Accommodation near to the LSE campus is very scarce and normally very expensive. The further away from the centre of London and the School you live, the lower your rent is likely to be. Travel expenses, however, should also be added to your weekly costs when considering a property, but please note that living within walking distance of LSE is still far more expensive, even with reduced travel costs.
£150 - £195 per person per week represents the average cost for students' accommodation located within 30 minutes to one hour travelling time to the LSE. Accommodation in this price range is, generally, plentiful, although it is a real possibility to find cheaper accommodation.
As well as rent you will usually be expected to pay for gas, electricity and sometimes for water. You should normally allow between £10 to £12 per week for these.
Do ask if any of these services are included in the rent and if they are you must ensure it is written in the agreement or rent book. If you are responsible for paying the bills check that you have not been left with any outstanding debts from previous tenants before you move in. If you have never had a utility account in your name before you may also have to pay a large deposit.
You will probably be required to pay a damage deposit when you begin a tenancy agreement. This is usually the equivalent of one month's rent. You should obtain a receipt with the landlord's full name and address on it and ensure that the receipt states what the deposit covers, eg cleaning, gardening, damage and arrears of rent; although this may be clearly stated in the tenancy agreement. At the end of your tenancy your damage deposit should be returned, although the landlord has a right to deduct the cost of any repairs or replacements made during your occupancy. You should agree an inventory, listing furniture and fittings and any damage already done to those items, with the landlord at the start of the tenancy in order to avoid any disputes later on - see the Types of rental agreement page for more details. It is a good idea, if possible, to take pictures of the property when you move in, as this can be helpful for resolving any future dispute.
As of April 2007 most damage deposit monies must be registered within a tenancy deposit scheme. If this is not done for your tenancy please contact the Students' Union Advice Centre to take the appropriate action.
A holding deposit is a deposit paid to the landlord or the agent to hold the property whilst you decide whether to take it or not; it is seldom returned if you withdraw your interest. Ask if it is returnable and if so, get it in writing.
If any of the residents in the same house as you are NOT full-time students there will also be a bill for council tax for the household to which you will probably be expected to contribute.
Be aware that if you move into private accommodation before you register at LSE, the period up to your registration may not be exempt from council tax even if the rest of the year will be. This may be unavoidable as most students need to settle into accommodation before registration.
Note that overseas students' spouses may be exempt from council tax. Further advice on council tax can be obtained from the Students' Union Advice Centre or the University of London Housing Services on arrival.
If you have a television set you must obtain a TV licence.You can purchase your licence online; over-the-counter at any of over 18,000 PayPoint outlets across the country; over the phone by direct debit or with a debit or credit card; or by post – send a cheque made payable to TV Licensing to: TV Licensing, Freepost, BS6689, Bristol, BS1 3YJ.
When do you need a TV Licence?
Anyone without a valid TV licence, who watches or records TV programmes as they are being broadcast - irrespective of what channel you're watching, what device you are using (TV, computer, laptop, mobile phone or any other), and how you receive them (terrestrial, satellite, cable, via the internet or in any other way) - risks prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000.
Please take not of the following with regards to TV licensing:
If you live in halls of residence and use a TV in your own room, you need your own separate TV licence.
You also need your own licence if you are sharing a house with other students and use a TV in your room, and your room is a separately occupied place (a separate tenancy agreement would normally indicate that this is the case).
If you have a separate tenancy agreement but a television is only being used in a communal area of a property, then only one licence is required
If you are sharing a house with other students and you use a TV in your own room, but the house can be treated as one place shared by all, then only one TV Licence is required (a joint tenancy agreement would usually be evidence that the house is a single licensable place for this purpose).
Students requiring further information should contact TV Licensing on 0300 790 6090. To find out about the many ways you can pay for your TV Licence, including direct debit, visit the TV Licensing site.
It is advisable to take out insurance to cover personal effects. Details of firms specialising in student cover are available from the Students' Union. You may find that you can be added to your parents' household cover for a small additional premium. Whatever insurance you take out, make sure it will cover your bicycle and computer, if you have them.
This may be a significant cost in some areas and should be checked before committing to a property - see the Travel page for more information.
You may need to buy crockery, cutlery, bed linen and other household items, so ask what is provided by your landlord before signing any tenancy agreement.