Private rented accommodation

Private rented house

Renting somewhere while you’re at university is a great way to be part of the local community and live independently.

We have a specialist Tenancy Support Team who can help you find private rented accommodation and give you advice about any issues that could occur when you're renting.

Accommodation options

All or some of the following private sector options are available to you, depending on which campus you’re studying at. While we can tell you about accommodation that’s available, we don’t visit or endorse the properties, or the people advertising them.

Option 1: whole properties or rooms in shared houses

Studentpad is a property listings site ran by ARU that lets you search for houses, flats and rooms in Cambridge, Chelmsford and Peterborough (you’ll need a password from the Residential Service before you can use it). The landlords and agencies that advertise on it send us the basic paperwork they need to legally rent their property before we agree to advertise it.

There’s a message board on Studentpad where you can find a room advertised by another student or post information about a room you have to rent (ARU Students only).

We also have lists of letting agencies in Cambridge and letting agencies in Chelmsford, who have told us they are happy to rent to students.

Option 2: private halls of residence

In Cambridge there are several private halls of residence. They are all quite newly built and many have additional features like common rooms, gyms and even a cinema! These halls offer shared flats and/or studios. Have a look our private halls of residence list for more information. In Peterborough, there is a private hall for students called Taverners.

Option 3: lodgings

You can also find lodgings on Studentpad. In Cambridge there’s also a company called Homestay Consultancy that can arrange for you to stay with a host family.

Top tips for finding accommodation

  1. We wouldn’t recommend signing a contract or paying any money for a property until you have seen it.
  2. Read our house hunter guide, which is full of handy hints about looking for rented accommodation.
  3. Don’t rush into making a decision. Every year, we hold an Accommodation Fair in February or March, which is the perfect time for current students to start looking for a place to live for the following September. There’s no need to rush into signing up to a contract really quickly in your first year as you may get less choice or decide you don’t get on with your new housemates before you’ve even moved in! We also hold house-hunting events for new students from July to September each year.

Beware of scams

We've received reports of students being scammed into handing over money for a property that doesn’t exist or doesn’t belong to the person who claims to be the landlord. Don’t send money transfers or Western Union transfers as they are not secure. Seek advice from our Tenancy Support Team if you're unsure. Local Trading Standards officers are working with the police to investigate but in the meantime, but these fake adverts can be very convincing so we urge you to be vigilant.

To report a scam contact the Citizens Advice Consumer helpline on 03454 040506 and Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

Useful documents and websites

If you’d like any more help, contact your Tenancy Support Team for advice. We’re here to help.

Tenancy Support – Cambridge, Chelmsford, Peterborough

Cambridge & Peterborough Tel: +44 (0)1223 698900
Chelmsford Tel: +44 (0)1245 683110
Opening hours: Monday–Friday, 9.30am–4.30pm

Happy house hunting!