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.


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 Katharine, your Welfare Officer

Although it may feel like you’ve literally just arrived in Sheffield, you may already be starting to see adverts about signing for your house next year. Don’t panic! There is more than enough houses in Sheffield, so you have loads of time.

Much better to take your time, and make sure you’re living in the right place, and with the right people. Have a look at our Know Your Housemates checklist to be sure! Or you can go along to one of Welfare Committee’s Housemate-Finder events, to meet loads of other students who are in the same boat.

But you don’t need to think about any of this until you’ve been to the Housing Information Fair on November 14th. It has loads of information about every aspect of housing, and you can meet SNUG-accredited landlords from around the city. Then we have another fair in February, where you can see what properties are out there and get hunting!

If you have any questions or worries, just get in touch with the amazing people at the Student Advice Centre: advice@sheffield.ac.uk

Katharine x

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.


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.