International students: finding private accommodation

If you have not received and accepted an accommodation offer from the University of Bristol then you will need to find somewhere to live yourself. This page will point you to some useful advice and resources to help you find private rented accommodation in Bristol.

Finding accommodation

Bristol is a very popular city to live in. Depending on the time of year, your budget and requirements, finding private accommodation in Bristol can be challenging. 

We would strongly recommend that you read our general guidance on finding privately rented accommodation before you do anything else.

In Bristol, there are lots of commercial providers offering accommodation in residences built or refurbished specifically for students, as well as letting agents and private landlords advertising properties to rent to students. Have a look at our finding accommodation factsheet (PDF) for useful information and websites advertising student properties.

If you are staying in Bristol for less than an academic year then read our guidance on finding short-term accommodation.

Our resources

Bristol SU Lettings is a letting agent run by the student union. Landlords advertising through SU Lettings sign a code of good practice. Vacancies are added to their lists daily throughout the year. Students can search by criteria including group size, area and maximum rent

Our Accommodation in Bristol Bulletin Board enables staff and students to post messages either looking for accommodation or advertising rooms available. If you are looking for sharers, remember to check the notices already posted, you may find suitable housemates without having to post a message yourself.  You will need to register with the site to post a message. Using your University email address will automatically validate your sign up, if you are a new student or staff member and do not yet have a University account, you will need to fill out some additional details to enable Accommodation Office staff to verify your identity and validate your account. we do this to ensure the safety and security of all users of the Bulletin Board.

Increasing your chances

If you are having difficulties finding somewhere suitable to live you can consider the below:

  • Widening your search to include areas outside the city centre.
  • Promote yourself to prospective flatmates, landlords or agencies.  When you reply to an advert tell them how long you want to stay, that you are a student at the University of Bristol and anything positive that will make you a good tenant eg. if you are a non-smoker, tidy, considerate, have common interests etc.
  • Have your funds ready but don't pay anything before you see the property.

Avoiding scams

Each year a small number of students are cheated or scammed when trying to rent private accommodation.

If you’re looking for properties on the internet you do need to be vigilant. Don’t send money to anyone advertising rental properties online until you are certain the advertiser is genuine. If you need to secure accommodation in the UK from overseas try to get a friend or relative in the UK to check the property exists and is available. You still need to be careful even if you view the property in person, a scammer may rent a property and then show prospective tenants around it, collect the first month's rent and security deposit then vanish with the money.

Please read our factsheet on avoiding scams and renting safely before you start looking for accommodation. 

Short-term accommodation help

Erasmus students who need short-term accommodation should also read guidance on finding short-term accommodation.

Accommodation finding process

Find out about the normal stages you will need to go through when finding private accommodation in Bristol.

Key terms glossary

Read our glossary of key terms that you may come across when looking to rent accommodation in Bristol

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