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Private accommodation

Last updated: 10/08/2023 09:56

Learn how to find private accommodation in Cardiff, and your rights and responsibilities as a tenant.

Where to find private accommodation

There is a wide range of accommodation in Cardiff - including shared houses and flats - that is let to students by private landlords or letting agents. Occasionally, you may find a room in a house that you would share with the owner.

If you intend to find private accommodation, we do not recommend signing up to a tenancy contract without viewing the property, ideally meeting any possible housemates. This way you can ensure you are happy with everything before signing the contract.

For information on all aspects of looking for a house or room to rent in Cardiff, take a look at the Students’ Union Advice team housing guide. Information here includes:

  • where to look for private accommodation
  • the different areas around the university
  • short-term accommodation
  • viewing properties
  • deposits and fees
  • contracts
  • inventories
  • Council Tax
  • moving out.

University services

The Students’ Union Advice team also keeps a list of individual rooms available in shared houses, and also those looking for rooms. Please contact them directly about this for further information.

If you would prefer to live in university halls of residence you can contact the Residences team to find out if they have any availability.

If you will be in Cardiff for 6 months or less, contact the Global Opportunities team. They keep a list of rooms being advertised being let by outgoing exchange students who will be abroad for either the autumn or spring semester only. Alternatively, see the 'short term accommodation' section of the Students’ Union housing guide.

Setting a budget

Money goes pretty far in Cardiff, but it’s important to know what money you have coming in and going out before you can decide how much rent you can afford. Don’t forget you will also have to budget for bills (unless these are specifically covered in your rent).

You can use the university’s living costs calculator to get an idea of the average costs of living in private accommodation. Remember they are averages though and your spending will depend on what you sign up for and how you manage your money.

More information about living expenses and budgeting.

How much it costs

The cost of private accommodation will vary depending on the location, the size and quality of the flat or house, how many people you are sharing the accommodation with and whether or not bills are included in the cost of the rent.

The average monthly cost of renting a room in a house you share with others is approximately £375 excluding your bills for water, gas, electricity, broadband and insurance. Unlike university residences, where most bills are included, you'll find that when you rent private accommodation you may have additional costs.

These are likely to include:

  • a bond, also known as a deposit, which is normally equivalent to one month’s rent and will be returned to you after you leave the property providing that no damage has been done. This money should be protected by the landlord through a tenancy deposit scheme
  • water, electricity, gas, telephone and internet bills
  • insurance (we strongly encourage you to insure your personal possessions against damage, loss or theft)
  • rent or half rent during summer, as private accommodation for students is often offered as a 12-month contract.

Where to stay while you search

If you are planning to spend some time in Cardiff before you have arranged your private accommodation, you could stay in a hostel, hotel or bed and breakfast. Prices vary depending on dates and availability. On average hostel accommodation (a bed in a dormitory) is generally the cheapest costing around £20 per night. Bed and breakfasts charge around £40 to £80 per night and hotels cost around £70 and £150 per night. This accommodation can be found near the campus and the central city area.

You can find further information on accommodation in Cardiff from the Visit Cardiff website.

University residences

Self-catered rooms are available at some of our residences. Find out more.

Housing help and advice

If you're thinking of renting private sector accommodation, The Students’ Union Advice Team can help. They are happy to explain and check your tenancy agreement before you sign a contract or pay any money to your landlord. They also have information to help you find accommodation in their comprehensive online Housing Guide.

You can also contact our Student Advice and Money team with any queries you have about housing:

Student Advice and Money