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How much does it cost to rent a property in the UK? Process and considerations for international students renting in the UK.

As an international student studying in the UK, one of the most important things to consider is housing. Whether you choose to live in on-campus student accommodation or off-campus private housing, it's essential to understand the costs, procedures, and potential pitfalls involved. Cyclopes provides the following information to help you easily grasp the budget and process for renting a property as an international student in the UK while becoming aware of important considerations when renting in the UK.

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Source: Photoshop AI Generator 

Budget for renting in the UK

As of 2023, the average cost of student accommodation in the UK varies greatly depending on the city and type of housing. For example, in London, where the cost of living is higher, the average weekly rent for private student accommodation ranges from £150 to £300, depending on factors such as the type of housing, whether it's shared with others, and its distance from the city centre. Outside of London, student accommodation that is suitable for students typically has lower average rental prices, ranging from around £100 to £200 per week. In addition to rent, other costs to consider when budgeting for renting in the UK include utility bills and internet fees. Furthermore, note that in the UK, it's common to pay a deposit in advance when renting a property, typically equivalent to four to six weeks' rent.  

  

When it comes to university-provided student accommodation, most costs, including utility bills, are typically included in the rent. Additionally, due to its proximity to campus, it can be more cost-effective in the long term compared to renting private accommodation.


Process for renting in the UK

Finding a rental property: For housing types outside of university-provided accommodation, you can browse rental platforms such as Rightmove or Zoopla or search on specialised websites such as Student.com and Unite Students, which specialise in providing student accommodation. Additionally, your university may offer accommodation or housing services or be able to help you find a suitable rental property.  

  

Viewing and booking: Once you've found a property you like, you can schedule a viewing. If you're satisfied with the unit, you can pre-pay a holding fee that is no more than one week's rent, which can later be used as a deposit or first month's rent.  

  

Signing the contract: After booking the property, you will typically sign an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) contract. This document outlines your tenancy terms, such as the length of the tenancy and the amount of rent, so be sure to read the terms carefully before signing. When signing, you'll need to provide your student visa and a confirmation of enrollment or student certificate from your university to prove that you're a student at a UK university.  

  

Payment: Typically, you'll need to pay the first month's rent and remaining deposit before moving into the unit.

Woman in pink signing contract

Source: Photoshop AI Generator  

Things to note before renting in the UK

Beware of scams: Do not transfer any money before viewing the property and verifying the identity of the landlord or owner. Also, you should not be asked to pay a deposit or rent before formally signing the tenancy agreement.  

  

Deposit protection: The landlord or owner must use a government-supported tenancy deposit protection (TDP) scheme to protect your deposit within 30 days of receiving it and provide proof. They must also return your deposit within 10 days after you move out.  

Inventory check: Before moving into the property, you should conduct an inventory check and record the condition of the property, furniture, and appliances to avoid disputes or claims for damages or compensation in the future. This can also ensure a smooth return of your deposit when you move out.  

  

Understand tenant rights: You should be aware of your rights as a tenant and confirm that they are included in the tenancy agreement. For example, the landlord or owner should be responsible for most repairs and costs, unless they result from your actions. Additionally, they must provide written notice before entering the property, except in emergency situations.  

  

After understanding the budget, process, and considerations for renting in the UK, you may feel that finding student accommodation in the UK is not easy. However, with sufficient knowledge and preparation, the entire rental process can be quite smooth. Remember the information above and seek advice from your university's student services unit or Cyclopes' experienced team, who can provide tailored advice based on your specific situation.

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