We know that coronavirus has caused a lot of anxiety and uncertainty for those looking for private accommodation, and those already living in the private sector. 

Do not panic into signing contracts before you arrive and without looking properly at the accommodation in person. Protect yourself by adding a coronavirus clause or addendum to your agreement. 

Tips for those searching for private accommodation


Our #RoadToPrivateHousing campaign is here! For the next few months we shall be helping you navigate your way to your new home with viewing tips, questions to ask agents, contract information and how COVID-19 may have affected your search. 

Make sure you follow us on twitter @icstudenthub  to get the latest updates

We will be answering your questions every fortnight in our new Q&A video segment on Twitter. Tweet your question using the hashtag #RoadToPrivateHousing.

We might be working remotely but we are here for you!

Take your time

Don't rush into signing legally binding contracts. Read the contract thoroughly and get it checked by the Student Hub team.

Make sure you get any verbal promises in writing; your contract needs to have explicit terms (written in it) to manage the risks presented by the virus. 

Protect yourself by adding a coronavirus clause or addendum to your agreement and use our flowchart to help you decide which clauses you might need.

Flexible options

There are plenty of websites that advertise spare rooms or available flats, but it’s worth looking at our dedicated pages for Agents and Private Halls providers that specifically cater to students.

In the last month we have written to these providers to ask them what policies they are putting in place to protect students during Covid-19.

We have had a positive response, with many providers offering cancellation polices and flexibility for students due to the current pandemic. We have highlighted this information underneath each of their adverts so you are aware.  

Short term accommodation

We strongly recommend that you don't sign up to anything you've not seen in person. If you have done an online viewing and wish to proceed then see if it is possible to add a clause to your contract before signing that would allow you to leave if it doesn't meet your expectations.

If you need short-term accommodation so you can have a base when searching for a property, these private companies may be of assistance. 

Please note: by listing these companies, we do not endorse them.

If you currently have a private accommodation contract

We know many of you have questions about your rights as private tenants, either within Private Halls or renting through agencies and landlords. 

If you have left your accommodation:   

  • You are still liable for all rent payments and any damage caused until your agent/landlord releases you from your contract.
  • You are still liable for all utilities for the accommodation ie gas/electricity etc. that have accrued in the course of your contracted tenancy
  • You will need to inform your Agent/Landlord that you are not in occupation of the accommodation as this could have an effect on the condition of the property for example if there is a burst pipe or the property get broken into.  If any damage is caused you would be held liable.   
  • Return all keys for the property, and leave the property in the same condition as it was when you moved in ie clean and all items of furniture in the same rooms as they were at the start of the tenancy. 

The UK Government issued this guidance to tenants on Saturday 28 March 2020. There is also information from Shelter UK about your rights and coronavirus.