We recommend that you think about your budget and what you think you will be able to afford weekly monthly.

Whilst it is a good idea to look at the cost per week, you will need to consider that contracts are also different lengths and you should base your calculation on the whole contract rent.

You will also need to look at what is included in the rent. For instance, private providers who offer student accommodation in purpose-built residences often have the cost of bills (e.g. water, gas, electric and internet) and possession insurance included, whilst individual houses and flats are less likely to.

Keep receipts

Make sure you are fully aware of what fees you are being charged. You may be asked for fees, holding deposits and tenancy deposits up front. Before you hand over any money make sure:

  • You know what you’re paying for
  • If you end up not living there then you know exactly what will be refunded or retained
  • You get a receipt stating what you have paid and what it was for

Don't forget that Guild Advice provide a free contract checking service and will help look into this with you.

What to consider

Remember to look at both the rent and bill and to assess the costs over the whole contract period so don't look at the weekly rent but the full payments due under the contract and what is included. When you consider the cost of living in the property you should consider the following:

  • How much is the rent?
  • What is your budget?
  • Will you have to pay a deposit or rent in advance?
  • What (if any) bills are included? If you are going to be paying the bills, then make sure you plan ahead with your flatmates on how this will be paid and divided between you. This will help to avoid any potential future disputes.
  • How much are the current tenants spending on bills? You should check which type of heating system the property has and if the landlord or a current tenant can provide a cost estimate or example bill. It might also be worth seeking estimates from utility companies or internet providers in advance.

The map on our places webpage will give you some idea of average rental prices within different locations of Exeter.

I was so foolish when I started looking for houses - I really wanted the biggest house with the best features but never fully thought about the cost of it. I really struggled to budget for the rest of the year and to save money to go out with.

Alfie, Student