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.
Below are some of the most common housing issues we are contacted about. We have a number of resources to help you, so advise you read the information available here to see if your issue is covered:
I want to move out before my tenancy ends, what can I do?
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, 354KB). You can contact us for further advice if you need to.
My landlord is withholding my deposit, what should I do?
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, 361KB) for full details of what you need to do. If you need further advice, you can contact us at any time for assistance.
My property needs repairs, who is responsible for these?
Responsibility for repairs can depend on the type of repair and the contract you have with your landlord. Download our repairs factsheet (PDF, 436KB) for full information on how to proceed.
I don't have a guarantor, what can I do?
Some private housing providers want students to have a guarantor who lives in the UK. If you do not have a UK guarantor you may be asked to pay anything between 3 and 12 months rent in advance.
Finding privately rented accommodation
How to avoid housing fraud/scams and information to rent safely.
Information about the options available when looking for accommodation.
Choosing the right accommodation
A checklist for viewings.
Finding short-term accommodation
Important things to consider.
Right to rent
Information to know when renting accommodation from a private landlord.
Assured shorthold tenancy
Making sense of your Assured shorthold tenancy agreement.
Information for finding accommodation as an Erasmus student.
Couples and Families
How to find privately rented accommodation as a couple or family.
Living in privately rented accommodation
Tips and information on what to think about when moving into a property.
Getting your belongings insured is a very important priority.
What council tax is and why it is important.
Information about what a deposit is and why it needs protecting.
Information and advice about your landlords and your responsibilities.
Precautions you can take to reduce the likelihood of burglary.
Leaving a tenancy early
How to leave your tenancy early and things to consider.
Tips and information on moving out of your property well.
How to record what the property is like when you move in.
Tenant fees act
Find out what fees an agent or landlord can ask you to pay.
Other useful housing advice agencies
- 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 - email@example.com 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.
Where to get help
If you have a problem with housing and can't find the answer on these web pages, you can get in touch with our private sector advisers. They can provide advice and information and help explore the options open to you. The service is free, confidential, impartial, non-judgmental, independent and accessible.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and you will receive a response within 5 working days or less.