Usually when renting student accommodation you will need to pay a deposit to protect against non-payment or damage to the property.
Since April 2007, when renting in the private sector, your deposit has to be protected under The Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS).
These steps have been put in place to protect you as a tenant and you should always ensure that your landlord or agent is covered within the scheme.
In a shared house students should check with the agent or landlord if one deposit is to be paid or if it is one deposit per tenant.
There are some cases of agents who no longer take a deposit and instead charge a "reservation fee" or word it slightly differently. Tenants should always check if this is to replace a standard deposit and if you are still protected by the Tenancy Deposit Scheme.
For more information, contact the TDS on 0845 226 7837.