Exeter has a lot of student accommodation, so there's no need to rush to sign up for your next home.

Some private student residences are very similar to University accommodation.

Make sure you're happy with your accommodation before signing any contracts.

Private sector accommodation

Choosing student accommodation for your second, third or fourth years at the University of Exeter can be a big decision. If you don’t want to live in University accommodation as a returning student you will need to look at private sector student housing.

Whether you are searching for a student flat or house, a short term let while on placement or a few nights in bed and breakfast, we can help.

Please note: the University of Exeter gives notice for itself and for those on whose behalf it may act that:

  1. The related property details are believed to be correct but their accuracy is not guaranteed and they do not form part of any contract;
  2. Students must satisfy themselves by inspection or otherwise of the accuracy of these details.

Council tax

Do I need to pay this? The majority of students are exempt from paying council tax, but there are a few exceptions. Registry provide a comprehensive guide and are happy to offer advice and assistance

How to find private student accommodation

  • When to look?
  • Where to look?

When to look?

Traditionally house hunting starts in January when the University releases a list of private sector student accommodation via Studentpad [external link].

Private lettings agencies tend to release their student housing lists in December.

Where to look?


Information on Studentpad is free and includes:

  • A list of shared houses and flats.
  • A PGCE list (short term accommodation - let to Postgraduate Certificate of Education students).
  • A lodgings list (short term accommodation).
  • A list of family/staff accommodation.

We are encouraging landlords who advertise with us to sign up to the Unipol student housing code - a national landlord accreditation scheme to help students make more informed choices about their accommodation and its quality.

Private accommodation held within Studentpad is NOT inspected by the Accommodation Office.

Private student lettings agencies

There are lots of student lettings agencies in Exeter. All release their own student accommodation lists but not all are free to use. Many agencies charge non-refundable registration, booking and administration fees plus deposits.

Other private student accommodation providers

Exeter has number of purpose-built private halls of residence. These tend to be similar to University accommodation with cluster flats or en-suite and studio rooms available for all-inclusive rents.


Students should check that flats/houses/bedsits are adequately furnished for their needs. Make sure the property is clean and in good condition both inside and out:

  • Check the property is clean and in good condition inside and out.
  • Check for dampness*.
  • Check the electrical and gas appliances work.
  • By law landlords have to have gas certificates for all gas appliances, ask to see one.
  • Properties of three or more storeys with five or more student residents should have a House of Multiple Occupation (HMO) License from the local Council. Check the landlord has registered.
  • Find out who else has keys to the property.
  • In private housing you are responsible for insuring your possessions. We strongly advise you do so.
  • Check the property is adequately furnished for your needs.
  • Do not visit a property alone. If you have to go on your own make sure someone knows where you are going and the time you should be back.
  • Don’t rush to arrange your accommodation. There is plenty of student housing in Exeter. Take your time. Make sure you are happy with who you want to live with, where you want to live, and how much you can afford to pay.

*There are many causes of damp, including poor air circulation. Make sure you air your rooms regularly to avoid the appearance of mould.

Further guidance on what to look for in the private sector can be found on the Naked Tenant website.

Whether you are asked to sign a licence or tenancy agreement or whether you have an oral contract, please make sure you understand the implications and take legal advice if necessary. The Students’ Guild Advice Unit can help. Keep copies of everything you sign.

If you are in doubt about anything to do with renting private accommodation, check with the Accommodation Office, the Guild Welfare Advisor or the Exeter Citizens Advice Bureau.


Please be careful when responding to adverts for private accommodation as there have been a reports of people being scammed out of money.

Do not send money for accommodation prior to viewing the property, verifying the person is the landlord or a representative of the landlord (such as a letting agent) and seeing the tenancy agreement.

Scams usually involve you being asked to send money via a payment service such as Western Union, Bidpay or Money Gram and to then fax or send a scanned copy of the receipt of the money being paid via this service along with the reference number to secure the accommodation.

If you have been caught out by such a situation please keep any correspondence (emails/texts etc) and report it to the UK police as soon as you can.

Cornwall private accommodation

There is a good deal of private housing available for rent in Falmouth and Penryn, with rents typically in the region of £70-90 per week excluding bills. The Penryn Campus Accommodation Office runs accommodation fairs and other services to help students find private sector accommodation. You can find out more information on the Falmouth Exeter Plus private accommodation webpages.

If you are in doubt about anything to do with renting private accommodation, check with the Falmouth Exeter Plus accommodation team or the Falmouth Citizens Advice Bureau.