Can you give me some guidance as to the terms and conditions of the student housing contract?
Most questions on this subject are answered in our FAQs.
The core terms of the tenancy are normally listed on the first few pages of the tenancy agreement, which your son or daughter will be able to forward to you.
How do you hold deposits?
Any deposit held in connection with an assured shorthold tenancy (AST) is held in accordance with the rules governing Tenancy Deposit Protection Schemes (TDPS).
Where Leydon Lettings is managing the house, deposits are registered with and held by The Deposit Protection Service (www.depositprotection.com) under the custodial scheme.
Where a landlord registers the deposit themselves, registration will be with one of the four approved protection schemes.
My child has almost finished their first year in halls. When is the soonest we can drop off their possessions?
We advise that possessions should not be stored in the property until someone is in residence as most insurers do not cover possessions left unattended for an extended period.
In addition, the presence of possessions in an empty house may encourage burglaries.
When is the soonest my child can reserve the house for next year?
Houses can be reserved for the new academic year as soon as we are certain of vacancy, which can be as early as September.
By what date do current tenants need to inform you they wish to remain for a second year, and will they get first refusal?
Current student tenants will normally get first refusal, unless there has been a significant breach of contract.
Students often begin house hunting from October and start reserving by November and so current tenants need to confirm their intention to stay by this time.
We almost always prefer to let to our current tenants and so, provided they inform us of their desire to remain early, they will get first refusal.
Why do you need a guarantor agreement?
Students have very little financial history upon which to assess risk. Should a tenant owe rent and bills or cause damage to the house, we are able to approach the guarantor to recover loss in the event that the tenant does not make the required payment. Because tenants are more loyal to their parents than to a landlord, they are unlikely to allow this embarrassing situation to arise.
As guarantor, will I be responsible for the other tenants on the contract?
All guarantors are jointly and severally liable in the same way that the tenants are jointly and severally liable. With this in mind, you may want to communicate with the other guarantors.
In the event of a claim we advise our landlord clients to first approach the tenant in debt, then the guarantor of the tenant in debt, then all the tenants jointly and severally liable tenants and as a last resort, the jointly and severally liable guarantors.
My child is a mature student and too old to expect parents to be guarantors! Is this compulsory?
Even mature students are not always financially independent and so we require a guarantor for all student tenants.
Without a guarantor there is very little protection should a student not pay rent and bills or damage the house.
If the student is able to pay the whole year’s rent in advance, we may agree to waive the guarantee as our risk is reduced.
Can someone other than a parent be a guarantor?
Guarantors must be credit-worthy, UK residents and are usually parents and home owners.
If a parent is unwilling, unable or unsuitable to act as guarantor, another family member or friend in a responsible position may do so. An unemployed relative is unlikely to be suitable.
If the whole year’s rent is paid in advance, a guarantor may not be required.
How much do we have to pay when we book a house?
An administration fee is payable in order to reserve a house (for details, please see tenant fees).
Where a deposit is required, this is payable before signing the tenancy agreement.
When can keys be collected?
Keys can be collected any day from the first day of the tenancy, provided full rent is paid. Where there is a discount, keys may be collected if the tenant pays full rent. Keys are otherwise available from the first day of the discounted period. Please see the tenancy agreement for terms.
Keys should be collected from our Castle Street office, by prior appointment.
We are current tenants returning for a further year. Do we need to take our possessions away or lock them in one room or can we leave them as they are?
You may leave your possessions in your house as they are, but at your own risk.
Do tenants need to clean the house even if we are staying a further year?
If some of your housemates are leaving and new tenants are arriving, the common parts of the house need to be cleaned as well as vacant rooms by the outgoing and remaining tenants.
Previous tenants will be held jointly responsible for the costs of cleaning.
My son or daughter is joining an existing group who all arrived some time ago. The house was professionally cleaned at the outset but the house is not clean now. Who is responsible for cleaning?
Where a tenant joins an existing group then the tenant is co-opted into the original agreement and effectively becomes part of their group and takes the house as he or she finds it.
This is in contrast to those tenants arriving together for the first time who would rightly expect the house to be clean.
It may not be practical for landlords to arrange interim cleans for the benefit of a replacement tenant.
Together all tenants are responsible for cleaning and maintaining the house in a clean condition throughout the tenancy.
Exceptions might include back-to-back tenancies where the departing group have not left the house sufficiently clean and the new group arrive before the landlord has little time to finish cleaning before the next group move in.
In such a case the landlord will continue cleaning until complete, even though this may overlap the arrival of new tenants.
What is your policy on drugs?
Use of unlawful drugs in the property is prohibited. If Leydon Lettings becomes aware of drug use, this will be reported to the police.