The following guidance has been prepared by the UK Government Trading Standards department. It is very important that you read it before securing any private rented accommodation through an agent.
When you are planning your year of study in the UK, it might be tempting to find your accommodation using the internet before you come to the UK, and it is good to know that you will have somewhere to live when you arrive!
However there have been cases reported of letting agents advertising properties to rent online without meeting all the legal requirements for letting agents in the UK. This has led to students not getting their deposit back at the end of their stay, or not finding anyone to sort out any problems with their accommodation while they are in the UK.
There are a few simple checks you can do which will let you know if the letting agent you are using is operating legally and may help to prevent problems. If they can’t answer a few straightforward questions, perhaps you should look elsewhere…..
Finally do some homework. Ask round and look on social media sites and groups, and see if people have had problems with particular letting agents. If possible use agents or accommodation recommended by the university or by your friends.
If you have any questions or need help, contact the Advice Centre at firstname.lastname@example.org, call us on 023 8059 2085, or visit us on Highfield Campus, Building 40.