Housing Costs: What To Expect When House-hunting

In celebration of Housing Week here at the Students’ Union, today we’ll be going through some of the costs that come when searching and signing for a house so that you know what to expect when you start house-hunting!

In celebration of Housing Week here at the Students’ Union, today we’ll be going through some of the costs that come when searching and signing for a house so that you know what to expect when you start house-hunting!

As a student, you may have access to different sources of income, but it's always best to monitor how you are using it. You can book an appointment with the Advice Centre to help you budget for the year ahead, especially when you consider signing for a new house.

Often, students use their last loan payment to help fund deposits and fees when signing. While this is useful, don’t forget that you may have other costs at this time.

What costs should I expect to pay?

  • Security deposit (maximum must be 5 weeks’ rent, approximately £400-600)
  • First month’s rent in advance with UK guarantor (3-6 months’ rent in advance for students without UK guarantors)
  • You could also be asked for a holding fee (maximum 1 week’s rent; refundable unless you cancel) to stop advertising the property. We strongly recommend against paying a holding fee before using our free contract-checking service.

You can make an appointment to get help with budgeting by contacting Financial Wellbeing - moneymatters@royalholloway.ac.uk.

How much should rent cost?

These are approximate monthly rent prices based on our experience of pricing in the local area to give you an idea of the price range to expect. 

  • Single room in a small house: £300-400
  • Single room in a large house: £280-380
  • Double room in a small house: £400-600
  • Double Room in a large house: £300-500
  • En-suite room in a house-share: £600-800

The above prices are not based on luxury properties.

The Tenant Fees Bill passed on 1 June 2019 stops landlords and letting agents from charging most fees that were considered standard fees before. See the government guidance for tenants here.

Funding your deposit

Some of the sources you can use are:

Trustworthy letting agents will have a full and transparent price list on their website, including costs of possible future fees and charges.

How can I find cheaper rent?

Be flexible about:

  • Location. E.g. Englefield Green is usually cheaper than Egham and definitely cheaper than London
  • Who you live with. If you’re willing to split up your group, then you’ll have more options and can wait longer. There’s always lots of spare rooms advertised on RHSUHouseMating throughout the academic year and holidays
  • Timing: The longer you wait, the more deals you’ll find as landlords scramble to fill their rooms before term starts. However, waiting longer will mean less choice in property-sizes

Remember, you can ALWAYS try to negotiate. The later it is in the academic year, the more negotiating power you will have. Feel free to book an appointment to discuss your housing and ask us for negotiating tips.

Housing Week

Stay in the know with the latest news and advice on our Housing Week Campaign Hub. We'll be publishing articles throughout the week, where you'll find tons of other useful information to help you with the entire housing process!

Further support

We appreciate the volume of information being sent your way could be quite overwhelming, so we've created a Coronavirus Hub to give you quick links to key advice, guidance, and our latest news updates. With dedicated pages for housingacademic, and welfare advice, as well as links to government advice and College FAQs, it's your one-stop-shop for all the vital information during this time.

The Advice Centre is a free, independent and confidential service for all students here at Royal Holloway. Our friendly, experienced and professional staff will provide a listening ear and offer general and specialist advice. We’re here to support you with a whole range of issues, big and small, and if we’re not the best people to help you with a particular issue, we’ll point you in the right direction.

Email us at advice@su.rhul.ac.uk with any questions or to ask for a phone appointment