Students - Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some commonly asked questions:
1. When should I start looking for a property?
Most students look for next year's accommodation at the end of this Christmas term. As a result, the majority of agencies launch their letting lists around this time. Naturally, properties will still be available after December, but there will be less choice.
2. How do I apply for a property?
Full details can be found under our Guide to Renting tab on the menu to the left, but in short: once you've found the house you want, each applicant in your group must fill in our application and pay a refundable holding deposit to reserve the property.
3. What references do you need?
We ask for two references per person and a parent/guardian to act as guarantor.
4. When do I have to start paying for the property?
The first account (first month's rent and the security deposit) is due one month before the start of the tenancy. This can be paid by bank transfer or UK debit card.
5. What about the contract?
You will sign an Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement (sample here). All agreements are joint and several, meaning that you are liable as a whole and are each responsible for each tenant on the agreement. If one person fails to pay the rent, the obligation falls to the other tenants.
6. When do we sign our Tenancy Agreement?
The Tenancy Agreement will be sent via DocuSign and must be fully signed by all parties within 30 days of it being sent to your guarantors. We send the agreement in stages: first to the guarantors, then the tenants, then us, and finally the landlord. It will not move on to the next stage until all parties in that current stage have signed.
7. How long will the tenancy be?
The majority of tenancies are just under 12 months. The start and end dates of your particular tenancy will be confirmed when you apply for a property.
8. What happens if something needs to be fixed during my tenancy?
The landlord is responsible for internal and external repairs and you will only pay if the repair or breakdown is due to misuse/negligence or if the contractor independently deems the breakdown to have been your fault.
For properties managed by us (rather than by the landlord directly), you will be given a copy of our 'Your Home' guide. This has a lot of useful information in relation to your property, including an A-Z of practical home maintenance tips. Your Property Manager will book an appointment (the 'check-in') to show you how everything in your house works.
We advise keeping the instruction manuals to hand to ensure everything works ok.
9. What if something breaks overnight?
If we manage the property (rather than the landlord), we are on-call 24/7 - although this is for genuine emergencies only. If your property is managed by the landlord you will be given their contact details upon key collection and can contact them directly for maintenance.
10. How do we pay our rent?
You will be told whether you should pay your rent directly to us or directly to the landlord. It is due on the first day of every month, and we usually collect in the form of direct debit from one account.
11. What is the guarantor agreeing to by signing the agreement?
Your guarantor undertakes to guarantee the commitment made by you, the tenant. You will all be signing a joint and several agreement and, as such, your guarantor is agreeing to guarantee the whole tenancy, which is why we ensure that all parties have a guarantor (or pay their rent in advance). The contact details for all fellow guarantors will be provided, should you wish to discuss this tenancy with them.
12. Who performs the credit check?
We use a third party referencing company who will check CCJs and your credit history. They are checking to see if you have had any financial judgements (or similar) against you in the past. It is not a full credit check, and so it will not affect your credit score.
13. Do I have to pay council tax?
Full-time students are exempt from paying council tax (only for the period of their studies). However, it is your responsibility to prove your student status to the City Council. It is incredibly important to do this if you receive a bill, as the exemption only relates to council tax - if the bill escalates to chasing you will be responsible for court fees.
14. Do I need insurance?
The landlord will have buildings and contents insurance - but this will only cover their contents. For example, in the case of fire or flood the landlord's insurance will cover damage to the property/their contents only - not your belongings. However, the insurance company may investigate further if they so wish (e.g. if they suspect arson as the cause of a fire). We strongly recommend that students obtain their own insurance to cover their own belongings as well as accidental damage of the landlords' possessions (e.g. carpet etc.).
15. Why can't I use Sellotape or Blu-Tak etc.?
Sellotape and Blu-Tak etc leave marks on walls, so if you do use them you will probably have to pay for the entire room (or the damaged wall as a minimum) to be repainted. If you want to hang a framed picture you must first check with the landlord or agent.
16. What do I need to buy before moving in?
We have a basic check list of practical essentials to bring when you move in apart from your personal kit. Unfortunately, this is only viewable on our desktop website at the moment - here.