Looking for accommodation may seem like a challenge but there is support and advice available. It is important to take your time and explore the options available.
Chances are you will spend part of your time at Oxford 'Living Out' in private rented accommodation. There are many options available and the Student Advice Service can provide you with the information and resources to make good decisions.
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. To help you plan, OUSU's Living Out Guide (which is pidged to all Freshers) has useful information to guide you through the process. You can read the guide below.
Living Out Talks
The Living Out Guide will be supplemented by Living Out Talks where an Advisor, from the Student Advice Service, visits common rooms to discuss the major issues you should know before renting accommodation in the private sector. Common Room Officers can arrange Living Out Talks by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Starting your search
The Student Pad is a great place to start your housing search. It's a property finder that is free to use and managed by the University of Oxford's Accommodation Office. You can also use a letting agency and there are many in the city. However, be aware that these agents will charge you administration fees of around £150 per person once you decide to rent a property with them. Agencies might also charge you for credit checks. If you think you're being charged an unfair amount or for inappropriate expenses, please contact the Student Advice Service.
Starting your 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 and can seem complicated and daunting. If you would like help to understand your responsibilities, before you sign your contract, please contact the Student Advice Service who will be happy to help.
Living in College
Most undergraduates and some graduates spend part of their time living in college accommodation, either in the main site or various halls around the city. If you have any special requirements as a result of health or disability you should contact your Domestic Bursar and inform them of any reasonable adjustments the college needs to make.
University Graduate Accommodation
If you are enrolled on a full time graduate course you may be eligible for graduate student accommodation. The University has seven sites around the city providing accommodation for single graduate students. Information on the eligibility criteria and allocation of University graduate accommodation may be useful to you when looking for somewhere to live. If you have any questions or concerns please contact an advisor, at the Student Advice Service who will be happy to help.
University Student Parents and Couples
The University has five sites around the city providing accommodation for student parents (both undergraduate/mature and graduate parents) and student couples. Read more on the definition, eligibility criteria and allocation of University accommodation for couples and student parents to help you in your search for suitable accommodation. If you have any questions or concerns about your accommodation please contact an advisor who will be happy to help.
Hopefully your will have no problems with your accommodation during your time in Oxford. If you do have any issues or concerns with either college or private accommodation please contact the Student Advice Service.