It is very important that you share your house with people that you trust and are happy to live with. The ideal situation is to share with friends who you have lived with before. Try to see what their current room looks like. Some people are house proud and like order and cleanliness and they will probably be unhappy living with a pig whose room is always a mess and who never cleans the bathroom or kitchen. Some students take their studies seriously while others have little intention of studying and want to party all the time. Check that your proposed housemates expect to pass the year, are happy with their course and are serious about attending this university next year.
Money can be a problem. Ensure that you know how each person is funding their rent, food and utilities. Agree how much each person can and wants to spend on housing so that you do not go looking at houses that you cannot afford. Are your housemates ready to pay a deposit in the next week? All tenancy agreements for students, including mine, are joint and several. That means that you all sign the contract together and are responsible together for ensuring that the landlord receives the total rent. I am happy to receive the rent in separate payments from each of you each month but if one tenant does not pay, despite my attempts to collect from that person and their parent guarantor, then I will claim the rent from the others in the house.
You must only share your house with people whom you trust. Your laptops, cameras, mobile phones, CDs, DVDs, jewellery and money will all be in your room when you are not there. You must be comfortable that they will not take or use them without your agreement. It is also vital that you respect the possessions of your housemates. I have seen tenants become very unhappy when one person in the house regularly borrows the possessions of the others without specific agreement.
Understand whether any of your intended housemates are in long term relationships and whether their partner is going to be one of the housemates or will be a very regular visitor. It can be very irritating if a partner, who is not part of the paying household, spends a lot of time in the house but does not contribute to the utilities, food and cleaning rotas. Make sure that you know if any of your intended housemates have special dietary needs. That need not be a problem but can be if it requires special storage or preparation.
Identify houses to view
The website shows whether a property is available or let. Look at the description of the property, the plan, the virtual view, photos, location and EPC. Agree which of the available houses you can afford. Remember that utility bills will add a further £50 to £60 a month per person. Are you happy with the period of the tenancy (normally a year from early July)? Is the distance from university important to you? Do you need lots of parking? All the houses have showers and no baths. The five bedroom houses have two bathrooms. Do you want your friends to be in a nearby house; (19 and 21 Woodbridge Hill Gardens; 8 and 11 Grantley Road)?
Viewings are normally done someone on behalf of Bobby Stodel. Call the person shown in the Contacts section and tell her which houses (up to three) you would like to view and when all of you will be able to view together. She needs to give existing tenants one day’s notice so same day viewings don’t work. Ideally you should be able to view in the next day or two. Beyond that you run the risk that houses that you would like to view are let to others. If you have made an arrangement for a viewing and change your mind let the viewing manager know so that she and the existing tenants do not waste their time.
Book a house
As soon as you have viewed houses discuss them and agree whether you want any of them. Accept that you will need to compromise on something in most houses. Importantly make a decision. Immediately call the person who did the viewings with you and book the house. Don’t delay. Many people lose their favourite house because others don’t delay and book before them. Once you book a house it will be reserved for you on the basis that you sign the tenancy agreement and pay the deposit within a week.
Complete tenant info
We use an online system to collect information from you about yourself and your guarantor.
A simple, clear two page tenancy agreement will be emailed to you together with other documents. Read it carefully and discuss it with your parents. It sets out the property address, the names and addresses of both the landlord and the tenants, the period or term of the tenancy, the rent to be paid and when and the deposit to be paid. It sets out commitments of the tenants which include no smoking, drugs, candles, cycles or pets in the house. Do not sign the documents emailed to you but wait for them to be sent through DocuSign
You will need to pay a deposit when you hand over the agreement. The deposit is £250 per person in a house and £500 per flat. The deposit is paid by direct transfer to the Landlord’s bank account. The deposit is normally returned in full once you have returned the house to the landlord and proved that you have paid your final utility bills. Deductions may be made from the deposit for any damages, unpaid rent or other monies owed. The most common reasons for deposit deductions are stained mattresses. The Landlord will insure the return of the deposit with Tenancy Deposit Solutions Ltd.
You will be asked to complete a standing order instruction to your bank (or your parents’ bank if they are paying the rent) where you tell them to pay the rent from your account to the landlord each month. It is important that you ensure that there are sufficient funds in your account on the dates on the standing order. You will normally set up the standing order directly online with your bank. I will want a screenshot or something similar as confirmation that the standing order has been set up.
Most students do not have a salary, credit record and have not rented before so it is difficult to get proper references. The Landlord therefore, requires the responsibilities of all tenants to be guaranteed by a parent. The guarantee is a simple form which will be sent through a digital signing platform to the guarantor for their signature.
Proof of your right to live in the United Kingdom
The government requires landlords to check that tenants have the right to live in the UK. Landlords may be fined up to £3,000 for letting a property to someone who is not permitted to be in the country. I therefore need to perform the necessary checks and need copies of the photo page of your passports and may need additional information.
If you have any questions relating to the tenancy before you move in please email or call the Landlord.
Problems before occupation
If you fail the year or decide to leave the university or have financial problems before you move in it is essential that you discuss them with your intended housemates and the Landlord. You have committed to a contract and will need to comply with the contract including paying rent. The Landlord will accept another person in place of you in the contract if that person is acceptable to your housemates and that person signs a replacement contract. Do not delay on these issues. The earlier they are faced the more chance that they can be easily resolved.
At the time and date set out in the contract at least one of you must be at the house to check in. You will be asked to check the inventory of the furniture and check the condition of the property. You will also read the meters with the Landlord. The Landlord will then leave you with all the keys for the house. It will be your responsibility to ensure that the keys are distributed to all the tenants.
Contacting utility companies
There is no need to contact the utility companies before you move in. The Landlord will give you the telephone numbers for all the utility companies at the check in and you can make contact after you move in to arrange for the accounts to be transferred out of his name and into your names.