What’s the process of renting a house?
Let's clear this up

check your university advice

The absolute first thing to do is check the advice from your uni. Along with providing house-mate mixers and all the advice you’ll need, they’ll have a list of accredited landlords and letting agents. Too often students get unlucky with a sh*tty landlord. Take five minutes and see what your uni suggests or check the list provided by Citizens Advice.


contact and view properties

Get in touch with the letting agents or directly with landlords. Discuss your requirements (budget, location, number of rooms, bills included/not included) and then arrange to be shown around properties fitting those requirements. We’ve got some advice for when you’re looking.


When the group of you have come to a decision, inform the letting agent or landlord. Everyone in the house will be required to sign documents, which will include paying a holding fee, so make sure you’re all prepared for this. The holding fee is usually non-refundable but, if the landlord backs out, they are bound by law to return this to you. 


Before moving in you’ll be required to pay a security deposit. This isn’t the same as the holding fee, although sometimes the holding fee can contribute towards the deposit. It’s normally a total of one month’s rent of the entire property and per tenant. So, if there’s five of you paying £75 a week, the deposit will be £375 each. 

So, The main fees to be aware of: 


Ultimately, the process is smooth if you use the resources on offer to you. It’s really important that you work well as a team through the process and never leave your fellow house-mates in a lurch. Ensure you’re cooperative and pro-active during the process, never leaving someone to do all the work or having to chase you for a signature or payment. Don’t bring everyone else down by being unorganised. 

Finally, our quick tips:



You have now signed, sealed and delivered your student casa for next year. Virtually all tenancies run for twelve months even though term is around nine. This is because, understandably, landlords don’t want their properties empty over the summer months. Take full advantage and get your ass to Cardiff throughout for a summer of fun before term starts. 

Aside from your university support and Citizens Advice, we’d also recommend using the NUS website for more information and support when renting.



Back to the Cardiff homepage