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Private Sector Accommodation – Bath Spa University

Looking for somewhere to live or people to live with? We’re here to help, from dealing with landlords and agencies to signing that contract.

Want our advice? Take your time when arranging your accommodation. Make sure you’re happy with who you want to live with, where you want to live, and how much you can budget.

The Student Community Partnership

For more information on living in the Bath community, read the Student Community Partnership's guide.

House hunting

Finding people to live with

Bath Spa Studentpad has message boards where you can meet others who are looking for housemates.

Our advice

  • Meet everyone you’ll be sharing with in person
  • Make sure you make a good impression
  • What are you looking for? Consider potential housemates' hobbies, course and how they like to spend their time. Are they a party animal or a studious type? Are they planning to get a part-time job?
  • Go with your gut instinct; do you like these people? You’ll sign a legal document making a commitment to live with them.
Viewing properties
  • Don’t visit a property alone. If it’s unavoidable, make sure someone knows where you’re going and the time you should be back.
  • Everyone should view a property before they sign for it. If people can’t attend viewings, take photos or videos when you look around the property.
  • Make sure the property is clean and in a good condition inside and out.
  • Clarify what will be included in the rent.
  • Check that electrical and gas appliances work.
  • By law, landlords have to have gas safety certificates for all gas appliances; ask to see one.
  • Your property may be referred to as a House of Multiple Occupation (HMO) – here's what this means (on Shelter's website).
  • Find out who else has keys to the property.
Where to live

The majority of our students live in or around Bath. If you’re studying at Newton Park, you’ll want to be near a U5 bus stop. For Sion Hill, Locksbrook and The Circus students, properties are usually located a walk or bus ride away from the University buildings.

When you’re house hunting, explore different areas and look up transport options – you might be surprised by how convenient areas you hadn’t considered can be.

If you’re going to walk or cycle to University, it’s worth plotting your route online to see how long it will take.

If you have a part-time job – or are planning to get one – it’s important to consider how you’ll get to and from work as well.

Tenancy reference requests

Information for students
Bath Spa University will be able to issue you with a basic financial reference if you've lived in halls of residence at Newton Park or Bankside House. This will include your instalment payment plan and whether instalments were paid on time. We’re unable to provide any type of character reference.

To request a tenancy reference, please email the Finance team stating:

  • Your name
  • Your current address
  • Your student number

If you currently live in Charlton Court or Waterside Court you’ll need to ask the UNITE staff at your building if they can provide this for you. If you currently live at Twerton Mill you’ll need to ask the iQ team at reception if they can provide this for you. If you live in a private sector property you should contact your landlord or letting agent. If you live at home with parents or guardians then you should declare this to your prospective landlord and advise that you can't provide a reference.    

Information for landlords and letting agents
Bath Spa University can issue references for current Bath Spa University students. If you’re acting on behalf of a student, we’ll be unable to correspond with you directly due to the Data Protection Act 1998. All tenancy references are sent to the student, who is responsible for forwarding the paperwork to you.

The University can only issue basic financial references; we’re not be able to provide any type of character reference.

To request a tenancy reference, please email the Finance team stating:

  • The name of the student
  • Their current address
  • Student date of birth
  • Student number

We’ll process the request and send the tenancy reference to the student.

Please don't call or email us to chase reference requests, we're unable to deal with these calls or emails. You must correspond directly with the student.

Before you sign

Whether you’re asked to sign a licence or tenancy agreement, please make sure you understand the implications and take legal advice if necessary. Both of the following agencies offer free legal advice:

When you sign an agreement for a house/flat, you're agreeing to take it based on the condition it was in when you viewed it. If a landlord or agent has promised to make improvements to a property, make sure this is written into the contract.

Try to get everyone together to sign for a house on the same day. Make sure you keep copies of everything that you sign.

How we can help

Although it is your responsibility to find accommodation for your returning years, we're always happy to advise and support about the private sector. We often hold private sector talks in the first term of the academic year, which contains tips about where to look and what to look for, as well lots of support on social media too. Throughout the year we can discuss options with students.

Please be advised that if you're a resident in our accommodation, we can't be a personal referee for your private sector accommodation, although we're happy to provide a financial reference if your rent has been paid on time.

In the meantime, here are some links that you might find useful:

Be savvy about scams

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

Don't 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)
  • Seeing the tenancy agreement.

Scams usually involve you being asked to send money (via a payment service such as Western Union, or MoneyGram) 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've been caught out by such a situation please keep any correspondence and report it to the police as soon as you can.

“Living in Bath has been amazing. It’s so fun just going for a wander in the Royal Victoria Park or for a coffee in the shopping centre or for a bit of historic adventure to the Roman Bath, different museums and the Bath Abbey.” – Grace Hopkins, History and Heritage

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