There is currently a very high demand for privately rented student accommodation across the UK, including Cardiff. As the unprecedented demand has led to increased costs across all areas of South Wales, you should factor this into your financial planning before you arrive. You may find it easier and more cost effective to live in halls of residence where usually all bills are included (suitable for single students only). Please see information about halls of residence
You should also be aware that it has become increasingly more common for landlords to ask for a UK based guarantor or alternatively, for students to pay their rent up to 6 months in advance in addition to their deposit (usually equivalent to one month's rent). If you are planning on renting in the private sector, you should also prepare for this up front cost before you arrive.
Be aware: We would strongly recommend that you do not secure accommodation advertised through Facebook or Gumtree. Unfortunately, there has been an increase across the whole of the UK of students being targeted by fraudsters through these platforms and paying sums of money through bank transfer for properties that do not exist.
It is important to know that, Housing Agents or landlords are
not allowed to charge 'non-refundable agency fees' this includes: Finders fees, fees to secure a property or fees for signing a contract.
There are various helpful websites that you can use to see what is available in the rental market in Cardiff. These websites allow you to enter your criteria, such as price, the amount of rooms required and location. We recommend signing up to these websites to receive alerts when properties become available.
Zoopla > Search Property to Buy, Rent, House Prices, Estate Agents
Rightmove - UK's number one property website for properties for sale and to rent
Whilst we would recommend you start looking for accommodation before you arrive to research availability and costs, we would still recommend that you not formally sign a contact/tenancy agreement until you have viewed the property in person.
You may want to consider looking into the surrounding areas of Cardiff. Areas such as Cardiff Bay, Barry, Newport, Caerphilly, Pontypridd, Bridgend and Treforest all offer great transport links and may have more properties available at a slightly cheaper rate. To help you check how easy it would be to commute please refer to the below links for train and bus service information:
The Global Student Advisory Service be holding an accommodation webinar in August to provide lots of useful tips for students looking to find accommodation in the private sector. The webinar will be advertised to students in advance, if you are unable to attend the webinar, the recording will be available to you at a later point. In the meantime, a recording of an earlier webinar held in September 2022 can be found
We are currently aware that there is limited affordable family accommodation available in Cardiff. Students arriving with family members, especially children, are finding it increasingly difficult to secure suitable accommodation due to unprecedented demand and rising costs. This has resulted in students being placed under enormous pressure when they first arrive and are experiencing:
- Increased costs associated with short term accommodation e.g. Hotels.
- Unable to open bank accounts without a UK address
- Unable to register with a GP
- Unable to register their children in school
- The additional stress has also been having a negative impact on student's studies
strongly advise students with families to travel alone initially to ensure you can find appropriate accommodation
before your partner and children travel to alleviate additional pressure.
Although the university has specific halls of residence accommodation, the majority of international students choose to live off-campus in privately rented accommodation. Some students choose to live with friends or relatives in order to save money on accommodation costs.
The university recommends that all students live within a one hour commute of Cardiff. If your accommodation is located outside of this area, please be aware that you could face many difficulties including:
- Expense – the cost of public transport, especially long distances, can be very expensive.
- Time – At peak travelling times in the morning and the evening, the UK's road and rail networks can be very congested which will make your travelling time to university longer.
- Impact on studies – Long travelling times to the university will increase your chances of being late or missing your classes altogether. In addition, tiredness from travelling long distances will impact your ability to concentrate in your classes.
Please be aware that you will be studying a full-time course. Therefore, it is very possible that your classes will be taught every day between Monday and Friday – it is not possible for your timetable to be changed. As per the immigration obligations attached to your student visa, you will be expected the attend all of your classes on each of these days.
As required by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI), the university will closely monitor your attendance and engagement on your course. Living too far away from Cardiff will not be an acceptable reason for not attending your classes. Continued poor attendance could result in the university withdrawing you from your course, this will be reported to UKVI and your student visa will be cancelled.
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