Finding private accommodation - international and single semester students



Do your research before you arrive


We recommend that you do as much research as possible before you leave home, and wherever possible ensure that you have arranged temporary accommodation for one or two nights before you arrive in Liverpool.

This will give you time to look in person for accommodation and help you get your bearings around your university campus and the surrounding areas.



Finding accommodation to rent


Your university will recommend that you attempt to find private accommodation through the services of Liverpool Student Homes (LSH). This is a service which operates to check private accommodation against a set of standards and if successful this accommodation is known as accredited through LSH.  You can see more information on the LSH Standards and accreditation on the LSH website. 

Accommodation providers will advertise their accredited properties to you on the LSH website: Your university and LSH will always recommend that you search for accommodation which has been accredited before looking at other sources. 


The website will give you access to information about vacant properties advertised by landlords and agents in the city.  There is a lot of variety and choice in Liverpool with options to live within close proximity to your campus or a short bus/cycle ride.


You can also see the range of average rent levels which are being advertised in accommodation by using the ‘Fact Finder’ link.  This is located on the front page of the website in the bottom footer.

It is important to always check if using other websites and search engines to ensure that the accommodation being advertised is legitimate, although the adverts may look good, they may not be genuine. Don’t pay for any accommodation if you are not sure whether the accommodation is legitimate and especially if the provider/landlord is putting you under pressure to send money.


Wherever possible, we would recommend that you view accommodation before committing to any formal tenancy agreement or agree to hand over money.  Where this not possible and you are unsure, you can contact Liverpool Student Homes for further advice and support. 


When you have found accommodation you will be asked to sign a tenancy agreement. A tenancy agreement is a legally binding document which you and the landlord/provider agree to.  Liverpool Student Homes offer a FREE contract checking service, so the details of the agreement can be checked before you sign it.



Beware of accommodation scams


Unfortunately, over the past few years we have seen students lose money after responding to bogus adverts, where the property does not exist or where they have paid large sums of money up front.  If you are not sure always err on the side of caution in case this is a potential scam.



Scams targeting Chinese students


Please read this information shared by Merseyside Police, it gives details about common scams to look out for.





Types of accommodation


Liverpool has an abundance of choice in private student accommodation.  In and around the city centre there are a number of purpose-built student buildings often called ‘private halls or ‘larger developments’. Many will offer en-suite bathrooms to your bedroom and you will share a kitchen and living space with your other flat mates.


There is a wide variety of choice in this type of accommodation with locations across the city.  You will find many of the studio flats available in the city will be located in private hall accommodation. 





A studio flat will be a room with kitchen facilities and a bathroom which is only used by the occupant.



Shared houses and flats


On the edges of the city centre you will find traditional shared houses and flat type accommodation. These will vary in size usually between 3 bedrooms up to 12 bedrooms. In this type of accommodation, you will usually share the kitchen/s and bathroom/s with other house mates. There are some shared houses which offer en-suite bathrooms to your bedroom.


Shared houses and flats within houses will often be located in residential areas with a more diverse community.  You will have access to local amenities such as parks, restaurants, shops, bus and train services. The location of this type of accommodation can vary with some on the cusp of the city centre or 2-3 miles out.  Liverpool is a compact city with excellent transport links, cycle routes and even electric scooters!     

If you choose this type of accommodation you will usually rent a bedroom in a shared houses/flat and share the kitchen, bathrooms and living area with your other housemates.


There are one and two bedroom flats, which usually consist of a bedroom/s with separate kitchen and bathroom which is not shared.  You may find supply and availability of these is significantly smaller and have to search over a longer period of time.



Resident Landlord / Homestay


These are privately owned houses or flats where the owner resides within the building and rents out spare rooms. Some landlords may provide meals and offer more flexibility when it comes to the length of contract, so it may suit students who are in Liverpool for less than the full academic year. Usually a homestay provider will issue a lodger agreement or a licence to occupy, this means that the conditions to live there will be different to an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement.


Homestay is also popular with international students who are looking for a family environment.



Single semester students – short term lets


Students who are attending one of the universities in Liverpool as a single semester exchange student and who are not offered accommodation by their institution, will often need to source accommodation in private sector accommodation. 


Whilst Liverpool has a huge amount of choice for accommodation for students renting for a full academic year, choices for single semester from September can be greatly reduced as providers wait to attempt to rent for a longer period.


There is often more choice for single semester accommodation if you come for the second semester, this is generally because of more flexibility offered after the start of the academic year. 

Single semester students can view accommodation, which has been offered for a shorter period than the full academic year on the LSH website ( under ‘Short Term Lets’ button 


The information on this section is very fluid and changes on a regular basis when the offer of accommodation is reduced or increased.



Costs for accommodation


The cost of your accommodation can vary depending on a number of factors. Things to consider are if the rental charge includes other costs for items such as heating, lighting, WIFI and water.


You can view costs of the various types of accommodation on the Liverpool Student Homes website. This website allows you to put in a set rent level and other specifics about the type of accommodation you want.

Recently the UK has seen costs for fuel increase significantly and this may impact the amount of cost you pay for utilities such as heating and lighting. Always check tenancy agreements for potential fuel charge capsA fuel charge cap will place a limit on the amount of fuel charges, which are covered in your rental payments. If you exceed the cap the landlord/provider will ask you to pay any additional costs which have incurred above the cap limit. 


If you are unsure about what this means, you can contact Liverpool Student Homes for some further guidance.



Council tax


Students studying full time in university are exempt from council tax. This is a tax which is levied on a property by the local council.  You can obtain proof of council tax exemption from your place of study in Liverpool.



Finding a guarantor


You may be asked to provide a guarantor for your accommodation, not all landlords/providers ask for one so you can still search for accommodation without a guarantor.


A guarantor is a third party who agrees to take on liabilities which occur from someone else’s tenancy. This means that they guarantee rent payments and other tenancy obligations, for example, landlord losses, expenses, or damages.


A guarantor is not a legal requirement, but there is nothing to stop landlords or letting agents from insisting on one. You may find that landlords/providers require the guarantor to be based in the UK.


If you are unable to provide a guarantor, you will need to consider another landlord. You can filter your search on the LSH website to view providers who do not require a guarantor. Some landlords will take rent in advance in place of the guarantor. The other alternative may be to use a company which offer guarantor services.   

There are a number of guarantor companies which operate in the UK. If you search the internet many will show links and affiliations to other universities. There will be a charge to use a guarantor service so shop around for the most competitive offers.



Chatting with other students


You may want to find other like-minded students to live with or look at taking over a tenancy agreement from another student. The LSH Message Board gives you a platform to have a chat with other students who might be looking for house mates or be in a similar situation to you and visiting the city for the first time. You can post your own topic or respond to existing posts on the platform. All the posts are monitored by LSH before being released to view.



Find a housemate meet-ups


The find a house mate events held by LSH give you an opportunity to meet and chat with students who may be in a similar position, looking for others to share accommodation with or looking for a room in a shared house/flat. The events are really informal and are held either virtually or in the LSH office and are open to all students from our stakeholder universities. Many students have used the find a house mate events as a really good opportunity to chat with other students. The events are also used by students who may be wishing to leave their current accommodation and are looking for someone to replace them in their tenancy agreement. Details of the next events can be found here.