Student Guide to Renting
Before You Start Looking
Decide what you can afford before you start house hunting. Remember you will have to budget for gas, electricity, water, phone, internet and a TV licence, as well as food and general household items.
One of the bonuses of being a student is that you don’t have to pay council tax for your house. However bear in mind that should you decide to live with non-students you will be required to pay council tax.
Most universities have well-known student residential areas – ask around. If you do not have a car consider proximity to campus and public transport links. If you are driving, is parking available? Do you need a parking permit?
Get in contact with your local Propertymark Protected letting agent for advice on the best time to start looking for student accommodation in your area.
Choosing your housemates
Disagreements between housemates are a common problem in student houses. Conflicting lifestyles and personality clashes can cause misery and more stress around exam time.
Remember you are signing a legally binding contract and will not be able to simply walk away. As a group you will also have to decide on how to split and share responsibility for bills.
Choosing a letting agent
Not all letting agents are regulated and rogue agents can cause you stress and loss of money. Use our Find an Expert search to find your nearest ARLA Propertymark Protected letting agent. Our letting agents have to maintain standards throughout their properties, and we regularly monitor the way that they handle deposits and rent.
Look for the ARLA Propertymark Protected logo (shown above) on letting agents’ websites, letting boards and office windows.
Find an Expert
Protecting You and Your Money
Problem with the house
All letting agents are required to sign up to a redress scheme. ARLA Propertymark Protected letting agents belong to either TPOS, OS:P or PRS. This means that if you have a dispute with your agent it can be referred for free to a neutral expert for resolution. More info...
Protecting your money
All ARLA Propertymark Protected letting agents have Client Money Protection (CMP). This means should an ARLA Propertymark Protected agent go bust or misuse your rent, deposit or other funds, we will reimburse you, subject to CMP scheme limits. More info...
Your landlord or letting agent is required by law to register your deposit with a government approved scheme within 30 days of you paying it. They must also give you the details of where the deposit is being held. More info...
The deposit is refundable unless you have damaged the house, its contents or not paid the rent. Make sure an inventory is completed and take dated photos of and damage no matter how insignificant. Get the damage acknowledged and agreed in writing by the letting agent. This could save your deposit at the end of your tenancy.
Read the contract carefully. If you have any doubts, speak to your Students’ Union. If you agree a repair with your landlord before you move in – make sure this is added to the contract before you sign.
The most common type of contract for students is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST). The names of all tenants will probably be held “jointly and severally liable”. This means that you are all legally responsible for all of the rent, not just your own portion, even if someone leaves. You may also be asked to provide a guarantor who accepts legal and financial responsibility should anyone fail to pay their rent.
Contact energy suppliers
Notify the utility companies that you are moving in - give them the gas and electricity meter readings, your move in date and the names of all the tenants. This ensures that you share responsibility for the payments.
Moneysupermarket.com say one in three university students are victims of crime each year. Items such as laptops are essential for university life, so it is important to get insurance cover. Some students may be covered by their parents’ contents policy however don’t assume this is the case.
Throughout the Tenancy
Report any problems/damage as they happen and keep copies to prove that you reported it. When you leave for breaks consider leaving heating on low to ensure that pipes don’t freeze - you will be liable for the repairs if they do.
Leave the property in the same condition as the day you arrived. Contact your letting agent at least one month prior to your moving out date. They will explain the process for reclaiming your deposit.
Hidden P Answers
Page 1 tv aerial left of the lamp post
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Page 6 post of For Rent sign
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Download a property checklist
Ask your ARLA Propertymark Protected letting agent for a copy of our Student Guide.