The Student Room Group

PhD at Cambridge with pets

I will be moving to Cambridge for a phd with my partner next year. My partner works remote and can fund themselves. I am offered a scholarship as well. The issue is, we have three cats and will absolutely bring them with us wherever we go. This means we will lose our chance to reside in university accomodation as pets are not allowed on university's property. So, we will araange our accomodation through private property of landlords. Given that University of Cambridge nearly has a monopoly over property in the region what are our chances of finding a pet friendly accomodation there below 2000 pounds per month? What kind of support, if any, can I demand from university's accomodation services in my situation? If I fail to find somewhere to reside do they have the right to tell me to suck it up and accept the uni accomodation without pets? I again repeat this is not an option for me as I will not leave my cats. I also hold a funded offer from another university, but less reputable than Cambridge, which is in a big city in the UK with plenty of housing options. If I don't absolutely have any chance of moving to Cambridge with my pets I will seriously consider accepting the other offer. This is a big decision for me and I appreciate your honest answers. Many thanks in advance.
Original post by saribela
I will be moving to Cambridge for a phd with my partner next year. My partner works remote and can fund themselves. I am offered a scholarship as well. The issue is, we have three cats and will absolutely bring them with us wherever we go. This means we will lose our chance to reside in university accomodation as pets are not allowed on university's property. So, we will araange our accomodation through private property of landlords. Given that University of Cambridge nearly has a monopoly over property in the region what are our chances of finding a pet friendly accomodation there below 2000 pounds per month? What kind of support, if any, can I demand from university's accomodation services in my situation? If I fail to find somewhere to reside do they have the right to tell me to suck it up and accept the uni accomodation without pets? I again repeat this is not an option for me as I will not leave my cats. I also hold a funded offer from another university, but less reputable than Cambridge, which is in a big city in the UK with plenty of housing options. If I don't absolutely have any chance of moving to Cambridge with my pets I will seriously consider accepting the other offer. This is a big decision for me and I appreciate your honest answers. Many thanks in advance.

I'm in a similar situation, so wishing you the best of luck! It would be great if you could inform us if you have any success!
(edited 1 month ago)
Original post by saribela
I will be moving to Cambridge for a phd with my partner next year. My partner works remote and can fund themselves. I am offered a scholarship as well. The issue is, we have three cats and will absolutely bring them with us wherever we go. This means we will lose our chance to reside in university accomodation as pets are not allowed on university's property. So, we will araange our accomodation through private property of landlords. Given that University of Cambridge nearly has a monopoly over property in the region what are our chances of finding a pet friendly accomodation there below 2000 pounds per month? What kind of support, if any, can I demand from university's accomodation services in my situation? If I fail to find somewhere to reside do they have the right to tell me to suck it up and accept the uni accomodation without pets? I again repeat this is not an option for me as I will not leave my cats. I also hold a funded offer from another university, but less reputable than Cambridge, which is in a big city in the UK with plenty of housing options. If I don't absolutely have any chance of moving to Cambridge with my pets I will seriously consider accepting the other offer. This is a big decision for me and I appreciate your honest answers. Many thanks in advance.

Accommodation is entirely your responsibility, not the university's or your College's. If you choose to make it mandatory to live with something not permissible in College or Uni accommodation, that's 100% on you. You have to go to the private market, end of. You cannot demand anything at all from the university accommodation service in any circumstance, they owe you no obligation.

The Uni has nothing like a monopoly on rental property in Cam, there's loads available - most ARU students use it to start with.

You need to start looking on Rightmove, Zoopla, Primelocation etc and working out what you can get for your budget and where you will need to live in the city. Probably best not to mention the cats to private landlords - the law is due to change, but I don't think it has yet. So they can refuse pets if they are asked, they are very much less likely to turf out tenants if they find they are keeping pets.

If you don't get private accommodation, you don't stand much chance of College accommodation (it's College that accommodates you , not the Uni - most Uni accommodation for post-docs, visiting academics etc). If you don't ask for College accommodation (without cats) then you won't get it, and you 100% have to find private accommodation in order to take up your place - there's no such option as College then finding you accommodation if you can't find private.

No Uni will have accommodation that takes pets. So your situation in the private market at Cambridge is no different to your situation at any other uni. Cambridge has plenty of accommodation options, especially if you have a partner with an income, because you can live outside the city as well.
Original post by saribela
I will be moving to Cambridge for a phd with my partner next year. My partner works remote and can fund themselves. I am offered a scholarship as well. The issue is, we have three cats and will absolutely bring them with us wherever we go. This means we will lose our chance to reside in university accomodation as pets are not allowed on university's property. So, we will araange our accomodation through private property of landlords. Given that University of Cambridge nearly has a monopoly over property in the region what are our chances of finding a pet friendly accomodation there below 2000 pounds per month? What kind of support, if any, can I demand from university's accomodation services in my situation? If I fail to find somewhere to reside do they have the right to tell me to suck it up and accept the uni accomodation without pets? I again repeat this is not an option for me as I will not leave my cats. I also hold a funded offer from another university, but less reputable than Cambridge, which is in a big city in the UK with plenty of housing options. If I don't absolutely have any chance of moving to Cambridge with my pets I will seriously consider accepting the other offer. This is a big decision for me and I appreciate your honest answers. Many thanks in advance.

As above the university has no sort of monopoly over accommodation in the city. It's just the Cambridge is a city with two major universities, near or at the location of a number of notable software development and bioscience industry locations, and is also an easy commute to London, so is a very popular location to live. Hence, the rental market there is crazy.

There certainly are options available around which likely will accept pets, and some places may be happy to negotiate on that. Whether they're in your price range depends on what other factors you're looking for. If you are happy to take anything broadly in the city limits that accepts pets then there is probably something. If you insist on e.g. a semi-detached with garden in the city centre then yes, you probably won't find that. So you will need to be pragmatic about trade offs for what you're looking for.

Note that while as below college accommodation and probably accommodation services accom won't accept pets, the accommodation service also provides internal listings for students listed by e.g. other academics etc. These may give you some extra options. Ultimately though you'll just need to keep looking and if you find somewhere, jump on it fast - places don't stay on the market long in Cambridge in my experience.

Incidentally if you can drive and have a car you may want to look into the surrounding villages around Cambridge too, which might have more options. Parking is still a problem although there's the park and ride.

Also as above no uni accom will accept pets and in any city you'll still need to spend some time looking around for places that accept pets as fewer accept those than don't.
(edited 1 month ago)
Reply 4
Original post by saribela
I will be moving to Cambridge for a phd with my partner next year. My partner works remote and can fund themselves. I am offered a scholarship as well. The issue is, we have three cats and will absolutely bring them with us wherever we go. This means we will lose our chance to reside in university accomodation as pets are not allowed on university's property. So, we will araange our accomodation through private property of landlords. Given that University of Cambridge nearly has a monopoly over property in the region what are our chances of finding a pet friendly accomodation there below 2000 pounds per month? What kind of support, if any, can I demand from university's accomodation services in my situation? If I fail to find somewhere to reside do they have the right to tell me to suck it up and accept the uni accomodation without pets? I again repeat this is not an option for me as I will not leave my cats. I also hold a funded offer from another university, but less reputable than Cambridge, which is in a big city in the UK with plenty of housing options. If I don't absolutely have any chance of moving to Cambridge with my pets I will seriously consider accepting the other offer. This is a big decision for me and I appreciate your honest answers. Many thanks in advance.

You would be genuinely mad to turn down a Cambridge PhD offer because of some cats....
Reply 5
When I did my LLM, I had to leave my dog with my sister (who took good care and made my cute little dog fatter hahahah). But, yes, no college accepts pets if they are not service pets. Therefore, I would suggest you to rent outside of college.

Saying that, you for sure will find rent below 2k outside Uni properties. There are some surroundings with private owners and, right near the Cambridge Train Station, there are new apartment buildings for private rent. So I believe you will find some place, either paying more and closer to the city centre or paying less and some minutes more biking.
(edited 1 month ago)
I know people who have moved to Cambridge with multiple cats. They had to find accommodation outside of Cambridge in surrounding villages. There are so many people looking for housing in Cambridge that landlords can afford to be choosey in who they accept, and there will be people without cats to pick from. Most think that cats will pee everywhere, scratch the walls and carpets, etc. You usually can't reason with them.

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