Broadband and Renting Guide for Tenants and Students 

What you’ll find in this guide 

This guide on Broadband and Renting is ideal for tenants and students in shared accommodation. We’ll cover all of the most important details that you need to know about broadband given your circumstances. You can expect to find the following information: 

  • Broadband in shared accommodation: monthly bills, landlord’s responsibilities, and permission to switch broadband 
  • Long or short broadband contracts: what’s the best contract term for students and tenants 
  • Broadband availability in your new home
  • Security: what you should consider if your landlord provides broadband or you share Wi-foi with others
  • After you’ve read this guide, you’ll be able to easily prepare your broadband arrangements the next time you move. Plus, you’ll avoid all of the usual pitfalls that so many customers fall into. Like moving into “broadband black spots” and having to pay fees for terminating contracts early. 

Broadband in Share Accommodation 

Broadband is one of the first things you need to consider before you move in. After all, you and your housemates will depend on a stable internet connection for research and submissions. Whilst it’s not the landlord’s responsibility to provide broadband, most do anyway to attract new tenants. Broadband is usually included in monthly bills. 

The bandwidth must sufficiently support all of you so that your work is not disrupted. Approximately 10mbps per person is the minimum recommended amount. Of course, how much of the bandwidth is used, depends on how many people are using the broadband and how.

Ask landlords about broadband speeds before you move in. That way you’ll know whether the broadband is fast enough before you commit to anything. Plus, it gives you a chance to ask the landlord for permission to change provider. Although the landlord may ask you to pay for any installation fees

Long- or Short-Term Contract? 

Broadband and renting is not always straightforward. Landlords of student accommodation that refuse to provide broadband are well within their rights to do so. In this case, students must arrange the installation, set up, terms and conditions of a broadband contract. 

If you fall into this category, carefully consider the contract length and whose name appears on the contract. If a housemate moves out early, can the rest of the household afford to pay their share? We recommend students to select a rolling monthly contract, that they can cancel any time.  

If you’re a private tenant, you’ll know most broadband providers offer cheaper deals on 18-month contracts. Yet the standard tenant agreement is usually 12-months. Your landlord can ask you to leave the property after your fixed term. In this case, you’d have six months left on your broadband contract.  Only get a contract for the length of time you need or you can face a cancellation fee for the remainder of the term.

We recommend tenants to avoid entering a broadband contract that exceeds their tenancy agreements.

Moving into a property without broadband

Chances are your new rented property is connected to a broadband provider. If anything, you run the risk of having to pay for installation costs or possibly early cancellation fees. Of course, both of these scenarios are circumstantial. 

But let’s just use the previous case as an example. You rented a property for 12-months. You signed up to Virgin Broadband for 18-months. The landlord tells you that they’re selling the property at the end of your tenancy agreement. 

None of the new properties are connected to Virgin’s cable network. Fibre optic broadband may be available in the area. If so, Virgin may well still charge you to transfer your services. If not, well up until recently, Virgin charged customers an early termination fee.  

It’s important get familiar with your rights as a consumer. To check the terms of your contract and find out the local internet speeds for new addresses. 

Broadband speeds and renting 

The speed you need depends on how many people you live with and what you do with your broadband. One housemate streaming in 4K will take up substantial amount of the bandwidth compare to three housemates researching online. Remember, you need at least 10mbps per person. Double that if you and your housemates plan to stream often. 

And if you’re a private tenant with a family, you might need an even bigger bandwidth… 

Also remember to make sure that your broadband contract ends before your tenancy agreement. Otherwise, you could end up facing hefty cancellation fees if you need to move.

Check out our Best Broadband Plan for You Guide to see what speeds are available in our different packages. We tell you what the speeds of each of our packages can do and how they save you money. 


Does your landlord provide broadband? You might want to invest in a VPN. Especially if you do not have control over the Wi-Fi router. As this could mean your landlord can monitor your online activity.

VPNs increase the security of your devices and your personal information when sharing the same connection with others. This is particularly useful for students in shared accommodation and most likely using broadband supplied by the landlord. 

Let’s summarise… 

So, if you’re a private tenant: 

  • Avoid broadband contracts that exceed the duration of tenancy agreements unless your 100% you’ll be still be in the property. 
  • Familiarise yourself with the broadband contract, know when you can switch and if cancellation fees are applicable. 
  • Before you rent a property: 
  • (a) check with your current or preferred provider that they can supply their service to you.
    (b) check local internet speeds in the property’s area, this will help you avoid broadband black spots. 
  • Always get your landlord’s permission before agreeing to any broadband installations that alter their property.

If you’re a student:

  • Check whether the landlord will provide broadband to the property. 
  • Make sure the speeds are adequate.
  • We recommend a rolling monthly that you can cancel at any time. If a housemate leaves early, it gives the rest of the household a chance to adjust. 
  • If the landlord does not provide broadband:
    (a) get your landlord’s permission before agreeing to any broadband installations that alter their property. (b) understand that whoever is the account holder is ultimately responsible for the contract in the eyes of the broadband provider. 

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