The Student Guide to Renting in the UK

Student Guide To Renting

Moving to home is both exciting and scary at the same time, there are so many things that need to get done! Finding a place to rent in the UK is surely one of them.

From checking out the state of the walls to looking around for signs that mice might be hiding under the sofa, finding rent is hard. According to the Guardian, students pay around £15,000 per year for rent, so it’s worth your time to make the best out of it.

In this article, at we will lay down some boxes that need to be ticked to make sure your move runs smoothly.

Choose your roommates wisely

Most students choose to share the bills and the place they stay in with friends and at times strangers.

Many students look for housemates outside their friends circle simply because they study far away from home, when you are in this situation make sure you set aside some time to get to know the people you will live with.

Ask them about their credit score, if they ever lived with other people as well, if they have a job or they are helped by their parents to cover the bills.

Ask yourself what type of contract suits your needs.

Depending on how you’re sharing the house or if you will live alone in a house, you will have either a “per-room contract” or one that includes the whole property.

If you live in a shared house, a per-room contract can get you out of trouble in case your housemates stop paying the bills or cause any damages to the property.

After you sign one of these contracts you have to make sure that before you leave the rent is paid and the room is not damaged, otherwise you will be held responsible for the cost of repairs

How to search for a property

You have two options, you either use agents or you contact landlords directly or via the websites where they post the ads such as

If you want to find a landlord personally, make sure you take your time to inspect the property and figure out if it meets safety standards.

There are a few things you should look out for: how the street looks like, the neighbors and what the state of the doors and windows is. If they don’t look secure, you should probably move on to the next property. Looking for smoke and carbon monoxide alarm is also extremely important.

Even a small gas leakage can lead to disasters, some universities can help you find landlords by publishing lists of approved property owners who are looking to rent out. Simple upgrades like light filtering cellular shades can really make a difference when trying to study.

You also have to calculate your travel costs, a cheaper property further away from the University may mean you pay less for rent but the travel costs will soon add up.

Ask yourself where you’ll store your belongings before you move in

Finding the right home can take a while and many students end up staying at a relative’s until they find the perfect place.

The problem is when you can’t store all of your belongings in someone else’s house. If you do find yourself in this position, search for a self-storage service in your area. UK is the second biggest market for storage services and there are plenty of companies to choose from.

Moving can also be tricky especially if you’re bringing with you more than a few backpacks. Many students bring with them furniture, large amounts of books and clothes, and as we all know,  clothes can be challenging to pack.

If you are feeling overwhelmed with all the items you need to carry, there are many moving companies to choose from as well.

Read everything at least twice before you sign.

Many students fall into the trap of not reading the contracts carefully or not asking for receipts after paying an initial deposit to secure their new place.

When you sign the tenancy agreement, you’ll be protected by the law in case the landlord wants to run away with the initial deposit and take someone else in.

Take pictures of the home before and after.

To prove to your landlord that everything is well-kept, you should take photos before you moved in and when you’re moving out. When moving out, get your carpets cleaned if they are significantly dirtied up (from all those parties), sort the windows with a window cleaner and clear all the rubbish that is yours and just generally practice keeping the house clean.

This will also give you a reference point in case there are some small damages done that you need to fix, this will help you get your deposit back and build a relationship on good terms with the landlord.

However, inexperienced students should be aware that more than 50% of all deposit disputes happen due to poor or insufficient cleaning and if budget has your back against the wall, consider a hot water extraction treatment. It will not only rejuvenate the looks of the entire carpeting of the rental premises but will also play a crucial role with pleasing your landlord. Having a team of professionals taking care of chores is a sure sign of a responsible and conscientious attitude and that’s what tips the scale for deposit deductions.

Recommended listing portal for renting in the UK

Final words:

Be honest with yourself after you’ve seen a couple of homes. If the rooms are too small and in terrible shape, it will only lead to frustration down the line.

Many students end up taking a part-time job to cover some of the expenses, you can do so as well.

On the other hand, if the house you like is above your budget, consider taking a few housemates to split the rent and the bills.

Join The Discussion

4 thoughts on “The Student Guide to Renting in the UK”

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