Student Lettings Factsheet
Letting a property for the first time can be a daunting process.
Here are a helpful list of frequently asked questions to make your first tenancy as simple as possible.
The agent can really help you when it comes to recommending a tenant to the landlord, so being polite, respecting the current tenants and being on time will go along way to getting you ahead of other groups if others are also interested in the property. Remember, you are in someone else’s home.
How do I book a viewing?
Firstly, agree amongst your group what you are looking for.
Will one of you accept a single bedroom?
Do you want to be in the Town centre and pay a little more?
What is your budget? Get everyone to agree.
Check you ALL have a UK based guarantor (see below).
Please respect that there are people living in the property, it is their home, and they will require 24 hours notice and probably don’t want viewings too early in the day. Arrange a time when you can all attend, it’s always best to arrange the viewing online or over the phone a day or so before. Remember if you want to view more than 1 property, you will most likely need your own transport to get between the houses.
Finally, look up the postcode and be sure you get there on time and wait outside for the agent to arrive, don’t knock on the door if you get there early.
How do I work out the cost per week?
In the Private Rental Sector, most properties are let with the rent figure set at per calendar month rather than weekly. Some portals will show the figure as per week per person as they understand that this helps with your budgeting and compares to the cost of halls.
To calculate the figure per week simply multiply the monthly amount by 12 then divide by 52, then divide by the number of occupiers.
e.g £2000 x 12 = £24,000.
£24,000 / 52 = £461.54
£461.54 / 5 (if 5 bed house) = £92.30 per person per week.
Are bills included?
It is very rare for any utility bills to be included in the rental figure advertised. As a rough guide we advise to budget £50 per person per month for your bills, but this can vary from house to house, your usage and contracts.
You should take meter readings on the day you move in and inform the utility supplier of your names etc. in order to open the account and agree payment terms.
You will be sent a council tax bill shortly after you move in, if you are all students you will get exemption from paying it, but will need to send proof to the council that you are all studying.
Broadband, TV packages and licences are all your responsibility and will need to be set up once you move in. This means you might have a short period of time without broadband when you move in.
Am I responsible for just my share of the rent?
All sharers agreements will have the group of students and their guarantors as “joint and severally liable”. This means that if one of you doesn’t pay the rent, in theory the others forming the group including their guarantor can legally be asked by the landlord to pay the amount due.
What is a guarantor?
A guarantor is usually a parent, family member or long time friend. They MUST be a UK resident, aged 24 or over, have a good credit history and have a regular income.
Please ensure anyone you ask to be your guarantor understands their responsibilities. In particular regarding the above and that they will need to be referenced too.
What costs do I have to pay and why?
Costs can vary from house to house. However, you should expect to pay some or all of the first month’s rent prior to move in and possibly a deposit of 1.5 month’s rent.
There also will be costs associated with getting credit references and proof of income for your guarantors plus the time the agency spends helping you with the administration.
You will be advised of all costs before securing the tenancy. Payments will need to be made in full before you can move in, so we recommend that all parties communicate, agree the costs and arrange for payment promptly to avoid delays.
What references are done and on whom?
Guarantors will have credit checks conducted and will need to supply proof of ID and address. Guarantors will also have an employer’s reference conducted as proof of earnings is required and although this seems personal information it is standard procedure.
Why do you need to reference the guarantor?
Tenants have to pass an affordability check but because you are studying there is no fixed full time employment. Therefore a guarantor is needed. Although the guarantor is not living in the property, they take on the same legal obligations and responsibilities as the tenant.
How do we pay the rent once we have moved in?
This must be done by standing order in 1 lump sum each month, the rent should not be paid individually. The best way to handle this is to set up your own “house bank account” that you all pay your fair share of the rent into 4-5 days before the rent is due. We also advise, but it is a personal choice, to each pay an extra £50 into your house account to cover your utility and broadband bills. This should be more than you need, and you will build up a kitty for emergencies or to have a party at the end of the year!
New Student Guidance
We understand that for the majority of new students, renting a property for the first time can be a daunting experience. Our specially trained staff will ensure that we guide you every step of the way.
With real time chat and email, WhatsApp groups and online signing via Docusign, we make the process as simple as possible. With all of our communication and contract work online, you never need to visit the office.
Student Survival Kit
We’ll even make sure you have all the essential kit you need for the start of your tenancy. As well as a handy guide to your new home and appliances, we’ll even provide some basic supplies to get you started.