Start Your Smart Move

If you are a student about to start looking for somewhere to live, this guide is for you.

Whether you’re looking for accommodation straightaway or thinking about finding a place to live for the next academic year, this guide should help you through the whole house hunting process and give you all the information you need to make a Smart Move.

Smart Move PDF Guide


Welfare Committee

The Welfare Committee is a group run by and for students that is dedicated to improving student welfare. Housing is an area that Welfare Committee does lots of work on, running events, campaigns, and providing information. If you’re a Sheffield student then you are welcome to join the committee or help out with their work!


Student Housing Ambassadors

Student Housing Ambassadors are Students’ Union (SU) student staff that work in the Student Advice Centre. We support projects in relation to the SU’s strategic work on housing.



Get The Facts: The Sheffield Student Housing Market

Around November each year in Sheffield, local letting agents will start marketing properties for the next academic year and the annual house hunting season begins. There really is no need to start house hunting this early and it is possible to find accommodation of a good standard and close to the University whenever you choose to start house hunting.



Message from Beren, your Welfare Officer

It’s not even reading week yet, but you’ve probably seen the ads for next year’s housing, or been told by your friends that you have to start looking now - but don’t panic! Here in Sheffield we have an oversupply of student housing, so it’s far better to take your time and be sure you’re making a good choice for your next Sheffield home. I didn’t sign for my house this year until April, and I couldn’t be happier with it!

Before you start house-hunting, check out our Housing Information Fair on the 6th of November. Here you can find out loads of useful information on your rights as a tenant, key things to look out for when viewing properties, and the SNUG scheme here in Sheffield. This will help you spot any dodgy landlords, and make sure that you’re getting the best value for money.

Really get to know your potential housemates before signing up to live with them, and make sure you agree on a budget for rent and bills that are affordable for everyone, as well as day-to-day things such as cleaning and hosting pre-drinks or parties.

There's load of support available to help you find your next home on these pages. The Student Advice Centre can check your contract before you sign and advise you on any housing issues.

I hope you have the best year, and when it comes to housing, remember - don’t sign until you’re sure, don’t be afraid to ask for advice, and know that you’re in control!


Deciding Where To Live

Luckily all popular student areas are relatively close to the University and it shouldn’t take you more than 20 minutes to walk to lectures or make your way home after a night out at the Students’ Union. There are also good public transport links. Find out more about each area from the link below.



Smart Move Sheffield

Smart Move Sheffield should be your first choice when looking for accommodation. We are run by the University of Sheffield in conjunction with the Students' Union, where we believe in providing homes with you at heart. We have over 7,000 beds on our registration scheme. Whether you are looking for a house with a group of friends, a room in a shared house, a studio, or family accommodation, we can help you find the perfect home. Our friendly, knowledgeable team are here to help you throughout your journey; from choosing a location and type of house, to moving and settling in. To get started, just use our online home search tool or pop in and chat with us in person.



Who To Live With


Friendships and personal circumstances can change over the course of a year, so take your time in deciding who to live with. If you like a quiet night in and lots of sleep, think twice about sharing with someone who parties a lot and stays up late!

Finding somebody to live with, and deciding who to live with, can be stressful, but we are here to help! This section is packed with different resources which will help you, including leaflets, advice, and information about events where you can meet potential housemates (open to all students).


Student Advice Centre

Looking for a House

There is plenty of good quality and affordable student housing in Sheffield available throughout the year. There are also a number of accreditation and housing standards schemes which you can look out for. These may help you find a reputable landlord or agent and ensure that your next property meets the required health and safety standards.


Moving In

All You Need To Know


In Sheffield most private rented student tenancies will start on 1st July and across the city, thousands of students will be on the move. You could be moving in to your new place just a few hours after the last tenants left and the house may not be in perfect condition! However whatever time you find yourself on the move, there are a few things you should do, as soon as the tenancy starts. Check out the following moving in checklist, for tips on how you can make a Smartmove.

For all you need to know about moving in and moving out in one convenient place, you can view our PDF guide for an overview, and find more specific advice in the sections below. (OPPLEASE NOTE THIS IS FROM 2019- DONATE DONT WASTE IS NOT OPERATING  IN 2020 DUE TO  COVID 19)

Contract Check

Guidance on Contracts

Never sign a contract unless you have read and understood it. Contracts can be confusing and full of legal jargon. Most reasonable landlords will give you a copy of a contract to look over and not rush you into signing it.


Your Deposit

Think About it Now

Although it may seem like something to think about when you are leaving, taking the right steps to ensure your deposit is protected when you first sign for a house can save you time and money. This section tells you all you need to know about making sure your deposit is protected, and also has plenty of information about what to do when it isn’t, or when you run into other difficulties.



Viewing & Choosing a Property

Where possible try and find accommodation that is registered with Smart Move Sheffield or SNUG.

Ask the current tenants if there have been any problems with the house or the landlord or agent. This may be difficult if the landlord or agent is present but tenants can usually warn you of any pitfalls or reassure you that it would be a good move.

For your own safety, never view a property alone and preferably visit the property in daylight so you can have a good look around the outside and the area in general.

If you are part of a group, make sure everyone views the property and agrees that it is suitable before a contract is signed or you pay a deposit.

Set a budget that you can afford and stick to it. Remember to factor in things like utility bills, TV licence, contents insurance, food and other living costs. It’s difficult to provide accurate figures, but we suggest around £10-15 per week for bills if in a shared house. This may be considerably higher if you are in single self-contained accommodation.


Living In

Having a safe, affordable and happy place to live is really important to your sense of wellbeing and it can have a massive impact on your University experience. Most students will have a great time living with friends and have no major issues with their landlord or property. However, if the dream house turns out to a nightmare or you have the housemates, neighbours or landlord from hell, you may need advice on what your rights are and what you can do to resolve the issue. The following information covers the most common problems and issues that students may encounter when living in a rented property. If the information does not cover your issue, remember that housing advice is always available from your Student Advice Centre.



University Housing

The University offers accommodation to both first years and returners. Your rights and responsibilities are different if you live in University owned or partnership accommodation, than if you live in the private sector. If you have issues with your University housing you can get independent advice from the Student Advice Centre. You may also get support from the University’s Residence Life and Accommodation team. If you have issues with your University housing, you can get independent advice from the Student Advice Centre.



Leaving a House

Sometimes things don’t work out where you are living and you may wish to leave before the end of your housing contract or you may leaving at the end of the tenancy, but want to make sure you get your deposit back. Whatever the reasons for leaving, check out the following information before you do and make sure you make a Smartmove.

For all you need to know about moving in and moving out in one convenient place, you can check out our guide here for an overview, and find more specific advice in the sections below.


Donate Don't Waste

Donate, Don't Waste it is about reducing waste and supporting charities.

It's a city-wide partnership between the University of Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield City Council working with a local charity - S6 Foodbank - and a national charity, the British Heart Foundation.