Short-term accommodation

You may find it helpful to arrange short-term accommodation before you arrive in Birmingham to provide you with a base close to campus whilst you decide where you would like to live. This will avoid the possibility of you making a long term commitment to a property you later decide is not suitable or is too expensive.

You may also like to consider accommodation in the city centre where there are many serviced apartments, bed and breakfasts and hotels on offer. These can be located and booked through search sites such as, Trip advisor, Expedia, KAYAK  , Airbnb.  

Private accommodation

There are several different types of property available in the UK. For example:

  • bedsit: a bedroom and living room combined, with cooking facilities within the same room or shared elsewhere in the building;
  • studio flat: a self-contained unit comprising a bedroom and living room combined, but with a separate kitchen;
  • flat: a self-contained unit on one level, a 'maisonette' is on two levels, forming part of a multi-floored building;
  • bungalow: a house on one level
  • terrace: a house between two other houses, and
  • semi-detached: a house that shares a wall with another house.
  • detached: a house in its own grounds without shared walls

A house/flat share agreement is where you have your own bedroom but share all other facilities.

There are many letting agents in Birmingham and also numerous landlords who will rent their property privately. The Midland Landlord Accreditation Scheme lists all professional agencies and landlords who have applied with them for accreditation. Whilst accreditation is not a guarantee of quality, it provides some reassurance about the standard of the service they provide.

You can search for property to rent or buy through estate agents on the following sites: Rightmove; Zoopla; On The Market. The following sites include private rentals: OpenRent; GumTree; SpareRoom.

Take care not to fall prey to scam 'landlords'. In addition, estate agents can charge you fees for credit checks, references and administration once you agree on a property, but they cannot charge you a fee for simply registering with them when you start looking for a property.

Think about where you want to live: how far you are prepared to travel, whether you want to be close to shops and hospitals or if you prefer to be based outside the main urban areas. You can search using an area (e.g. Bournville, Kings Norton, Moseley or Kings Heath) or a postcode (B15 2TT is the University postcode) and then narrow your search by specifying a maximum budget, maximum number of rooms and the property type that you are interested in (e.g. flat/apartment, house or bungalow).

Find more local information using a postcode search and the ONS Website to get an understanding of the area you are looking to move to. Also see Government advice on renting and Government advice on buying a property.

If you are bringing school age children with you then entry to state schools in the UK is usually based upon 'catchment areas'. This means where you live will impact upon the schools your children can attend. Find out more on the Schools and Childcare  page. 

You will need to enter into a tenancy agreement with the landlord or letting agent which sets out your rights and obligations as a tenant. Do not sign an agreement if you do not fully understand it. The landlord should provide you with an inventory of fixtures and fittings and note of any existing damage to items before you move in. If they do not, draw up your own list and take photographs and send these to the landlord to avoid disputes at a later date as you will be asked to pay for any additional damage or missing items when you move out. You should also agree meter readings for water, electricity and gas with the landlord at the point you move in. Contact all of the companies providing these utilities to let them know you have moved in and provide them with the current meter reading so they can bill you direct.

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