TOP priority, get information in our Contents Insurance Factsheet (PDF).
Detailed guidance on finding accommodation
Our range of finding accommodation factsheets provide detailed information, links and resources to help you successfully navigate the Bristol private rental market.
Housing scams operate in the UK, where people pose as landlords and ask for large sums of money for accommodation that doesn’t exist. Read our Avoiding Scams Factsheet (PDF) for a detailed explanation on what to look out for.
Short term accommodation
It can be hard to find short-term accommodation in Bristol. Our Short Term Accommodation Factsheet (PDF) contains tips and resources to help start your search.
Right to rent
All private landlords in England must check the immigration status of new tenants. Our Right to Rent Factsheet (PDF) has information you will need to know if you are planning to rent accommodation from a private landlord.
Choosing the right place
Details of what you need to look for on viewing of any potential properties is covered in our Choosing Accommodation Factsheet (PDF) which also includes questions you should ask the landlord or agent.
Understanding your contract
Contracts or tenancy agreements can be lengthy and it might seem like a lot of effort to go through the whole document in detail, but it is definitely worth it in
the long run. Our Tenancy Agreement Factsheet (PDF) gives details of what to expect.
Where to get further help
If you have looked at the factsheets and resources on our website and need more detailed support in relation to the issues you are experiencing, there are a range of services you can contact for detailed advice and support:
- Shelterline - Housing advice free helpline, open 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 5pm at weekends - 0808 800 4444
- Shelter Bristol Housing Advice
- Citizens Advice Bristol for housing, debt and general advice
- Avon and Bristol Law Centre - Housing Advice Information Sessions - Call for an appointment on 0117 9248662
- Bristol City Council Private Housing Team and Rogue Landlord Team - Advice on health and safety issues in the home plus bad landlords, harassment and illegal eviction - firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0117 3525010
Bristol University Law Clinic - provide pro-bono legal advice (housing) for students.
If you are having problems in your private accommodation that are causing you distress or concern, we also strongly recommend that you contact the University's wellbeing service who can offer support.