Guide to Househunting

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

Renting a property can be a daunting task for many students, especially after living in halls previously. LetSU’s aim is to improve your renting experience whilst at University and provide you with high quality housing, at affordable prices.

The prospect of dealing with landlords, letting agents, understanding tenancy agreements, calculating rents and excessive additional fees is enough to put anyone off! However here at LetSU, we take the stress out of booking a property with us. 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.

1. Find Your House

Firstly, LetSU’s best piece of advice - do not rush into letting a house!

We release our Housing Portfolio in December for a number of reasons, including the following:

  • After the rush and pressures of moving students in during that start of term, LetSU like to allow ourselves a significant time frame to check over our Landlords and their properties to ensure your time renting through us will be safe, secure and hassle free. If we advertised straight away in October without visiting properties and vetting Landlords how would we know they were good enough for you?
  • You may be unsure if University is for you. There are many people you can talk to if you feel this way (including at the Students Union), but you may not decide this until after a full term at the University of Hertfordshire. Therefore, by not allowing you to sign tenancy agreements until Term 2, LetSU eliminate any further stress you may feel.
  • Friendships can take a few weeks to establish and your friends from Freshers may change as the year progresses so it is best to wait until you’re thoroughly settled in to start discussing next year with people! Once you do have a confirmed group together, you can start discussing your budgets and locations! Are you studying nearer College Lane or De Hav? How much can you afford a month on rent? Will bills be included? What internet package is best?

Once you have answered these questions, you’ll need to have a look at our available properties on our website:

If you see a Property you like and you meet the criteria (number of occupants required etc) you can request a viewing via the website. Your requests need to be between Monday and Friday (10am to 5pm). The LetSU team will then be in touch with you to confirm a viewing*. If your potential housemates cannot attend they will need to see photos, video clips or view via Facetime.

Please note your request does not confirm a viewing. *Properties are booked as seen.

If the Property is for you?

No – Pop back onto the available Properties page on the website and have another look. Sometimes more are added through the academic year.

Yes – Move onto Step 2!

2. I Want That One

Once you have all viewed the Property and all Housemates want to reserve it for the upcoming September, you’ll need to get in touch with LetSU either in person (SU Offices, Hutton Hub), by email ( ) or phone 01707 286152.

LetSU will then ask all housemates or individual tenants to complete the online Tenant Application Form. This can be found under the Student tab at the top of the LetSU website or in Step 3 of this Guide.

Once all fully completed Tenant Application Forms have been received by LetSU, we will contact you to schedule a ‘Reservation Appointment’. This is conducted in the SU Offices and all housemates must attend (unless they are away/abroad). We cannot arrange a Reservation Appointment without receiving all Application Forms. Your chosen Property will be held until the appointment*. We cannot hold a property otherwise.

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 Form:

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. If it is incorrectly completed this could hold up your Reservation Appointment!

If you are not having a Guarantor and are paying an extra £150.00 Deposit top up and full year rent in advance, please put “No Guarantor” in the Guarantor’s Name field and N/A in all other fields. For more information on this please see Step 6.

4. Your Appointment

This is a 45 minute (approx.) 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 them being out of the area or abroad). You must each bring the following:

  • Proof of residence, ideally your Passports and any applicable visas (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 – there is a charge for Credit Cards)
  • Your Administration Fees
  • Any tenants not in attendance must have made arrangements for their required documents to be available during this appointment and required monies to be transferred or paid prior to the end of the 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 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.

Most of our student tenancy agreements are ‘Joint’. This means that all parties included (tenants and guarantors) are jointly and severally liable for all issues surrounding the tenancy. Therefore if one tenant defaults on their rent, it will become the responsibility of all tenants and their guarantors to pay it.

5. Guarantors and Guarantor referencing

You must have a guarantor for your tenancy to go ahead!

A guarantor is someone that guarantees the tenant, should they default on rent or charges owed due to damages within the property, among other responsibilities detailed within the guarantor agreement. Each agent will have specific requirements for guarantors, however at LetSU our guarantors must be a British Resident, employed on a full time basis (37.5 hours) and over the age of 21 years.

All guarantors that form the tenancy are jointly and severally liable for themselves and all tenants. We credit check our guarantors, to ensure that they are suitable for the role within the tenancy. 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 you have the following options:

  1. Pay the whole year upfront - You will need to pay an additional £150 deposit at time of booking and the full year rental amount to LetSU prior to the commencement date. This is an arrangement that is subject to the landlord’s agreement.
  2. Use Housing Hand – An external company who will act as your Guarantor should your payments not be met. This is a popular option for Students travelling from abroad.


  • Request and conduct viewing
  • Choose a Property and tell LetSU
  • Housemates and Guarantors complete Application Forms
  • Schedule a Reservation Appointment
  • Attend Reservation Appointment

Congratulations you have reserved a home!

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

Since April 2007, it has been a legal requirement to protect all deposit money under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy, within thirty days of receipt. Legislation implemented aims to better protect the tenants deposits and ensure that tenants who have paid their deposits and are owed the deposit back at the end of the tenancy (in full or minus deductions), actually receive it. This means that there is now an option for tenants to ‘raise a dispute’ if they feel the deductions proposed for their deposits are unjustified. This will then be decided by an unbiased adjudicator, rather than in the hands of the agents/landlords.

Here at LetSU, we protect all our managed tenancies under The Dispute Service (TDS). It is an insurance based scheme (i.e. we hold the money in a protected account). If you property is managed by a private landlord or agent, they must legally advise you who the deposit is protected with.

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 providing all utility bills are paid and following deduction agreements by both the landlord and tenants. There is more information about this on your Tenancy Agreement.

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*)
8th October 2018
(usually when your first Student Finance payment arrives)
2nd Instalment of Rent
(usually between £840 - £1900pp*)
7th January 2019
(in line with your second Student Finance payment)
3rd Instalment of Rent
usually between £840 - £1900pp*)
22rd April 2019
(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.

Thinking of letting your property?

Book a property appraisal today!