When to start looking - Bradford

When first year students should start looking for accommodation

When returning students should start looking for accommodation for the following year

When first year students should start looking for accommodation

If, as a first year student, you are applying for university or college accommodation (or other accommodation which your intended institution directly allocates to student tenants), then you need to return your application forms by the relevant deadline. An application for accommodation will normally be sent to you when you have confirmed that you intend to study at that institution. If you are in doubt about the procedure, look on your Accommodation Office website or telephone them and ask.  For contact information for your institution please click here.

If you want to live in private sector accommodation, or if you have not been able to get a university or college provided room then you can start looking immediately. Students who are reliant on A-level results will have to wait until mid-August before they can look, but others don’t. So if you’re in a position to look for a house before mid-August, please feel free to use the website today to take your search forward. There will also be local factors which affect when existing students start looking for the following letting year. This information can be found below.

When returning students should start looking for accommodation for the following year

If, as a returning student, you want to remain in, or move back to, university or college accommodation then you need to contact your Accommodation Office just before you leave for Christmas and see what their system for returners is. If you want a short let, contact them at any time of the year and they may be able to help, depending on when you want to live there.

You are likely to come under early pressure from other students and the private sector to start looking for accommodation for the next letting year as early as November or December. This pressure generally takes the form of alarmist messages that all the good properties are snapped up at this time of year for the following year. Resist the temptation to fall for the hype. Don't be panicked into an early decision unnecessarily - get settled at university, make friends and get to know them, and then work out who you want to share with (unless, of course, you decide to live on your own). After all, a year is a long time to live with people it turns out you don't get on with.

Unipol has an official house hunting start date which works against alarmist rumours and panicked early decisions. Be clear when this is and wait for the official start date. You can find out more here about house hunting in Bradford. What the start date does is:

• stops confusion between students wanting to rent properties now and for next year;

• gives all owners (both large and small) an equal starting date for marketing their properties;

• allows advice and information delivery to be given to all students at all institutions;

• ensures that there is a decent amount of comparable property for student to choose between;

• increases choice and transparency in the letting market;

• always fits in with the inter semester system and enables students to look for housing after they have taken their inter-semester examinations.

About a quarter of returning students finalise their arrangements with the owner (including signing the contract) in March to come in to effect on 1 July for a full 52-week let (although sometimes there are summer rent concessions made). The rest of those who commit themselves to a full year’s let (about the same number again) sign an agreement in April, May and June (but mostly May) before the third term.

For more information on finding a great house for your second or third year please click here

The universities, students' unions and Unipol will all be advising students not to rent before the official house hunting start date.