Before you enter into any tenancy agreement, you should always check the following:
Reviews – what do others say about this landlord or property?
Contract type – are you happy with the contract and do you understand your responsibilities as tenant?
Contract length – will the property be available for the duration of your course?
Bills – what is included in the rent and will there be any additional costs?
Charges – what do you need to pay to move in and how is the rent paid?
Shared flats/houses: Renting a shared house with other students involves sharing a kitchen, living room (if included), bathroom and toilet. En suite rooms are rare in shared accommodation. Rents can appear good value, however ensure you take into consideration any additional costs and bills before committing. Many students choose University-managed Halls during their first year at university and then move into private housing for their second year, once friendship groups are made. The University does not have an approved list, nor does it inspect any private sector properties, however, there are many letting agencies around Plymouth that do cater to the student market. It is therefore important to research the local market. There are multiple discussion threads and reviews available on many student websites that you can use to help learn about your choices within the local private sector.
Individual flats/houses: If you are moving to Plymouth to study with your family, this is probably the best choice for you. Letting agencies will be able to advise you on all of the local amenities, for example, local schools.
Studios: Studios are self-contained, flexible living spaces, used for living and sleeping in that include your own bathroom facilities and a kitchenette. There are some student buildings that contain several studio flats if you are wanting to combine privacy with meeting other students.
Home-stay: A home-stay is where students can rent a bedroom in their landlord's home and live as part of the family. Home-stays are often popular with students visiting for only a few weeks as the duration can be flexible. The university does not have a recommended list of home-stay landlords, however, there are dedicated websites you can visit, just be sure to check reviews beforehand.
Private-sector Halls of Residence: Plymouth boasts a selection of purpose-built student halls, which are owned and managed by companies specialising in the student market. Private halls will generally have in-house teams to assist with resident issues or queries and will offer a range of facilities and services, usually including some cleaning, laundry facilities, maintenance, and post. You may be living with students from other local universities and colleges as these halls welcome all registered students within the city. Room types differ and it is important to check all terms and conditions, including the length of your tenancy and any cancellation policies before booking.