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Private accommodation

Private accomodation

If you don’t fancy staying in halls for the duration of your studies, renting in the private sector is a popular option for many students.

If you choose to share with friends in the private rented sector, this information could help you. 

Don't rent yet!

Students living in Southampton are in a unique position. As well as being a busy, vibrant and green city, Southampton has a wide range of student housing options.

If you are in your second or third year of study you will have the opportunity to stay in official university residences, or alternatively you may prefer to rent in the private sector.

The University advises you not to start looking for accommodation until 1 February 2017. is the official university housing accreditation scheme for private housing and will be releasing its list of properties from 1 February 2017. We will also be holding a housing fare in the Spark on 2 February 2017 for all your house hunting needs.

Until then our advice is clear, don't rent yet.

Why wait? It’s your right!

  • Once you have signed you can’t change your mind - you need time to understand the small print and to get it checked. The accommodation office offers a free contract checking service.
  • Once you sign a contract it is legally binding and you will be liable for all of the rent until the end of the contract. If you sign a joint contract you will also be liable for your housemates’ rent - even if they leave university.
  • A landlord or agent who tries to pressurise you into signing a contract should raise alarm bells. A good landlord understands that renting a property is a big decision, so you need to choose carefully.
  • Anyone that tells you all the best student accommodation goes quickly is not being honest. There is more student accommodation than students in Southampton.
  • The truth is good landlords don’t need to pressurise students into taking their accommodation - it sells itself. 

Why Use SASSH?

  • Run in partnership with Southampton City Council, SASSH is the only official university housing accreditation scheme in Southampton.
  • Properties registered on SASSH must meet our specified standards which means that the properties are safer.
  • Landlords must sign up to a code of conduct so you can expect a good level of customer service and if things do go wrong you can access our complaints procedure.
  • We are cheaper; most of our landlords don’t charge fees.

The city has a wide range of student housing to choose from so there is no need to rush into renting.

Come along to the University's housing fare on the 2 February 2017 in the Spark and join us on Twitter at @SASSHtweets.  

Right to rent

The Immigration Act 2014 introduced the concept of the 'right to rent' to the private rented housing sector, where landlords must check their tenants’ immigration status and show that they are legally allowed to reside in the UK. 

From 1 February 2016, all landlords must carry out right to rent checks on all tenants and retain copies of certain documents evidencing their immigration status. Landlords and agencies are required by law to carry out these checks. For further details of landlords legal obligations please view the website.

For most students, you will need to show your passport and provide a photocopy for your landlord to keep.  If you don’t have a passport, please see the full list of accepted documents. Under no circumstances should you allow the landlord or letting agent to retain an original copy.  

Right to rent checks will happen when you start a new tenancy or if there is a break in your current contract. If you sublet your room it will be your responsibility to do the right to rent checks. Should you be renewing a tenancy with no changes to any tenants or the agreement, there will be no need for the landlord or agent to carry out these checks again as this would be a continuation of occupation. 

As a final reminder, please do not part with any original identification and ensure you have sufficient copies to provide on viewings. 

If you are concerned about how these legal changes will affect your accommodation search, please contact the Housing Advisor at

Where to start looking

sasshlogo260x175The University has a website where you can search for accredited private rented accommodation. Properties are registered by private landlords and provides the opportunity to be part of the accreditation scheme which is a voluntary scheme to promote responsible renting of student housing.

You can access the SASSH standards and look at what landlords must adhere to in order to register with the scheme.

The website allows you to search the accredited property list on a wide range of housing options, as well as view maps, and leave messages about looking for accommodation, spare rooms or potential housemates.

There is a lot to think about when you are looking at accommodation and the following pages are a summary of important things to consider – please also look at the guide to private sector housing which includes a useful checklist.

Guide to private sector housing

If you have any queries relating to private sector accommodation, please contact the private sector housing advisor on 023 8201 5040 or email

Page last updated on Thursday 24 November 2016 at 10.42am.


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