Q — Are there age limits on who can live in this accommodation?
A — No, however where there are individual students (typically first years) rather than one group renting rooms, we try to match people we think will get on with each other.
Q — Do you only rent to groups of students, or can I rent an individual room?
A — We do both. For people just starting college (who usually haven’t yet found a group of friends) we let on a room by room basis, each person having an individual contract. When we let on this basis, the whole house is rented this way to students in similar circumstances. At other times we rent to groups of students who want to live together and move in as a shared household
Q — Do I have to pay for the summer period?
A — No. Some landlords are now insisting on 11 or 12 month contracts, which mean students have to pay for long summer periods when they are not going to be living there. We think this is unfair and expensive for tenants. Our contracts (tenancies) are only for the 10 month September through to the following June. This substantially reduces the overall cost of renting accommodation.
Q — Can I stay over the summer if I want to?
A — Yes, this can usually be arranged if required. We like to thoroughly overhaul and redecorate our properties during the summer so you would need to understand there may be some necessary disruption, but we would keep it to a minimum.
Q — Do you rent accommodation with bills included?
A — Yes we offer the option of renting houses fully inclusive of all bills.
To encourage students to show some responsibility for the environment and the cost of gas and electricity, we actually set an allowance of £100 per person per term, which in most circumstances covers these costs. Students are warned if their usage is taking them over these limits.
Q — Do I have to rent accommodation with bills included?
A — No. Students who are renting a whole house as a household sometime prefer to take on the responsibility of paying for the gas and electricity themselves.
Q — Do I have to pay for the whole term in advance?
A — While paying termly is an option, it is not always feasible for tenants. As an alternative tenants can pay two months rent on taking up the tenancy (to cover the first month September, and the last month June), and pay the balance of the first term in October when grants and loans are in place. Subsequent terms’ rents are then paid early in January and April when grants/loans should be in place.
Q — Can my parents pay my rent?
A — Yes. We like rent to be paid by standing order or bank transfer. We do not mind whether this is paid directly by a parent or from a student account.
Q — What sort of tenancy do I have?
A — You will have an Assured Shorthold tenancy agreement. This is a common form of tenancy and that recommended by the University. It sets out clear obligations on us as landlords and you as tenants.
Q — Can I move out before the end of my tenancy?
A — Yes, but you are liable for rent for the full period of the tenancy. If you are able to find a suitable replacement tenant who takes over the rent, then we will be happy to relet the room and you will normally only have to pay up to the time the new tenant takes over.
Q — Will I have to pay Council tax?
A — A full-time student who remains on a course for the whole duration of the tenancy is exempt from Council Tax. If however a tenant loses this exemption (ceases to be a full-time student) they will become personally liable for the whole Council Tax bill for the property.
Q — Will I have to pay a deposit?
A — Yes, a £200 deposit is taken at the setup of the tenancy. For protection this is held in trust by the government created Deposit Protection Service, and not us as landlords. Provided the tenancy has been appropriately completed, this is returned to tenants within six weeks of the end of the tenancy period.
Q — Do I need somebody to guarantee my rent?
A — Yes. Usually a parent acts as guarantor for the rent.
Q — Can I decorate my room?
A — Yes, within reason. Reasonable numbers of pictures and posters can be put up in rooms to personalise them. This is best done by using mapping pins. We ask tenants not to use Sellotape or blue tack as this causes damage to the paintwork. Tenants must not repaint rooms as their choice of colour is unlikely to appeal to subsequent tenants.
Q — Am I allowed to enjoy myself?
A — Certainly! We want you to enjoy your stay in the property, treat it with respect, and to get on with your fellow tenants and neighbours. This is usually a good recipe for a great time at college and many happy memories.