Unite is looking to appoint an agency by September, with pitches planned for August.
Incumbent Golley Slater is invited to repitch. FD will continue to handle its investor, corporate and public affairs activity.
Unite Group is the only listed provider of student accommodation and currently houses 38,000 students across the UK in 29 cities.
Unite reputation manager Anne-Marie McGarrity said: 'Traditional press do not have a big student readership and cutting through the noise to get their attention will be difficult.'