How to rent your own place

Posted 11 months ago

Living outside UAL halls is different

You can meet students from other universities and explore different sides of the city.

The process can be tricky, no matter whether you’re a new or an experienced house-hunter, so we have a Private Accommodation Advisor who can give you advice and even read over your tenancy contract. 

Here are some useful things to think about... 

📑 Contracts 

As a renter, you should always have a written contract outlining your rights and responsibilities. Read this thoroughly before you sign and pay any money; and keep a copy in case you need to refer to it again. If you’ve got any questions or need help, email the Private Accommodation Adviser on

💷 Costs 

Rent can vary a lot. You might be paying anything from £180 per week for a room in a shared house to £500 per week for a studio flat. And then there are bills. If they’re not included in your rent, utility bills like electricity, gas and water can cost between £20 and £30 per week. Telephone and internet will add around £5-10 extra a week and a TV Licence is £159 a year. 

Rent is usually paid monthly in advance. Damage deposits are the equivalent of 5 weeks’ rent. So this means you will pay a total of about 2½ months rent before you move in. If you don’t have a guarantor you may be asked to pay much more rent in advance before you move in. Please get in touch with our Private Accommodation Adviser if you have any questions about this. 

👩🏽‍💻 Letting agents 

A lot of properties are marketed or fully managed by letting agents. Legally, letting agents need to be a member of a redress scheme, either the PRS or the Property Ombudsman. Letting agents are also required to have Client Money Protection. And they are no longer allowed to charge letting fees to tenants! 

Our Top 5 house-hunting tips 

  1. Look at more than one place. Take photos and notes so you can compare. Check out the place in person! 
  2. When dealing with agents, bear in mind they are salespeople and can be very pushy. Their main job is to keep the landlord happy by finding suitable tenants. 
  3. No guarantor? We recommend you pay no more than ½ the total rent in advance (6 months on a 1 year tenancy). Paying all rent in advance is nice for the landlord, but bad for you. 
  4. Only pay rent to your landlord, not other tenants. Don’t let your friend live with you long term, unless you have your landlord’s permission. Tenants are not allowed to sublet.  
  5. Don’t accept accommodation that’s dirty, needs redecoration or even major repair. It must be good when you view it. 

Talk to us on 020 7514 6240 or email the Private Accommodation Adviser on to arrange an appointment.