Guide to Househunting

Your on-campus Lettings Agency, powered by Hertfordshire Students’ Union

Renting a property can be a daunting task for many students. Whether you are you are arriving from home or halls of residence the experience is the same. There is a lot to learn, but we are here to help. LetSU aim to ensure your renting experience, whilst at University, supports your studies and does not disrupt them. We offer high quality housing, excellent customer service, at affordable prices.

The prospect of dealing with landlords, letting agents, understanding tenancy agreements, calculating rents and paying additional fees is enough to put anyone off! However, here at LetSU, we take the stress out of booking a property. You deal directly with our team; our tenancy agreements are up to date in order to best protect you and are available to preview at any time. Our step by step guide can help see you through the process.

1. Find Your House

Attend our Housing Fair on Friday 8th January 2016 between 11am-3pm. You’ll need to have a look at our available properties on the list and view any you like the sound of. The list is also available on our website: www.hertfordshire.su/housing, if you are unable to attend the fair. Shortlist the properties on the list that meet your requirements and ensure you view them. All tenants must have viewed the property (either in person or via photos, video clips or Facetime, if they are away/abroad). We ask that you are mindful of the current tenants in the property and that you only view the property* between the hours of 10am-6pm, unless specifically arranged with the current tenants (remember, you may be the current tenants next year, so think about your timings). *Properties are booked as seen.

2. I Want That One

Once you have viewed the property and are sure you want to book it tenancy, you’ll need to get in touch with LetSU either in person, by email (studenthousing@hertfordshire.su ) or phone 01707 286152.LetSU will make you an appointment which all tenants must attend (unless they are away/abroad) and the property will then be held until the appointment. Properties are booked on a first come first serve basis, so you may need to act quickly. *Due to high demand we strictly cannot hold a property longer than 48 hours.

3. Online tenancy application

Each tenant and guarantor must then complete the online tenancy application document:

Apply Online

This must be received from each tenant in the group prior to the appointment. It will not allow you to submit the document until it is fully completed.

4. Your Appointment

This is a 45 minute appointment and all of your group must be in attendance for the full length of this appointment (unless you have advised us regarding their absence due to out of the area or abroad). You must each bring the following:

  • Proof of residence (students unable to attend the appointment must supply a copy). Further information regarding accepted documents can be found on our website.
  • Your Student ID card
  • Your deposit money (via cash or card)
  • Any tenants not in attendance must have made arrangements for their deposit monies to be available during this appointment

We will then draw all of the information from your application forms to build your tenancy agreement and other documents. These documents are issued electronically via email for digital signing by all parties. The deadlines for completion of these documents are strict and may result in a charge (for late return) or cancellation of the proposed tenancy. Please be aware that by signing the tenancy agreement, you are signing a legally binding document and will therefore be unable to withdraw/cancel the tenancy unless a replacement is found.

5. Guarantors and guarantor referencing

You will need a guarantor for your tenancy to go ahead. The guarantor is a guarantee that should the tenancy incur rent arrears, damages in excess of the deposit amount or charges, that they will pay anything due. All guarantors that form the tenancy are jointly and severally liable for themselves and all tenants. This must be someone over the age of 21 years old, in full time employment (37.5 hours per week) and a resident of Great Britain. We credit check all guarantors. If this check is failed, there will be a charge of £20.00 applicable to the guarantor/tenant. If you are unable to find a guarantor that is suitable, you will need to pay an additional £150 deposit at time of booking and the full year rental amount, by LetSU the commencement date. This is an arrangement that is subject to the landlord’s agreement.

6. What is my deposit for and when will I get it back?

Your deposit is held for the duration of your tenancy, to cover any rent arrears, damages and tenant charges. You will receive an inventory for the property and at the end of the tenancy, a check out report. These will base our decisions regarding any deductions to be made. The property should be returned in the same condition it was provided at the start of the tenancy, baring allowances for ‘fair wear and tear’. Deposits will be returned within 10 working days (following deduction agreements by both the landlord and tenants).

7. Rent Payments

LetSU's rental schedule has been tailored with students in mind.

Your rent is not due on a regular monthly basis, instead we have split the payments into one small monthly payment and the remaining into termly sums which are due in line with the 'typical' Student Finance payments. This helps you not only budget better by paying for your rent termly but also takes the stress out of finding large sums of money.

Payment Description Due Date
First Month’s Rent
(usually between £280-560pp*)
By your tenancy commencement date
(the date you move in)
1st Instalment of Rent
(usually between £840 - £1900pp*)
9th October 2017
(usually when your first Student Finance payment arrives)
2nd Instalment of Rent
(usually between £840 - £1900pp*)
8th January 2018
(in line with your second Student Finance payment)
3rd Instalment of Rent
usually between £840 - £1900pp*)
23rd April 2018
(in line with your third Student Finance payment)

*rent values are dependent on type of house rented, value and tenancy length

8. Working Out Your Rent

LetSU understand it can be confusing working out rent, especially when you are trying to budget a whole year ahead!

We use the following method to calculate your rental payments for the tenancy:

First Month's Rent
Amount of Rent (per month) is the First Month's Rent due

Working Example:

the property is a 4 bedroom house advertised at £1200pcm, so dividing by 4 bedrooms gives you, £300pcm (per person).

The Termly Instalments

Amount of Rent (per month, per person) x the remaining months of the tenancy = total tenancy rent remaining
(i.e. you signed up for 10 months and have paid your first month's rent, so you have 9 months remaining)

Total tenancy rent remaining divided between 3 (three termly payments) = instalment amount per person

Working Example*:

*Based on a 10 month tenancy length, having paid your first month's rent when you moved in.

£300pcm per person x 9 months remaining = £2700 total rent remaining for the tenancy

£2700 divided between 3 = £900 per instalment, per person

9. Further questions?

Further information can be found in the additional documents below. This might be worth showing to your parents/guardians when making your decision.

The UCAS website offers a handy calculator to help you budget during your studies, which you can access here.

If you require any assistance with your finances or generic house hunting advice, our Advice and Support Centre are always on hand to offer additional guidance and support. You can view their website by clicking here.


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