Move Smart Campaign
Looking for accommodation after your first year can be daunting, but try not to rush and instead, take time to consider all your options. Our Move Smart resources and information is available throughout the first term and beyond, to help you find the right place for you. The Students’ Guild website also offers lots of advice, including when and how to search for accommodation.
Find more details about Move Smart in the Activities Timeline.
Things to Consider
Before you begin your search for accommodation in the city, we recommend that you consider the ‘4 P’s’: Place, Price, People and Paperwork.
You may think that being as close to campus as possible is essential, but those houses are often the first to be snapped up. Broaden your search a little to access more options and avoid making a decision before you are ready. Take a look at the Student Accommodation Radius map for an idea of rental costs in the city.
Types of accommodation
What to check for
- The condition of the property inside and out and identify potential repairs or issues.
- Who is responsible for the upkeep of any communal areas.
- If a property is furnished, fully furnished or part-furnished. Ask for an inventory when you move in and take date-marked pictures of any damage to avoid deposit deductions later on.
- If electrical appliances have been PAT tested (check the sticker on the plug) and copies of safety certificates for all gas appliances.
- All landlords registered on our StudentPad website need to have an up to date gas safety certificate in order to advertise their property with us, which is why we recommend you use this site as your first port of call.
- The Community Engagement Team videos are really helpful when it comes to searching for accommodation and viewing a property.
- Parking - If you're considering bringing a vehicle with you to University, be aware that residential roads in Exeter have permit only parking rules and only 2 permits are allowed per house address. So depending on who else in the property needs a parking permit, you may need to consider where to park your car or whether to bring it with you at all.
How to find accommodation
- The University Accommodation Team manage the Exeter Studentpad website – a free online accommodation search portal.
- Exeter City Council website has lots of useful information about renting in the city and details on where to find somewhere to rent.
- Take a look at Save the Student for more tips and information.
- Think about your budget and what you will be able to afford weekly or monthly.
- Remember that contracts are different lengths so base your calculation on the whole contract rent to avoid getting caught short.
- Look at what is included in the rent. For instance, purpose-built student residences often have all bills included in the rent, whilst individual houses and flats may not.
- Plan ahead with the people you’re going to live with how the rent/bills will be paid and divided between you.
- If you can, ask the current tenants how much they’re spending on bills to give you an idea
- Find out if you have to pay a deposit or rent in advance
When securing a place to live, you may be asked for fees, holding deposits and tenancy deposits up front. Before you hand over any money, make sure:
- You know what you’re paying for
- You know exactly what will be refunded if you end up not living there
- You get a receipt stating what you have paid and what it was for
The Students’ Guild website has lots of information about contracts and prices.
Check the Student Accommodation Radius map for an idea of rental costs in the city.
Who to live with
- Living with friends can be one of the best things about having a place of your own, but its worth thinking about what’s important to you as individuals before deciding whether to live together. You need to consider whether you would still get on well if you were living under the same roof.
- Course mates, friends from societies and even new students you’ve found on the StudentPad website or at one of the ’People to live with’ events can all make excellent housemates.
- Take a look at the Who? guide to help you think about what your ideal housemates might be like.
Finding people to live with
- The StudentPad website has a facility where you can find people to share with or register yourself as someone who is looking for flatmates.
- Once you sign a contract you are tied in to living together next year, and a lot can happen between now and next September, so make sure you don’t rush into a decision.
- Private providers will offer individual contracts, so that you can join other students in a flat in these residences but have your own contract. This is great if you don’t want to manage group bills.
If you get into any disputes with your current or potential flatmates, Students' Guild Advice can help to find a way forward. The Students’ Guild website also has lots of information about finding and choosing people to live with.
Our Who to live with guide helps you think through what's important to you and whether that matches with your potential housemates.
It’s really important to make sure you know what you’re signing up to. Are you signing an individual or joint tenancy agreement? What does the landlord commit to doing and what is your responsibility? Are bills included or extra?
The Students' Guild website has a lot of detailed advice on paperwork related to renting private accommodation, so make sure you take a look before signing.
What to expect
Paperwork can be confusing and it’s important to read through everything to fully understand what is expected of you. Normal things to receive are:
- Your Tenancy Agreement (known as your 'Contract') - The legally binding document/contract that outlines the terms and conditions of you staying the property.
- Inventory - A list of property, goods, furniture and contents. You and the landlord/agent will sign this when you move in to agree to the quality of goods and contents of the property and if there are any pre-existing damages.
- Guarantor forms - If you don't reach the minimum financial requirements of an agent or landlord - you may need to provide a guarantor who will guarantee payment if you aren’t able to fulfil it.
- Application forms - Most private providers or letting agents will ask you to fill in an application form to both provide your contact details and to provide details for a credit check if they're requesting one. The application form may ask for details of previous landlords as a reference.
If you're unsure of what paperwork you are being asked to sign, check with the Students' Guild Advice Team first.
From advice on finding accommodation, to what to consider when viewing a property and staying safe in Exeter, our videos will help with your accommodation search and transition into city life.
Move Smart Events
These informal events are an opportunity to get advice and meet other students looking for private accommodation.
Accommodation after your first year information event
Chat with the Community Engagement and Residence Life Teams about moving into private accommodation.
Housing information talks
Find out about private accommodation in Exeter and ask any questions you may have. The event runs from 17:30 - 18:30.
Intercultural Cafe events
Speak with the Residence Life and Community Engagement Teams about accommodation advice for after the first year.
Flatmate Finder Events
Chat with the Students' Guild, Residence Life and Community Engagement Teams over snacks and drinks, plus meet other students on the look out for people to live with after the first year.
Location details coming soon.
Help and Advice
- Students' Guild Advice Team - Finding housing, contracts, issues with landlords or housemates.
- Community Engagement Team - Support once you are living in the city. Phone 01392 723721 or email email@example.com.
- Accommodation Team - Moving out of university accommodation, plus the management of Studentpad. Log an enquiry through SIDOnline.
- Residence Life Team - Living in university accommodation, looking for housemates and moving out. Email firstname.lastname@example.org @ExeterResLife on socials.
- Estate Patrol - Staying safe on campus and in the city. Phone 01392 723999 or email email@example.com.