Student blog post

Transitioning from Student Halls to Private Accommodation: Embracing Independence

Adam gives advice on finding private accommodation after living in student halls.

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As your university journey progresses, you may find yourself ready to move on from the experience of living in student halls and venture into private accommodation. This transition marks an exciting step towards greater independence and the opportunity to create a home that truly reflects your personality. Below I have listed some essential steps you need to take when considering your move:

Research private accommodation early

If you’re in your 1st year of university, the beginning of semester 2 is the time to start thinking of accommodation for the start of year 2. Firstly, you will need to consider if you want to move into private accommodation with your current flatmates, other friends or by yourself. Next, explore different options on websites such as ‘Zoopla’ and ‘Rightmove’ as well as websites that specialise in student accommodation in Dundee. Consider factors such as location, proximity to the university, amenities, and rental cost.

Some helpful links to get started:

Timing and contracts

Timing is crucial when transitioning from student halls to private accommodation. During your search pay particular attention to start and end dates as your move-in day will most likely start before the start of the semester (usually at some point during the summer break). Additionally, pay attention to contract terms, including the length of the lease, rent payment schedules, and any additional charges and fees. Review the contract carefully before signing and seek legal advice if needed.

Budgeting and Financial Planning

Moving into private accommodation often involves additional financial responsibilities. Create a budget for rent, utilities, internet, groceries, and other essential expenses. Be realistic about your financial capabilities and ensure that your income and/or student loans can cover the costs. Consider setting up direct debits or standing orders for regular bill payments to avoid any late fees.


Most private accommodation available for students in Dundee will be partly or fully furnished with essentials. However, you should consider any other furnishings you may require e.g., desks, tables, chairs, TV stands, storage etc. Be mindful of the space and make sure to measure spaces before making any bigger purchases.

Utilities and Services Setup

When moving into private accommodation, it is essential to set up utilities and services in your name. To get the best possible deals, research and create accounts with providers for gas, electric and internet before your move. This is crucial when choosing your internet provider as most require an engineer to visit your home for installation and wait times for this can be long. Additionally, take meter readings upon moving in and inform your new gas and electric supplier to ensure accurate billing.

Contact your landlord ASAP if you have a problem

On move-in day make sure to check your accommodation thoroughly for any issues or faults. Usually, your landlord will provide you with a checklist of items in the flat alongside their condition. After checking the checklist, if anything doesn’t match, contact your landlord immediately and seek guidance.

Transitioning from student halls to private accommodation is an exciting and empowering journey. By conducting thorough research, planning your budget, and embracing the responsibilities that come with independent living, you can ensure a smooth and fulfilling transition.

You can find a wide range of support and advice from both the University and DUSA

Student voice category Campus life, Accommodation