Blogs > Relocation / Life in the UK

How to secure temporary accommodation in the UK

  • July 01, 2019

How to secure accommodation in the UK

Before you arrive in the UK, it is important for you to have accommodation organised for yourself and your family. So, when you step off the plane your journey and plans are stress free.

Unfortunately, it is a legal requirement for you to rent/sign for a property in person. Therefore, you have three short-term accommodation options available to you before you can book long-term accommodation.

Option 1: Stay at hospital accommodation

NHS hospital accommodation for doctors can be extremely limited. So, when you sign your offer letter and you are interested in temporarily staying in hospital accommodation – it is important for you to enquire about whether there is any availability. Depending on the hospital’s availability, you may have to fill out an accommodation request form and accommodation will be successfully allocated. However, if all of the hospital accommodation is full, you may need to join a waiting list and wait until an occupancy becomes available.

In our experience, hospital accommodation large enough for a family is rare, so, you may need to consider the below two options if you are travelling with a spouse and children. That being said, if you are successful in securing hospital accommodation, you can expect a furnished room with a wash hand basin and then you will usually share the bathroom/shower and kitchen facilities.

How do I pay for it?

The majority of NHS Trusts will deduct your rent for the property from your monthly salary.

Option 2: Air BnB

Air BnB is an online marketplace that lets people rent out their property or spare room guests. The website allows you to book a single room to an entire house. The website/app will provide you with lots of photos of the property with a full map listing.

Booking a room/property via Air BnB will provide you with great value for your money. The website allows you to compare a range of properties at a range of price points from a few pounds a night to hundreds, depending on your requirements and location.

How do I use Air BnB?

  1. Go to airbnb,com or install the app on your smart phone.
  2. Enter your destination, dates, number of guests, select whether you want to book an entire home, private room or shared room.
  3. Select your filters to match your criteria, for example, wifi, kitchen, bathroom, pool etc.
  4. Click search.
  5. Once you have found a property that meets your requirements within your price range click “Contact Host” to ask a question about the property or “Request to Book” to begin the booking process. The host will need to approve your request before your booking has gone through.

Tips for booking an Air BnB

  1. Start your search and book as early as possible as this will provide you the most options when it comes to selecting a property.
  2. Pay attention to the location. Put the property’s street into Google maps from your hospital – so, you know exactly how long it will take you to travel to work until you find something more permanent.
  3. Read attention to the fine print and cancellation policy.
  4. Contact the host with information on the local area. More than likely they will be happy to help you with information on local grocery stores, public transport etc.

Option 3: Book a hotel

If you cannot find an Air BnB to meet your needs, you may need to consider booking a hotel for your first week in the UK.

There are various comparison websites to aid you in booking a hotel in the UK. These include, but are not limited to:



Late Rooms

The advantage of booking a hotel for your initial stay, is that the booking process is flexible. Often, you can book a hotel room with free cancellation and pay on arrival, giving you additional flexibility. Furthermore, if you are travelling with your family, then you can book a hotel room with enough space for all of you. However, the disadvantage of booking a hotel room is that is can be costly for a long duration of time.

Relocation to the UK

If you are an international doctor who needs support relocating to the UK and joining the NHS, please email your CV to [email protected] and we can aid you in securing your first NHS post.

IMG Advisor

Are you a member of our Facebook Group IMG Advisor? We publish regular blog posts on everything you need to know about relocating to the UK and joining the NHS. You can receive professional guidance from us and get the chance to meet other IMGs.


Get Email Job Alerts

Get email alerts tailored to just the jobs you're interested in.


Register With Us

Help us match you with jobs that are perfect for you.


Send Us Your Resumé

Upload it from your computer or via your phone from your cloud storage.

error: Content is protected !!