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Accommodation Service

Studying at Cambridge


Accommodation - Renting

It is important to think about arranging your accommodation before you arrive in Cambridge. Whether you are considering purchase or rental, there is a variety of properties to choose from throughout the city and surrounding areas. 


The Accommodation Service

The University has a dedicated Accommodation Service who manage rental properties on behalf of the University. They offer a free service, helping members of the University and affiliated institutions find a home in Cambridge. 
University rentals include of one, two and three bedroom furnished and unfurnished apartments and houses within easy access of the city centre and University departments and faculties. These are available for a minimum of 1 year and (subject to availability) can be secured prior to arriving in Cambridge. 
The Accommodation Service also offers access to a large database of private sector rental accommodation, located throughout the city and surrounding villages, which are available for short and long-term let.
For more information, please visit: University Accommodation Service 

Eddington (North West Cambridge Development) 

Eddington is a brand new district of Cambridge, located 2km northwest of the city centre. The area has a supermarket, nursery and primary school, the award-winning Storey’s Field Centre for community and arts events, a playground, sports pitches, and Brook Leys parkland. 
Residents have access to regular subsidised buses to West Cambridge, the city centre, railway station and Addenbrookes, in addition to hundreds of secure bike parking spaces and communal garden areas. 
Eddington residents are more than four times more likely to be “very satisfied” with their accommodation when compared to the general Cambridge rental market. See what some of Eddington’s residents had to say about their new homes:
“I like the spacious layout generally in my apartment. Ceiling to floor windows make it so light and airy – it looks so modern and fresh. The design of the apartment makes it very warm in winter and quite cool in the summer – very well designed.”
“It’s a nice new place with green areas. All you need is really close (supermarket, schools, parks, etc.) There’s a bus right outside my door.”
To find out more about Eddington, please visit: 


When renting a property throughout your stay in Cambridge, you will need to decide whether you would like your property to be fully furnished (i.e. with all the furniture and appliances), semi-furnished or unfurnished. 
Unfurnished properties will typically be cheaper than their furnished equivalents, but you will need to source your own furniture. Once you have decided on the property, you will enter into a tenancy agreement with the landlord (either directly or through a letting agent), which will set out the terms of the rental and other mutual rights and obligations between you and your landlord, including an initial deposit.

Right to Rent

Landlords are required by UK law to check your right to rent before the tenancy begins. This will depend on your visa status and may be time-limited. You will be asked to provide appropriate documents to prove your right to rent for the whole of the tenancy period.

Length of Rental

Depending on your circumstances and the terms of your employment with the University, you may opt for a short- or long-term rental.
  • A short-term rental (or ‘short let’) is a property that is paid on a weekly or monthly basis for no longer than three months;
  • A long-term rental (or ‘long let’) is a property that is rented out for more than three months and up to a year (renewable on a yearly basis, potentially with an additional administration fee)

Property Search Engines

The following property search engines list a range of properties available for rent through estate agents (realtors), and can be useful when beginning your search to get an idea of the local property market and typical rental prices:

Disclaimer: Please note that the University does not endorse any of the external websites listed above, or elsewhere in this guidance.

Short-term Accommodation

If you are looking for short-term accommodation, Cambridge and the surrounding areas is host to a number of hotels and bed and breakfasts (B&B).  The University Accommodation Service has an up-to-date list of temporary accommodation in Cambridge and surrounding areas. 
More information on availability of hotels, Guest Houses and Bed & Breakfast (B&B’s) establishments can be found on the Visit Cambridge website. You can also find temporary rentals on platforms like Airbnb, VRBO, TripAdvisor, Homestay or Many apartments for rent on a short-term lease usually come furnished and are a lot easier to secure. You may choose to consider this if you have to wait for your shipped goods to arrive or want to take your time to find the best permanent accommodation to suit your needs.

Choosing the Right Area to Live

 The area you choose to live in will depend on your personal preferences and circumstances. You may wish to consider the following factors that may influence your decision:
  • Commuting time to place of work
  • Public transport links
  • Car parking facilities
  • Proximity to shops and any other amenities and services that are important to you
  • Where appropriate, the ‘catchment areas’ of the local state schools. (The catchment area is the area from which children are entitled to attend a certain local school. This means that children living in the immediate vicinity of the school usually get priority over those who live outside of the catchment).