Renting and Short Term Stays in Bristol

Viewing a property

Competition for good rental properties is high and the better properties will be taken quickly. To be sure you don’t miss good properties, you (or your representative) should attempt to be the first to view. It is almost impossible to rent a property without a viewing first. 

If you are looking at a house-share then make sure you meet all your potential housemates. First impressions can be very important when deciding.

Furnished and Unfurnished Property

If you are looking to rent a property, then it may be helpful to know the definition on unfurnished and furnished accommodation.

Unfurnished: Generally, you would expect to see soft furnishings (i.e. floor and window covers) and perhaps some white goods such as a fridge and cooker.

Part-furnished: This would generally include the items as above but perhaps with the addition of items such as a washing machine and perhaps some basic furniture but this will vary from property to property.
Furnished or Fully Furnished: In addition to the items above as a general rule you would expect the addition of a sofa or soft chairs, washing machine, fridge and a bed and chest of drawers or wardrobe in each bedroom in order to make a comfortable living home. Crockery, cutlery, towels, bedding may be included in the more expensive lettings but may be subject to negotiation and not always provided.

When you are viewing properties it is sensible to discuss with the landlord or letting agent exactly what will be included. You can then ensure you have an accurate inventory which is normally drawn up at the start and expiry of any lettings agreement. There may be a charge for this to be compiled. An inventory is normally easy to understand and will state clearly who carried it out and when. The purpose of this will be to provide an overview of the whole property and list its contents including details of working smoke alarms or carbon monoxide detectors. It may also contain an up to date record of meter readings. Amendments can be made to add details of anything that is missing, note any damage that has not been recorded and take photos, state if anything is not working and amend meter readings. Only sign and date the inventory when you are happy it is accurate. Similarly check the inventory when you move out and try to be present when your landlord or letting agent is taking the inventory. Charges should not be made for normal wear and tear but if you have broken or damaged anything in the property whilst you were living there, your landlord can make tenancy deposit deductions.


When you apply to rent a property either the letting agency, the landlord, or a third party referencing company, will put you through a referencing process. This will normally include writing to your employer and previous landlord. If your previous landlord is overseas it can be difficult to contact them so it can be helpful to bring a letter of recommendation with you, including tenancy dates.

A common reason for failing the referencing process is a poor income to rent ratio so ensure you look at our Cost of Living in Bristol page. 

Relocation Companies

As Bristol has a challenging rental market and it can be difficult to secure a property without attending viewings in person. Some people choose to employ a Relocation specialist to assist with this if they are not able to visit in advance of their move.

South West Relocation provide a full home search service. If you make an enquiry, ensure that you state you will be working for the University of Bristol. Relocation services start from £250. Generally, it makes sense to allow a lead time of at least 6 weeks to find a suitable home.

They can also offer advice on moving in, orientation, schools, pets, furniture and white goods, car, healthcare, banks, utilities, internet providers, leisure facilities.

A staff member who used South West Relocation had this to say "South West Relocation was an immense help with our house purchase when we moved here from abroad. Andrew's knowledge of traffic routes and density into Bristol from different locations helped us narrow down the areas we were interested in. He added to the list of houses we had compiled from the internet and drove us around for days, viewing properties and discussing options. Possibly his greatest strength is knowing the industry from the other side. This allowed him not only to discuss aspects of individual properties and their pricing but to negotiate successfully on our behalf."

Short term stays

You may wish to book temporary accommodation for a few weeks for when you arrive, allowing you to find a longer term rental once you are in Bristol and have had a chance to familiarise yourself with the city. There are a number of options: Hotels, Serviced Apartments, Rooms in short stay houses, Short term lets, Mid term lets (1 month - 6 months), Air bnb rentals. 

Below is an indicaion of what you can expect to pay for a short term stay. You may find cheaper shopping around and all prices are dependant on the time of year and the facilities required. 

Hotel - rooms start at approx £80 per night

Serviced apartment - from £80 - £200 per night

Room in short stay house - £200 - £350 per week

Short term lets - from £55 per night

Medium term lets - from £45 per night

Airbnb - from £30 - £70 per night

Useful Websites

The following websites are helpful when commencing your search for accommodation in Bristol:  (20% discount on a 1 night to 29 night stay, 30% discount on 30+ night stay when you confirm you are UOB staff) (short, medium and long term lets, 10% discount for UOB staff)  (some staff accommodation available) (inform them you are UOB staff)  (for short-term stays) (for short-term stay which includes discount for UoB staff, use code: UOBSTAFF ) (for short-term stays) (be mindful of scams if you choose to rent through this forum) (be mindful of scams if you choose to rent through this forum)