Finding private accommodation is daunting. If you’re spending part of your time at Oxford in private accommodation and need to find a house, we have the resources you need to help you make informed decisions.
Is it a good idea to rent with an independent letting agency?
Letting agencies are another popular option. Just be aware that these agents:
- will charge you administration fees of around £150 per person
- might also charge you for credit checks.
The main thing to remember when thinking about living out is to take your time when choosing your housemates and your house: don’t be rushed or pressured into a decision.
Our Living Out Guide (pidged to all Freshers) takes the mystery out of house buying with practical advice for first time renters. Our Living Out podcasts also offer further advice if you want more pointers.
Remember: only sign when you’re sure.
What’s a tenancy?
Once you have chosen a property, you will need to sign a contract in order to secure the tenancy. Most student tenancies have specific clauses related to the length of the contract and the liability of each person living in the house. These clauses will relate to things like non-payment of rent and any damage caused. Tenancy agreements are legally binding, which can seem complicated and daunting. If you would like help to understand your responsibilities before you sign your contract, please contact the Student Advice who will be happy to help.
I’m a graduate. What accommodation is around?
Full-time graduate hunting for accommodation next year? You could be eligible for housing in one of the seven sites of University owned property around the city. Check here
I’m a student parent. Is there any accommodation for me?
The University has five sites around the city providing accommodation for student parents (for both undergraduate/mature and graduate parents) and student couples. Graduate accommodation
Hopefully, you will have no problems with your accommodation during your time in Oxford. If you do, either within college or with external agencies you can contact the Student Advice at firstname.lastname@example.org
How many properties should I view before choosing one?
This is entirely up to you, but it’s good practice to see at least a few properties in order to get a good idea of the quality level between properties and a feel for the area. It’s a good idea when viewing them to take photographs with your phone to remind you of which property is which. Whatever you do, don’t rent somewhere or from someone that makes you feel uncomfortable.
I’m being asked for a guarantor. What is this?
A guarantor is someone who does not live in the house but is legally responsible for paying your rent if you fail to do so.
Where should I live?
This depends on what kind of person you are! If you want to be in the thick of it, then the City Centre might be the area for you, although you’ll have to deal with higher rents and more noise. Cowley Road and Iffley Road can also be noisy, but generally have lower rents and still have pubs and shopping nearby. Quieter areas include Jericho and Summertown (both a bit pricey), and also Abingdon Road and Botley Road (lower rents but fewer entertainment options). Make sure you visit each area you’re considering before agreeing to live there. You never know whether you’ll like it until you get a feel for it yourself.
Found this useful? Check out our Living Out Guide (pidged to all Freshers) and Living Out podcasts for further advice.
I’m living in college, but I have special requirements. Is this a problem? Who can I talk to?
You should be comfortable wherever you live. If you have special requirements as a result of health or disability, let your Domestic Bursar know what reasonable adjustments your college needs to make.