Choosing where to live

Whether you are looking for University accommodation or a rented property in the private sector, our accommodation services teams, ‘LIVING’ and Guild Lettings, can help you to find the right place.

We offer accommodation for postgraduates on or near to campus, although many of our students also choose to live privately in student accommodation, shared houses or flats.

Find out more about your options below, including the costs and steps to take to begin your accommodation search:

University accommodation
Private accommodation
Further information on searching, council tax and costs

University accommodation

University accommodation for postgraduates is located across the University’s three student villages, all of which are within walking distance of the main campus:

  • Pritchatts Park Village
  • Selly Oak Village
  • Vale Village.

We have a range of accommodation types, including flats with study bedrooms, sharing bathroom and kitchen facilities; flats with en suite study bedrooms; and studio apartments, where you have exclusive use of both kitchen and bathroom facilities.

Living in one of our accommodation sites means that there will be no hidden costs because the price includes all of your bills, including internet access and basic contents insurance. All of our accommodation sites offer a 24-hour reception service, open every day of the year, providing you with help when you need it, as well as peace of mind.

International and EU students: guarantee scheme

International and EU students who are new to Birmingham are guaranteed a place in accommodation, subject to certain terms and conditions. UK students are also welcome to apply for University accommodation, however we cannot guarantee a place.

Read our terms and conditions

What is the deadline for applying to University accommodation?

If you are applying under the guarantee scheme:

Make sure your application for accommodation is received by our LIVING team no later than 31 July 2020, and make sure you firmly accept your place by 1 September 2020. 

If you miss the deadline:

If you miss the deadline, you’re still welcome to apply for accommodation but unfortunately we won’t be able to guarantee you a place. Where we might have vacancies we will offer these rooms and if we do not have accommodation within our own stock we will advise you on suitable alternative options. 

Private accommodation

If you prefer not to live in University accommodation, our Living team can help you to find something suitable in the private sector.

You also have access to Guild Lettings, a lettings agency run by our Guild of Students. The service charges no fee to student tenants and only advertises accredited landlords who sign up to a code of standards, guaranteeing the quality and condition of all housing.

There is a wide range of accommodation available in the local area, including single flats, shared flats, houses for groups of various sizes, properties for families and lodgings with a residential landlord. Explore the local areas around campus where many of our students choose to live, and find out more about what Birmingham as a city has to offer you.

Our University LIVING team can provide:

  • An online accommodation search service, www.birminghamstudentpad.co.uk, to provide you with a comprehensive and up-to-date database of private-sector properties, all of which are part of the Midland Landlord Accreditation Scheme (MLAS);
  • This search engine can also put you in touch with other prospective students before arriving in Birmingham, enabling you to rent accommodation as part of a group;
  • A contract-checking service;
  • Advice for students with families;
  • Help and advice on house hunting;

Search for private properties

Search Birmingham Studentpad

Search via Living

Living

Searching for accommodation yourself?

If you want to look beyond the options above then it is important that you refer to the Midland Landlord Accreditation Scheme (MLAS), which provides a list of accredited landlords as well as agencies. 

Our active postgraduate community also regularly posts on Facebook for vacancies, and you can use our popular Postgraduate & Mature Students Association (PGMSA) group to meet people and look for shared housing.

Should you have any difficulties with your private sector accommodation at any point during your time with us, you can contact the accommodation services team, based in the LIVING shop in University Centre, for help and advice.

What documents do you need to rent a house/flat?

Following recent government legislation, landlords in the West Midlands will now be required to check a tenant's right to be in the UK before allowing them to live in their property.  This applies to any new tenancy in private rented accommodation. From December 2016 landlords could be charged with a criminal offence if they know, or have reasonable cause to believe, that they are letting to an illegal migrant. They can also end tenancies for occupants with no right to rent.

Therefore, if you are looking to rent property in the private sector, even if you are a UK citizen, you can expect your landlord to ask to see (and take copies of) documents that confirm your right to be in the UK.

What you need to prepare:

  • Passport and any applicable visas or biometric residence permit card.
  • Deposit and usually the first month’s rent either in cash or via bank transfer, ensure you get a receipt
  • Usually a completed guarantor’s form signed by parents/partner/spouse.
  • Signed contract, usually one copy for you and one for the agency/landlord.

How much does it cost to live in Birmingham?

University accommodation

University accommodation fees for postgraduate students start from £5,262 for self-catered, shared flats, while studio accommodation fees start from £9,600. These fees are for a 50-week contract and include costs for unlimited internet access, utilities, and a bedding and kitchen pack.

Private accommodation

For a single room in a shared house in the private sector, you should expect to pay approximately £65–£75 per week (bills extra). For students with families, a three-bedroom house can be rented for approximately £600–£850 per calendar month.

Prices given for the private sector exclude gas, electricity and internet bills, which will cost approximately £90 per month per student/adult household member. You would also be required to pay one month’s rent in advance and a deposit equivalent to one month’s rent before moving into the house.

Are you planning to move with your family to Birmingham?

Unfortunately, we are not able to provide University accommodation for families. Therefore we don't recommend that you apply for University-owned accommodation if you intend to bring your family over at a later date, as you are expected to honour the housing contract for the full contracted period.

The University recommends coming to the UK by yourself first before bringing your family over as:

  • It is important to view the property before signing any private accommodation contract;
  • It is recommended that you should also visit us at Living, Accommodation Services to check your contract before signing;
  • This is particularly important for international students who may not be aware of their rights as tenants in the UK;
  • It can take time to search for and make arrangements for schools if you have any young children.

Find more information about applying for a school place in Birmingham City Council region on the City Council website

Council tax exemption

Full-time registered students are exempt from paying council tax. If you are living in house share of students and non-students, you will have to first check with your local council if you are eligible for a discount. 

If you live in the Birmingham City Council area, we have an agreement in place to make the process easier for students, whereby we supply them with a list detailing all our currently registered students. You can always double check whether you have been included for council tax exemption by getting in contact with the council.