The content of this document is for information only. The Advice Service cannot comment on the suitability and quality of any accommodation or accommodation provider listed in this document. Inclusion on this list should not be taken as a recommendation by RUSU or the Advice Service. Please consider your options carefully and only enter into an agreement or sign any contract when you are happy to do so.
The University has Halls of Residence which are on campus. Information on the Halls of Residence can be found at www.reading.ac.uk/life/life-accommodation.aspx. There are separate sections for prospective and returning students, as well as for staff and visitors.
Some things to consider when renting University Accommodation:
- Halls of Residence agreements usually last for an academic year: this means that you will sign an agreement to say that you will remain in the accommodation for a set period of time. It is unlikely that you will be able to leave within this period: if you do, you may still be liable to pay rent.
- Halls of Residence are paid for in termly instalments.
- Some Halls of Residence packages are catered. With a catered package, you are provided with food in addition to accommodation. The term of this agreement is usually 31 weeks, rather than for the whole period (either 40 or 51 weeks).
- There is some accommodation which can accommodate families, however, the amount available is limited and can only accommodate a maximum of two children under the age of twelve. Further information can be found on the University website: www.reading.ac.uk/life-family
- There is less availability for returning students. This means that if you are progressing onto the second, third or subsequent year of your course, you may not be allocated a place in Halls.
Private Halls of Residence
There are a number of Halls of Residence within Reading which are operated by private companies (rather than by the University).
Some things to consider when renting Private Halls of Residence:
- Private halls of residence tenants should be given a tenancy agreement which would usually – though not always – be an Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement. This means you are unlikely to be able to leave the accommodation early without having to pay the rent for the duration of your agreement.
- You may not be able to choose the people you will be living and sharing facilities with.
- Extra costs: factor in any up-front or additional costs. For example: You will pay a deposit when you book your room; rent is usually paid in instalments; you may need a TV Licence if you watch TV in your room.
- As private halls are located in various places around Reading, you may need to consider travel to and from the campus.
Private Rented Accommodation
Privately rented accommodation is available throughout Reading. This involves renting a property, either on your own or with other students or individuals, directly from a private landlord or through a letting agency.
This list is not an exhaustive list of letting agents in the local area.
Alternative places to look for Private Rented Accommodation include:
- Accommodation search websites: Rightmove or Zoopla can help with searches across letting agents.
- Reading Chronicle is a local newspaper which advertises properties for rent. Free copies are available to view in the Public Library (on Kings Road in Reading Centre), or online.
- Students often advertise spare rooms in private rented houses on the Facebook RUSU Find a Housemate group. There is also a noticeboard in the Students' Union where students can advertise for housemates.
Some things to consider when renting private accommodation:
- The Enterprise & Regulatory Reform Act 2013 requires all Letting Agents to belong to one of the following redress schemes:
- The Property Ombudsman
- Ombudsman Services Property
- The Property Redress Scheme
- Letting agents can also belong voluntarily to accreditation schemes:
- Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) Propertymark;
- National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) Propertymark;
- National Approved Lettings Scheme (NALS);
- By law letting agents should clearly advertise compulsory fees from the outset, and are prevented from charging fees until a property has been identified and accepted by the tenant. It is also illegal for fees to be charged for supplying address lists; for fees to be taken for a tenant simply registering his/her name, interest or requirements with an agent.
- Most letting agents charge fees, which can include: agency fees; administration fees; referencing fees and holding (reservation) fees. If you are unclear what you are being charged, or unsure as to whether you should pay a fee, seek advice.
Temporary Accommodation is accommodation you should use on a temporary, short-term basis, such as a hotel, Guest House or Bed and Breakfast.
- The Cedars is the University owned hotel on campus.Information and bookings can be found on www.venuereading.com. Ty can be contacted via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or telephone (0118 378 8906).
- There are also a number of private hotels and bed & breakfast accommodation in Reading – the first place to search is online.
Homestay accommodation is for students looking to stay with local, host families.
There is no Homestay service operated by the University of Reading or the Students’ Union. If you want to consider this option, you would need to look for an external supplier. A search on the internet can provide details of websites which match host families with people looking for homestay accommodation.
Some things consider when looking at Homestay:
- The location of the homestay may not be as convenient, as it is likely that they will be offered all over Reading and the surrounding area: therefore, you will need to factor in the cost of travel as well as accommodation.
- You will be expected to pay rent which will include bills but is unlikely to include use of the telephone.
- You are likely to be considered as an ‘excluded occupier’ or ‘lodger’ which give you less rights and protection from eviction than in other private renting situations.
If you would like further advice or to speak with somebody in person then a Students’ Union Adviser may be able to help. The specialist advisers offer a confidential service, independent from the University so they can discuss your case with you in private. RUSU Advice Service offers a Tenancy Agreement Checking Service, where an Adviser will look through your tenancy agreement, discuss terms or conditions and highlight any unfair terms or responsibilities that you may need to be aware of prior to signing the contract.