Student walking down Southsea street past colouful houses

What to do if you're renting privately

Whether you're sharing a house or moving in as a lodger, we've got all the info you need to make yourself at home

Renting privately means you get to choose exactly where you live and who you live with. You should leave your car at home though – parking spaces are scarce in Portsmouth.

Portsmouth has lots of beautiful and buzzing places to live, from the picturesque seafront to the city centre and beyond. It's a compact island city that only takes an hour to cross on foot or 20 minutes by bike, so exploring is easy too.

Your budget, how far you want to commute and your interests play a big role when house-hunting. Wherever you choose, you'll be close to everything you need. And if you ever need help, you can always talk to us. Our Student Housing Team can help even though you're not in halls.

Where to live in Portsmouth

Central Portsmouth

The central areas of Southsea and Fratton are the most popular locations for students. They're home to much of the city's best nightlife, restaurants and culture, and the University is a short walk away. Central Portsmouth offers a good mixture of student houses, converted flats, lodgings and studios. 

Further afield

To the east and north of Portsmouth are Eastney, Milton, North End and Hilsea. They're slightly quieter than the city centre, but they've got everything you could need, and they offer great transport links into the city too. 

Outside the city

In the north of the city, you'll find the residential areas Drayton, Farlington, Cosham, Fareham and Gosport. There are great bike, bus and train connections between the first three locations, and again, each has every local amenity you need.

Gosport is across the water to west, but you can catch a 5-minute ferry to Gunwharf Quays – which is a short walk or bike ride from the campus. You can take your bike on board for the journey. From Fareham, there's a regular direct train to Portsmouth that takes about 20 minutes. In all these places, you'll find good value residential accommodation that's particularly suited to students who are moving with a family.

Share a house or flat

Normally, if you share a house or flat you'll be living with three to five people, bedrooms are for sole use/single occupancy. Landlords will not let these rooms to more than one student, couples or students with families. You should expect to pay on average £95-£130 per week (bills excluded) to £120-£160 per week (bills included) per person. You should also budget around £45+ per week for food/personal care items.

You will be asked to provide a UK based guarantor before the tenancy starts. If you cannot provide a guarantor some Landlords may request a very large portion of the rent (6 months+) upfront to guarantee rental payments.

The University works in partnership with Housing Hand, to help UK, EU and International students, provide a qualifying UK Guarantor when renting in the private sector & PBSA.

You can find rental properties through our Studentpad service. Use Studentpad to search a database of student houses, flats, private halls providers and lodgings, all of which are officially registered to advertise with our Student Housing Team.

Landlords have to sign up to our Code of Practice for Safety and Standards before we put their properties on Studentpad. You can be sure of a fair deal if you find your house there.

Sharing a house with others is so much fun! We all get on very well and have cooking nights, game nights and movie nights together! 

Iona McMillan, BA (Hons) International Relations and Politics

Renting privately in Portsmouth

Video showing facts about renting privately in Portsmouth. See more at (No dialogue)

Become a lodger

Lodgings are where you stay with a live-in landlord – for example, when you rent a spare room in a family's house.

Being a lodger is a cost-effective way to live while you study. You can expect to pay £110-£150 a week, but all bills (and sometimes meals) are included.

How we can help

We offer lots of support to help you adjust to renting in the private sector. We put on housing events and drop-in sessions, and provide online resources and a student matching service.