If you’re a returning or new student who didn't manage to get a room in our halls of residence – or halls aren’t for you – then private rented accommodation is an ideal choice.

There are a few additional things to consider if you are looking for private student accommodation – here you’ll find guidance for finding the right place to stay, plus contact details for our accommodation teams who can help.

Private accommodation

So, you want to rent privately?

First of all, you need to find a great place to stay that suits your personality, your studies and your social life. We think Studentpad is a great place to begin your house hunt and get a feel for what’s available. This interactive site lets you:

  • Register and create a profile with Surrey Studentpad or Canterbury Studentpad
  • browse the website using the latest search tools e.g. the search by map function allows you to see how far away a property is from campus or the train station
  • Set up an account immediately so you can receive automated updates when new properties go live
  • Contact landlords directly.

In addition, you can also register with an alternative student housing online platform called StudentTenant where you can:

  • Register and create a profile of property and housemate preferences
  • Search for properties, save your favourites and create alerts
  • Set up viewings with landlords
  • Securely book your property online.

You can also contact local letting agents, landlords and purpose-built student accommodation providers directly via links listed in our private accommodation guides – click the links below for information on these:

Unlike halls accommodation, renting privately means you’ll have differing costs and commitments, which might be a bit daunting.

So, preparation is key. Do lots of research and ask all the questions you can – this ‘how to rent’ guide is packed full of essential information which will hopefully help you.

Most landlords and agents will insist on a UK-based guarantor to cover rent and any damages or liabilities before they will rent to you. If you do not have a suitable guarantor, they may ask you to pay your rent 6-12 months in advance.

The UCA Rent Guarantor Service in association with Housing Hand will help UK, EU and Overseas students, provide a qualifying UK Guarantor when renting in the private sector.

Who the service is for

Housing Hand will stand as a guarantor if you are unable to provide one. All UCA students are welcome to apply, whether from the UK, Europe or Overseas and regardless of nationality.

It is open to new students who haven’t yet enrolled at UCA.

Guarantor Fee

Housing Hand will charge a Guarantor Fee, discounted for UCA students:

  • 5% of annual rent if paid upfront.
  • 5.5% of annual rent if paid in monthly instalments.
  • Minimum fee of £295.


Apply for Housing Hand guarantor service.

If you have difficulty accessing the service, please contact Housing Hand directly. It is important to let them know that you are a UCA student. 

If you have a property or a room that you’d like to offer to our students, please contact Student Tenant or Studentpad for more information about how to register.

As part of your registration, you’ll need you to sign up to our Landlords’ Code of Standards and provide relevant documents, such as gas and electrical safety certificates. 

You can register your property on the links below:  

Contact the Accommodation Team

The Accommodation Team are available 9am-5pm Monday-Friday to answer any questions you have about living at UCA.

Email us now