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Finding external accommodation

Most students choose to live in private rented accommodation after their first year at University. This can be a stressful process if not planned in advance, but the St Mary's Accommodation Service is here to help. Please refer to the resources below for help in finding external accommodation.

Plan in advance

Please ensure you arrange accommodation for the next academic year well in advance, preferably in the Spring for the following academic year. If you leave your search until late into the summer, you risk renting overpriced or substandard accommodation just because you need somewhere to live.

Useful St Mary's resources 

  • Please read our Guide to Off-Campus Accommodation This includes lots of useful advice on finding rented properties in the area around the campus.
  • The Accommodation Service holds a number of information and guidance sessions for first year students looking for external accommodation in their second year. These are held after the Christmas closure period – the dates, times and locations are announced on the St Mary’s Facebook page, SIMMSpace and on posters around campus.

When viewing a property be sure to take a copy of our House Hunting Checklist.

StudentPad accommodation search

St Mary's Student Pad logo

Many landlords advertise their student-friendly external accommodation with us through our StudentPad website.

Types of accommodation

There are several types of off-campus accommodation in the local area suitable for students:

This is involves renting a room in a local resident's house. This is usually the cheapest accommodation option, and bills are usually included in the rent.

This is involves renting a property with a group of other students and sharing the cost of the rent and bills. 

Local rents vary considerably, depending on the area and condition of the property. Rents in Twickenham and Teddington are higher than surrounding areas such as Isleworth, Whitton and Hounslow. There are good bus and train connections to Twickenham from surrounding areas, so these are always worth considering.

You are strongly advised to start your search using the St Mary's StudentPad site, as this contains properties suitable for student sharing. St Mary's StudentPad is our online private housing database. Registration is free, and you can search for suitable properties, register for alerts and contact landlords directly.

You can also use the messageboard on the StudentPad website or the St Mary's Find a Flatmate Facebook page to get in touch with other students who may have a space available in their student house or who are looking for private accommodation. Please beware that some properties advertised through general websites such as Rightmove and Zoopla may not be suitable for (or available to) students.

Many letting agents will require a large deposit (usually 6-8 weeks rent) at the beginning of a tenancy and will also charge various fees. Always ensure you understand exactly how much you will be paying and can afford the payments before signing a tenancy agreement.

This is purpose designed accommodation for students and maintained to a high standard (similar to halls of residence). There are several private developments of this type in Kingston-upon-Thames. This type of accommodation is usually expensive but the rent will generally include all utility bills.

If you need short-term accommodation for yourself or visitors, please see our list of local hotels and B&Bs.

See the Guide to Off-Campus Accommodation for more advice on these types of accommodation.

Please read these guidelines regarding living in private houseshares and helping to maintain the good reputation of St Mary's in the local community. 

Gas safety in off-campus accommodation

gas safe When living in privately rented accommodation always be vigilant against the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning from faulty appliances. Your landlord is legally required to obtain a gas safety certificate every 12 months for the property and you should always ask to see a copy of this before you move in. 

The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are similar to a hangover and include headaches, nausea and dizziness.

For more information see the Gas Safe Register leaflet or visit the Gas Safe Register website.

Useful online resources for finding properties

You are strongly advised to read our Guide to Off-Campus Accommodation before embarking on an accommodation search.