Information for new students

Finding somewhere to live

Woman drinking tea in halls

Your emotional wellbeing and physical welfare matters to us. That's why, whether you're living in halls or private rented accommodation, the Residence Life Team is here for you 24/7.

The team want to help you get the best from your university experience and develop valuable social and life skills. They’re also here to make sure hall regulations and disciplinary procedures are administered where necessary.

Some members of the team are returning students who will live in halls of residence. They’ll say hello to you at registration or shortly after you arrive in halls. You can come to them for advice, guidance and support on all kinds of residence life issues. You might find this particularly useful while you’re getting used to your new surroundings.

Housing applications are sent from the end of March onwards to Home/EU students holding a firm conditional or unconditional offer with the University of Portsmouth.

Student halls are either University of Portsmouth-owned or operated in conjunction with our partner companies, Unite Students or The Student Housing Company.

International (non-EU) applicants can find further information about the accommodation application process via the International Office.

Halls of Residence

Living in a hall of residence is a great way to meet new people, make friends and settle into the University community. Whichever hall you live in you’ll find support from the Halls Team, even if they are not based in your own hall of residence.

If you are allocated to a room in a hall you will receive your Halls Welcome Pack from August onwards, provided you have secured the room by payment of the £250 pre-payment. The pack will include a welcome letter and personal login details for e-intro to halls for those allocated a room in halls of residence.

For more information about living in halls, and the support that’s available, visit MyPort, your student website, and search ‘halls.’

Online applications

Application packs will be sent by email and will contain an accommodation brochure and a covering email with your unique username and password to access the accommodation application portal.

If you apply for a room in a hall of residence, you need to select which type of room and the location you would like to live in. You should only apply for types of accommodation that you are willing to accept and for the entire contractual period of 40 weeks.

Some types of room, particularly in the Guildhall area, are very popular and can be oversubscribed. It is advisable to be flexible and to make as many choices as possible to increase your chance of being offered a room in a hall of residence.

If you prefer to live in private accommodation, then please indicate this on your application and we will give you further information on the house-hunting support that we offer.

We are able to guarantee a room in one of our halls of residence to all new students (undergraduate and postgraduate) who make Portsmouth their firm choice and who apply for halls of residence by the accommodation booking deadlines. (See our allocation policy).

For students who have the University of Portsmouth as their insurance choice, accommodation information will be sent to them once Portsmouth becomes their firm choice.

Room allocations

Student Housing are responsible for allocating your room. They administer your application for halls of residence accommodation. If you have submitted an accommodation application, you will be notified of the outcome in August. If you are allocated a room in a University of Portsmouth hall, you will receive further details via our accommodation portal (you will also receive an email alert) and, in order to confirm the room, you will be required to pay a £250 deposit within 14 days of the offer being made. This fee is refundable provided you contact Student Housing in writing at by 25 August 2017. Please note that failure to pay the £250 deposit may result in your room allocation being cancelled.

Our partner companies

We work closely with Unite Students and The Student Housing Company to provide some accommodation for our students. The University’s Student Housing Team processes the applications for the four buildings managed by Unite Students (Greetham Street Hall; James Watson Hall; Margaret Rule Hall; and Trafalgar Hall) and The Student Housing Company’s building (Catherine House).

If you are allocated a place in one of the halls managed by our partner companies, or are transferred to any of their buildings during the contract period, details of your allocation, your contract and any further correspondence (including making a deposit payment to your respective company) will be sent directly to you by either Unite Students or The Student Housing Company (not the Student Housing team).

Please note: all your accommodation contractual obligations in any of the five halls mentioned above will either be with Unite Students or with The Student Housing Company.

Private accommodation

Living in a student house is a popular choice for many students. You can choose who you would like to live with and you have more independence. Portsmouth is a compact city – shops, public transport, nightlife and the seafront are just a stone’s throw away from each other – therefore living in reasonably priced private rented accommodation in Fratton or Southsea is a good alternative to halls.

The majority of private rented accommodation for students will be shared houses or lodgings. Students usually rent a house in groups of three to five, each student has their own bedroom, and will share communal areas such as the kitchen, lounge and bathroom. Lodgings are where the landlord lives on the premises. These can be family households, working professionals or houses owned by other students, and are a cost effective and convenient option as all utility bills are included.

Support from Student Housing

You will be offered a high level of support and advice to help you to find your first student home. Student Housing offer year-round advice and support on any issues relating to private rented accommodation– from deposit queries, to landlord issues and much more.

The team provides an official website of available private sector accommodation at That’s where landlords who are registered with Student Housing advertise their accommodation. The team also offer a free contract checking service, so you can get advice from experienced staff before signing a tenancy agreement.

Open throughout the year, you’re welcome to drop-in any time – no appointment is needed

Student Housing also run the Student and Neighbour Liaison Service. This is a vital link between students and the local community. We expect you to be good neighbours and responsible citizens, particularly when you’re living in private accommodation. If any problems occur, this service provides advice and assistance to resolve them.

More information:

  • Watch the Student Guide to Private Housing
  • An official Facebook group, for new students only, is run and monitored by the Student Housing team. You can use this to get in touch with others looking to house share

Housing support events

We hold housing support events throughout the summer and September to help you to find somewhere to live in the city’s private rented accommodation sector. Student Housing staff are available to offer advice and to read through contracts. There are also mini-buses provided to take you round the city to view the properties. Student Housing have been running these events for many years and they are always extremely successful and a lot of fun.

In December and January the Students’ Union runs two housing fairs to help you find suitable accommodation in Portsmouth. There are stalls from the University, halls providers, private landlords and lettings agencies.

If you have any queries or questions, no matter how big or small, or if would like your contract checked before you sign it, then the Student Housing team is here to help.

TV licence

Even if you only watch TV on your laptop, or you only watch BBC iPlayer, the law says you still need a license to view any television content. Go to