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 in Egham)
  • 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 simply have to email it to advice@su.rhul.ac.uk with the subject ‘contract check request’

What if I don’t have a guarantor?

If you don’t have a guarantor, please look at the following companies and make an enquiry/application:

The above companies will act as your guarantor if you proceed with them. They do charge a fee for this service.

If you are unable to afford the arrangement fee that these companies require, you are able to apply to our Study Support Grant to reimburse these costs to you.

You’ll be required to confirm that you are unable to secure a guarantor for this academic year. You will also need proof of payment for the arrangement fee so that you can be reimbursed for these costs.

You can check your eligibility by contacting Financial Wellbeing.

How much should rent cost?

These are approximate monthly rent prices based on our experience of pricing in Egham 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. Check the government guidance for tenants.

Funding your deposit

Some of the sources you can use are:

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 RHSU HouseMating 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 page. 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

More questions?

During term-time, our Advice Centre runs drop-ins on Zoom every Tuesday and Thursday 13:30-15:30, and in-person every Wednesday 13:30-15:30. You can find more information on our Events Calendar, and can join the virtual drop-ins on ZoomEmail an advisor if you need a different meeting time, or would prefer to get advice via email.

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.