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When looking for accommodation for students in Canterbury or other towns in Kent, it couldn’t be easier than with Caxtons Student Lets. But how does the process actually work?

Student lets in a nutshell
In short, student lets are relatively straightforward. If you have your personal ID and banking details to hand and you’re fully prepared, you view a number of properties, choose one that you like, place a deposit, then sign an agreement.

This assumes, however, that you have your details to hand. Most of the time, the biggest block to renting is the wait for prospective tenants – you - to send their details for checking and registering. So be prepared, and make the process as smooth as possible.

Firstly, do you want to share?
Firstly, do you want to share with friends in a student house or live on your own? Renting with friends can be a wonderful way to spend lots of time together – it may be cheaper than renting a one-bedroom property as the cost will be spread between everyone living in the house.

Whatever you decide, research where you could live and your preferred area.

Consider the area
Certain areas will be closer to amenities than others. Living closer to campus might appear to be a benefit, but consider where you’ll be spending most of your time. For example, postgraduate students often spend a lot of time off campus. If you like to work in cafés and libraries, consider properties closer to the town centre.

Contact a registered lettings agent
While it’s a good idea to view online listings, starting a relationship with a respected and registered lettings

agent who will then help you (and your friends) find the perfect home. They will already have a good idea of the properties on offer so will be able to advise accordingly.

Also, using agents who are registered with, or members of residential letting organisations such as ARLA PropertyMark, RICS Client Money Protection and Home Stamp will ensure that you are in safe hands.

Get your details together
Make sure everybody you’ll be renting with has the details below ready as soon as possible. Properties in the most sought after and desirable areas are often snapped up quickly, so if you have the necessary details ready, your application process should be straightforward

Because most students aren’t in full time employment, landlords often require guarantors to promise to pay the rent – even if the student doesn’t.

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Usually a guarantor is a parent or guardian, but they must be UK-based. Make sure you ask your intended guarantor if they are happy to proceed well in advance of supplying their information to an agent.

If you are studying in Canterbury, but usually live outside the UK, check whether your university would be willing to be your guarantor.

Identification documents
Have clear scans of all your important ID documents. You will need to include these with any application. This includes: passport, driving license (if you have one), proof of address, and possibly your university acceptance letter.

Consider the kind of contract you need
If you don’t intend to stay in your student accommodation during the summer break, you could look for a

9-month student lettings’ contract. This means that you only pay for the time that you are studying at university.

However, many students like to remain in the city during the summer so they can enjoy their time off with other student friends, so think about what works best for you.

Have a deposit ready
You will often need to provide a deposit to protect against damages to the property. This can be a month to five week’s rent (Tenants Fee Ban regulations).

Once you have established a general rental budget that you’re happy with, put aside enough money to secure your perfect accommodation as soon as you see it.

Are you exempt from council tax?
You will need a letter from your university stating you are in full-time education. You may need to send this to your local council in order to get a council tax exemption letter. Sometimes this is handled by the landlord or letting agent, but do check!

Holding deposits and signing agreements
Once you’re fully prepared and you’ve seen a property that you love, you can usually put a holding deposit on it so that you’ve provisionally ‘secured’ the property.

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This will then start the process of drawing up contracts, checking guarantors, and verifying details. This can take some time, which is why being prepared will help.

Tenancy agreements are designed for the mutual protection of you and your landlord. Read it thoroughly before signing, so that you know what is expected of you, and what you can expect from your landlord.

As a leading Kent student letting agent, Caxtons is always available to help you with any problems relating to your property search. Let’s talk about finding a home for you.

Looking for fun things to do in Canterbury?

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Canterbury is a city rich in history, from its Anglo-Saxon roots to modern culture, there’s a wealth of art and knowledge for students to soak up. There’s also a great deal of good, old-fashioned fun, starting with:

Film lovers can choose between three cinemas featuring different film genres. The Gulbenkian tends to screen multiple art films, the Curzon shows a wider selection of (still-arty) popular films in a relaxed setting, and the Odeon is great for a wide selection of blockbusters.

Pubs & Bars
Many of Canterbury’s pubs and bars have been in business for decades (and some for centuries). Allegedly, The Cherry Tree has been a pub, or at the time, presumably, an inn, since 1372 and is a great weekend venue with a fantastic beer garden.

Tucked-away in Orange Street, Bramleys Cocktail Bar is a beautiful and atmospheric speakeasy serving some of the best cocktails in town.

Alternatively, Boho Café has a great selection of food and drink and hosts acoustic music nights every Saturday.

If you’re looking for an affordable night out, check out The Penny Theatre! They have great food and regular sports and music events as well as eating challenges!

Escape rooms
An alternative activity to try with a few friends is an escape room. The Pound at One Pound Lane has an escape room that’s been featured in the Guardian as one of the best in the UK.

If you’ve already beaten that room, then check out Escape Kent’s selection with a selection of venues with differing themes and difficulty levels.

Second-hand & Charity shops
If you’re looking for a bargain, Canterbury’s charity and second-hand shops can hold real gems. Some more quirky shops, such as Revivals or Funky Monks, stock authentic vintage clothes to suit all tastes.

The Oxfam Bookshop may also be hiding overlooked treasures, and for an architectural experience check out the Crooked House Bookshop, which is believed to date back to 1617.

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Sightseeing: Zoos, Museums & Historic Tours
Canterbury is a great resource for the arts and culture in the South East.

The Beaney House of Art is a gallery and public library on the ground floor, while upstairs is an amazing museum with an eccentric and eclectic collection of exhibits from stuffed animals to Mongolian suits of armour.

The Roman Museum, is primarily aimed at families and younger audiences, but it is a surprisingly fun visitor attraction where and you will get a taste of the real Roman Canterbury of old.

For more history, you can visit the Cathedral or get an immersive (not literally!) boat tour along the River Stour with the Canterbury Historic River Tours. It’s a great way to see the city from an unusual perspective and knowledgeable guides make the tours entertaining as well as informative.

Literary buffs may be aware that Canterbury is the birthplace of Christopher Marlowe, who - it’s thought - was born in the same year as Shakespeare and apparently, had a great influence on the latter’s work. Marlowe was baptised in St George’s church in the centre of the City, but other than the clocktower, it was almost entirely destroyed by bombing during the second World War.

The Canterbury Tales is an atmospheric walk through time where you can join with some of the medieval pilgrims on their journey to Canterbury Cathedral where they would pay homage at Thomas Beckett’s thomb. The ‘Tales’, along with their appropriate sounds and smells, have been recreated in a decommissioned and converted church in St Margaret’s Street where Geoffrey Chaucer’s tales come to life.

And when you’ve had enough of history, take in some of the best that nature can offer with a walk along the Crab and Winkle Way (the old railway line between Canterbury and Whitstable or a trip to Howletts Wildlife Park.

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So you’ve got to university and everyone’s saying you should join societies. But which are the best to join?

Well, you don’t have to join any, but doing so can be a great way to meet new people with similar interests, to learn new skills or to make a difference. That said, you don’t have unlimited time, so join a few societies or clubs based on what interests you.

Are you looking for social activity?
If you’re looking to get out of your student flat be sociable, most societies will have elements designed to get you interacting and build strong relationships with one another. The stronger these relationships, the better you will interact with each other (in competitions and the like).

You don’t have to commit!
Kent University has a society for just hanging out, going to see films or spending time playing games - even for people who do enjoy a drink now and then. Societies like this are a great way to socialise without feeling pressured to drink.

Other similar clubs might include video game, tabletop gaming, life drawing, or anything else that is just an outlet for hobbies or interests.

Do you want to stay active?
Sport clubs such as football or boxing societies can be a great way to get regular exercise in structured settings. These are also a great way to find support and motivation to stick to health routines.

Most universities will also have non-competitive sports clubs for activities such as yoga or Pilates.

What about learning new skills?
You can be creative with art or music societies. These will often give you access to very expensive equipment (such as recording studios)

to help you learn new skills that would be hard to source independently.

There are so many societies offering specific skills that if you want to do anything from sewing to woodwork, there’s probably a society for it!

If you want to grow academically (and impress employers)?
Certain skills help you to be more attractive to employers. Not arbitrarily, but through joining clubs and participating, you develop specific transferable skills.

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Debate societies, and departmental clubs often host engaging speakers to help you grow academically (as well as to develop skills that will assist with a future career).

In addition, most universities have a student newspaper or student magazines. Getting involved with these will give you an insight into certain creative professional processes and help you gain a head start when looking for work in the future.

Get political?
Similar to debating societies, political societies are a great way to learn about engagement and the difference that genuine discussion and activism can make.

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Also, most political parties have on-campus representation through societies - check them out!

These societies also help you learn how to structure research and provide compelling arguments.

LGBTQ+ societies can provide perfect spaces to discuss difficult personal issues and find a support network.

Help out?
There are always charity or voluntary groups that you can join in order to help out in your local communities and/or on campus. These can often spark unexpected friendships and prove really rewarding. After all, you’re helping out.

Do you want to feel at home?
With so many students studying abroad, it’s no wonder that so many universities have societies specifically for people of nationalities and ethnicities.

This is so you can hang out and feel like you’re home again, speak your own language, and eat food that you may otherwise be hard pressed to find in restaurants (at least, done well).

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If there isn’t a club that you want to join, create one yourself. You can often find support from your university and it will enable you to get together with like-minded people in order to excel at something you enjoy.

And if you then decide to become house mates in your second and subsequent years make sure you get in touch with Caxtons dedicated student team today for property in Canterbury!