Here we list some of the most popular websites used by students to find flats and houses and rooms in shared properties. There is very little regulation over these websites and who can advertise on them which means that scams and offers of poor quality accommodation can be common. We would strongly recommend you seek advice from ULHS before paying any money or signing any contract for any property or room found via one of these websites.
Fraudsters will often target students and in particular, international students through adverts on these sites. An advert will be placed for a property on an accommodation website which will seem too good to be true, for example a Studio Flat in central London for £170 per week. Often the person advertising has no right to let the property and sometimes the property does not even exist.
If you are asked to send money as a deposit to the advertiser without having viewed the property then do not do it.
Also do not agree to send money using Western Union or Moneygram to your own friend or relative “to prove that you have sufficient funds”. With the tracking information you give them, the fraudster can steal your money or your identity. Every year some students fall victim to accommodation “scams” after responding to online adverts. Please click here for information from the Metropolitan Police on how to avoid becoming a victim of internet fraud.
Rightmove: one of the most used property websites in the UK, you can use this site to find flats and houses marketed by agents.
Zoopla: Very similar to rightmove and also very widely used, you can use this site to find flats and houses marketed by agents.
On The Market: Launched in January 2015 and used by agents to market properties. The website is growing in popularity.
Open Rent: Landlords can use this website to list properties directly, which often means you can avoid dealing with agencies.
Spareroom: This is one of the most popular website for people looking for private rented accommodation in London. You can search for available rooms, place a ‘wanted’ advert or ‘buddy up’ with others looking for accommodation so you can find a flat or house together.
Gumtree: This is another popular website for advertising lots of items for sale, but also has a housing section. The Offers are from both students, young professionals, landlords and letting agents.
The ULHS has no direct association with any of the websites listed above nor has it vetted any of the landlords or letting agents that advertise on these websites. ULHS shall not be held liable for any loss or damage (however caused) suffered as a result of any dealings you have with any of the listed online accommodation sites.
You may also want to check out our Flatmate Finder group on Facebook for spare rooms advertised by other students.