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Some students prefer a bit more independence and choose to find accommodation in the private sector - either renting a property with friends or lodging with a resident landlord. To help you find the right place for you, our housing adviser is available to help. For more information, please read our guide to renting in the private sector or contact

Where to start looking

In partnership with the University of Southampton and Southampton City Council, we have compiled an accredited directory of private student accommodation in Southampton and the surrounding area. The scheme is called SASSH (Southampton Accreditation Scheme for Student Housing).

Southampton Accreditation Scheme for Student Housing

SASSH sets out certain criteria that a landlord must meet and agree to maintain, such as having valid gas and electricity safety certificates and smoke detectors.

By using SASSH you can view properties and contact landlords directly to organise viewings. You can also make use the message board, where you can message other students who are looking for a housemate.

You can also register online and receive notifications of newly listed student accommodation that fit your search criteria the moment it becomes available.

Find a home events

Find a home events are the perfect way to find housemates and private accommodation before you arrive in Southampton to start your studies.

Students take part in activities, meet-and-greets and presentations before attending the housing fair to hopefully confirm a choice of housemates and find suitable accommodation together.

Staff from the University and Students' Union and current students will be on hand throughout the day to answer any questions you may have.

You will need to have money available for a deposit if you are to sign contracts on the day, and be sure to come prepared to talk to other students at the event. Everyone is in the same situation so you will have no problem finding new housemates.

Before you commit

The accreditation scheme is voluntary and landlords self assess their properties based on the SASSH criteria. Unfortunately, it would be impossible for us to inspect and validate all the properties and we therefore strongly advise you to arrange a visit. This will help you ensure that:

  • It suits your needs.
  • All the information advertised is accurate.
  • Certification is up-to-date.
  • The property is safe and secure.

While we are available to offer any advice you might need, it is up to you to negotiate rents and deposits with the landlord.

You’ll normally be asked to sign a tenancy agreement for the whole year. This may include having to pay full rent or a reduced rate over the summer vacation if you want to keep the property for the next academic year.

You’ll also need to figure bills into the overall cost like internet, gas and electricity, as these aren’t normally included in the rent.

Before you sign anything, make sure you are satisfied with what’s being offered and that you understand your rights and obligations as a tenant.

Please contact the private sector housing adviser on if you need further advice or assistance.

Right to rent

From the 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 visit our information for landlords page.

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.  

If you are concerned about how these legal changes will affect your accommodation search, please contact the our housing advisor at

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