Advice to students renting accommodation

Date published: 16 September 2019

Students are reminded of the laws in place to protect them as they look for accommodation ahead of the new academic year. It's important for students to be aware of their rights and responsibilities.

Private landlords

Most students will rent accommodation from private landlords and most private landlords comply with the law. 

All private landlords are required to register on the Landlord Registration Scheme.

Students can check at the following link if a landlord is on the register:

A landlord who does not register may face a fixed penalty of £500 or a court fine of up to £2,500. 

Deposits

Landlords normally ask for a deposit. That deposit is now protected under a scheme which ensures that if you're entitled to get it back, you can be assured that this will happen.

Landlords must, within 28 days of receiving the deposit, notify the tenant of how the deposit has been protected. 

If, after 28 days of handing over the deposit, the tenant hasn't received information about how it has been protected, they should report this immediately to the local council's environmental health department.

A landlord who does not protect a tenant's deposit may face a fixed penalty of three times the amount of the deposit or a court fine of up to £20,000.

You can find out more about the scheme at this link:

The pages below should also be useful:

Letting agent fees

If you use a letting agent to find and rent a property, the letting agent may charge you certain fees.

Where the fees cover work done by the letting agent as part of their service to your landlord, you may be able to have these fees refunded to you by the letting agent.

If you have paid fees to a letting agent in the last six years and have evidence of the amount you paid and what you paid for, you can ask the letting agent to refund these payments.

You can find information at this link:

Problems with your landlord

If you have any problems with your landlord, the following links have advice:

Sharing a house

You may be thinking of sharing a house with a few friends, or perhaps you’re moving into accommodation with people you don’t know. There are hints and tips on these pages:

Leaving a property

Before leaving a property which you have been renting there are a number of things you should do to make it go smoothly:

  • contact service suppliers (like electricity, gas) to advise that you are leaving
  • record any meter readings, if possible along with the landlord
  • arrange for mail to be redirected
  • clean the property
  • contact the landlord to arrange for an inspection and return of your deposit
  • secure the property when leaving
  • return all sets of keys

More useful links

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