Looking for accommodation can be a little daunting, so if you have any questions you should come in and speak to a member of the SU Advice Centre team. Finding the right accommodation for the year can make all the difference to your experience as a student!
It is really important not to rush into finding accommodation for the next year too early, particularly when you are new to the University. We would recommend taking time to decide who you are going to share with and consider all your options.
The first decision is whether to rent a property through Warwick Accommodation (advantages include no deposit required, no guarantors and contract lengths which are appropriate to UG or PG needs), or with a private landlord.
Finding a Private Landlord
Talk to other students to find out if they know of a good landlord, or take a walk around the area you want live in and see which agents are based there.
Most landlords rent out their properties through agents. It is important to know that they are going to manage the property properly. If you are unsure about how your prospective landlord/agent deals with you, consider choosing another one: if the initial contact is not good, how are they going deal with you if something goes wrong?
If you are renting from a private landlord, you want an Assured Shorthold Tenancy. Be careful of taking accommodation where you are sharing with a resident landlord, as this type of accommodation cannot be an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (regardless of what your landlord says), and you will have a lot less legal protection. See Renting Accommodation for more information on assured shorthold tenancies and resident landlords.
There are also rooms advertised on the SU Housemates Wanted Forum.
How to Start Looking for Accommodation
- Decide who you want to share with and the size of the group.
- Where do you want to live? Coventry, Leamington or Kenilworth?
- View as many properties as possible, then compare them using the checklist provided by the SU Advice Centre.
- Ask questions of the present tenants (usually Warwick students) when viewing the property.
- Once you have made your choice, keep calm and do not rush into signing the contract – get it checked by a member of the SU Advice Centre Team.
Beware of landlords/agents who do not comply with all the statutory requirements - make sure you know your legal rights before agreeing to anything. Not all landlords/agents are honest and have integrity, and we would particularly caution students against using social networking sites to find accommodation.
If you have any questions, make sure you ask them - if you are not happy with the landlord/agent’s reply, look for somewhere else. There is always other accommodation available!
Unfortunately, there are a small number of landlords who take advantage of students, and particularly target international students. We are keen to help students avoid problems, so please contact us if you are experiencing issues with your landlord/agent.
- Think carefully about who you are going to live with – a wrong choice can ruin your year and it can be very difficult to get out of a contract!
- Lifestyle differences can cause problems. If you’re not a party person, make sure you find quiet housemates – and vice versa.
- Everyone has different standards of tidiness and cleanness, so try to live with people who agree on these.
- Exercise caution when agreeing to share with a couple, as this can be difficult if they split up and there’s friction in the house!
- Don’t worry if you can’t find a group - there are always rooms available on our Housemates Wanted forum, or come and talk to an Advisor at the SU Advice Centre.
Where to live?
The University is based on the edge of Coventry City, and is also in part of Warwickshire. The following places are where most Warwick students live:
Canley and Cannon Park are within walking distance of campus.
Earlsdon is about 15 minutes by bus to campus.
Coventry City Centre is 20-30 minutes by bus to campus.
A smaller town than Coventry, with all the usual amenities of a large town plus a University Learning Grid.
There are direct buses from Leamington to campus, and the journey takes about 35 minutes.
Kenilworth is a small town with many shops, situated about 3 miles from the campus. The journey co campus takes about 10 minutes, and there are regular bus services.
For information about the bus service with routes to campus, see the University’s webpage. Please note all the bus times quoted may vary depending on travel conditions!
Once you have found a property you are happy with, what happens next?
The landlord / agent will expect you to sign the tenancy agreement or contract and pay the deposit. You may also be required to pay some of your rent in advance. If you have been unable to provide a UK guarantor when one is required, you may be asked to pay all the rent, for the whole tenancy, in advance. Don’t be rushed or pressurised into this - see our pages on Signing a Contract and Deposits.
- Before signing the contract, make sure that everyone understands it. The contract should make sense and be easy to understand.
- Most accommodation will be offered as an Assured Shorthold Tenancy where the landlord will not be living at the property. This type of tenancy gives you the most security of tenure and protection. If you have a resident landlord, then you will have less protection than if you have an Assured Shorthold Tenancy
- If you have an Assured Shorthold Tenancy, your deposit must be protected within 30 days of you paying it.
If you have any questions or need to understand your contract better, make an appointment to see one of the Advisors in the SU Advice Centre.
Once you have signed your Tenancy Agreement:
- If you have signed an Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement, you should receive the prescribed information from the landlord or agent within 30 days of paying the deposit. If you don’t know what this is, take a look at our Deposit page.
- If you are moving in some weeks or months after you viewed the property, make contact and view the property again before the contract is due to start so you can raise any issues about the condition of the property and make sure you fully understand the check in procedure your landlord or agent will want you to follow.
Check out our:
- Moving In page
- Deposit page
- Moving In Guide
If you have any questions or want more advice at any stage of your house hunting, please contact the SU Advice Centre.