Every year we hear that rumours are going round which say that all the good houses will be gone by December or January. This is simply not true. In previous years, good quality properties have remained available to students as late as July. The HouseSearch lists have a good range of properties and rooms available as late as summer, including properties desirable areas and properties accredited by the Runnymede Borough Council.
The trend amongst letting agents is to release their Housing Lists as early as November or December. Primarily, this is due to the strong competition in the private housing market, and the lists are published in order to secure students in houses as soon as possible. As a consequence students can sometimes fall prey to hype and panic, driven by the false belief that by not arranging accommodation before Christmas you will at best be compromising your choice of housing and at worst you will fail to find a house altogether. Given the current market, this is simply not true, for students returning for their second or third years and looking before the summer, there were more properties than students to fill them. We would not recommend complacency, but you should not feel pressured into seeking housing as early as November/December. Royal Holloway and the Student's Union recommend that you do not sign a contract for private rented accommodation until January - for this reason, we do not release our lists via HouseSearch until early January.