Don’t know where to start? Here is our guide to first time renters

December 12, 2022
Last updated:
April 23, 2024
A group of people sitting around a table.

Here at HYBR we try to make the renting experience as quick and painless as possible for students who are going through it for the first time. Here is our step by step guide to renting your first property! 

It’s important that you’re efficient when approaching renting for the first-time especially when there is a mad rush to find accommodation near your uni. 

When do you start looking?

This heavily depends on where you are. Here’s a quick guide to give you an idea of how it varies:

  • London - August/September (a month before you move in)
  • Bristol - October/November (of the previous year)
  • Cardiff - October/November
  • Lincoln - November
  • Lancaster - June/July
  • Bath - December/January 

Step 1 - Work out what you want?

Before even looking for a place to live, it’s important to have an idea in your mind about what living scenario you want to be in. These are the elements you should think about:

  • Location - proximity to uni, student area, transport links etc.
  • Budget - look at your finances to determine what your limit on rent is (including/not including bills)
  • Number of housemates (if any)
  • Flatshare or group of friends 
  • Moving in date

Step 2 - Identifying and securing a property

Once you’ve identified a property that you like the look of, it’s important to book a viewing before starting the renting process (for most properties it’s obligatory anyway). Or, ask for a video tour if you are outside of the UK. And, always ask questions!

If you decide you want to start the process of signing the flat/house, move quickly and let the relevant people know immediately and they will save it for you.

You don’t want someone else taking the property which you have set your heart on. Believe me, it’s extremely frustrating.

Two women sitting on a bed looking at a laptop.

Step 3 - Tenancy Application 

You will be sent this when you have confirmed you want to proceed. This is effectively a background check. Although it may look daunting when it’s first sent to you, it’s relatively simple to fill out. They will ask you for your home address, phone number, email and student ID. 

Guarantors - Someone who agrees to pay your rent if you can’t (often a parent or a family member). This is the most difficult part of the application process because you need to get quite specific details from your guarantor to put on the form ASAP so you can move on with the process. You should sort out your guarantor prior to the whole process.

Step 4 - Tenancy agreement

This is a legally binding document which states the rules of the property and rights of the tenant and landlord. 

Before you sign, it is important to read it through so that you know the rules of the property and understand your rights as a tenant before moving in. E.g. look out for any clauses on parties and noise! 

After this is all signed and accepted, you will pay your deposit and wait for the move in date!

Two people carrying boxes.

Step 5 - Moving in

On the move-in date, it is very important that you go through the inventory in a lot of detail. Have a look around for any damage to anything in the property at all (chips in the paintwork, stains in the carpet etc), log it in your inventory (ask the landlord if you are not given one) and take pictures of everything. This means that at the end of your tenancy, you can’t be charged for damages not caused by you. And, you can get your deposit back!

This is very easy to forget in all the excitement (and stress) of moving in but really pays off down the line. 

So you’ve now moved in and can enjoy your new home! Having a home of your own for the first time is one of life’s great experiences and although there is some admin to do before getting there, it’s well worth it!

If you have any further questions about the process of moving in or even encounter any problems during it, please drop us an email at We work with students and landlords every day so we’d be happy to answer any of your questions!

Get 10% off with

Hybr is Student Bean’s exclusive accommodation partner! This is the first rental discount ever on Student Beans. Created just for you because we know renting sucks.

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