blogs header

Finding private accommodation as a student

Finding private accommodation as a student

We all know that finding accommodation can be the bane of existence, for me it was anyway. Coming from a previous student standpoint there are a few tips I want to point out before we get started.

Firstly, I would recommend you don't search for private accommodation in High Wycombe during your first year, unless you have the money, as the area can be quite expensive. A Policy for BNU, is that all first-year students are guaranteed a place in student accommodation in one of their three sites*. So, I suggest waiting until either your second or third year to find private accommodation, that way you can build on relationships with friends that you could move out with so the rent can be divided.

Do not leave searching until the last minute. Quoted from a very good friend of mine, "We unfortunately started looking last minute and there were only so many properties to look at."

Two students facing one another stood talking in the centre of High Wycombe

I did some research after I was told this and found that it is best to start look for places to live is just before Christmas or just after. Yes, it sounds ridiculous since you pretty much start in September, but I tend to rely on the research.

Make sure you trust the people you're going to be living with! Unfortunately, you can't do this when it comes to on-site accommodation but when living in a private rental, you want to trust the people that you're going to be sharing a space with. Your room in private accommodation, unlike BNU's accommodation, might not have a lock and you want to protect yourself as much as others.

Always do a walk-through of the property and if you see concerns, raise them with the person showing you around. After all you’re going to be paying to live there, it's going to be a waste if things don't look right.

Keep your options open! Don't pick just the first one you like.

*BNU can guarantee a place in one of their High Wycombe halls to all new students joining BNU in September 2023, if you make your accommodation application before 31 August 2023.

Students in High Wycombe town
Two female students chatting in bedroom at Brook Street accommodation

Now that I’ve shared my tips, there are a couple of areas to start looking for private accommodation, either online or in an estate agent. For internet searches I would recommend:

Speaking to a friend of mine about finding private accommodation and how things work with estate agents, they told me that they went to Chiltern Properties for help finding a property in High Wycombe that suited their needs and was within their budget. After visiting a few properties and choosing one they liked, they signed a contract and were then requested to present personal identification, such as a passport, driving licence, birth certificate, student ID and three months' worth of payslips.

I hope you have found this information helpful and it has given you some pointers for when it comes to finding private accommodation while at university. And I wish you luck with your search!