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How Does Student Housing Work?
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How Does Student Housing Work?

Written by Sam | October 21, 2019

How Does Student Housing Work?

One of the most frequent questions we get asked is, how does it work? This question is asked because even though you are renting a house from a landlord or letting agent, there are some unique differences. We decided to give you a quick guide to show you how easy it is renting as a student can be.

The Starting Point

Firstly you will need to start searching for a house or accommodation. First year university students tend to stay on campus because they will be able to find and make friends during their first year in order to decide who to live with in their second year. A lot of first years tend to stay on the campus because they don’t know the city that well and need a good base in order to start exploring, however, we have seen a very slight change in the trend of first years finding accommodation off-campus rather than just staying with the university accommodation.

A good place to start is with an open day at the university, once you know the areas that you like you can then search the houses in those areas. Start your search either by going around the cities letting agents or online, make sure you have a list if the things you need in order to choose the right houses.

Make sure you view the house, this is the best way to find out it’s condition, if not you will only find out when you move in and that can be too late.

Standard Procedures

  • It’s normal to pay a deposit of up to one months rent for your student house
  • Many take this deposit just before you move in, e.g. within 7 days of move-in
  • Many letting agents operate that you will only have the house confirmed once all paperwork for your group is signed and sent back
  • You will need to sign a tenancy agreement
  • Students do not need to pay council tax, they are exempt
  • You do need to pay for a TV license if you watch catch up TV or live TV, this also includes Netflix, etc.
  • Your letting agent will hold your deposit with a registered deposit scheme
  • They can’t just check in on you, they must give 24 hours notice
  • Repairs will be reported to your letting agent and landlord and if they are an emergency, they will complete them within 24 hours or a reasonable circumstance

Still need more information? We have lots of information specifically for students who are currently at university or have just finished. Read all our blogs here to get all the other information.

The Biggest Mistakes We As Students Make

  • We live with friends who we thought we liked
  • We live in the wrong area or house
  • It wasn’t what it looked like on the website
  • The letting agent or the landlord aren’t doing a good job
  • We break something and don’t get our deposit money back

Letting Agent & Landlord

Once you have decided on a house, flat, studio or any type of accommodation for you and/ or your friends, your landlord should do most of the work for you.

They will give you a tenancy agreement to sign, please read this before signing it. Once this is signed and they have got it back from you and/or all your friends, the house will be taken off the market and will be yours. You will need to pay a deposit at just before you move in to officially confirm that it is yours.

To move in, you will need to collect the keys for your new house from your letting agents and then your letting agent will give you the number to call if there are any repairs that need reporting or if there are any problems. Once that is done, they will likely complete routine checks on you and the house to make sure everything is ok.


  • You will need to attend an open day
  • Search for a house
  • Visit in person
  • Sign a tenancy agreement
  • Do not need to pay council tax
  • Will need to collect your keys
  • Your landlord or letting agent will help you
  • The deposit usually is paid 7 days before move-in day
  • Deposits are held in a separate account from the letting agent
  • Inspections must have a 24-hour notice on them
  • Good friends and letting agents can make all the difference

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