Student FAQs

Why choose Belvoir Leicester?

We realise it can be a bit overwhelming trying to find the right property, and with the right agent too, especially if it is your first time renting. Here at Belvoir Leicester, we have a highly trained team of local property experts who will be able to assist you in everything from finding the right property, right through applying and everything that comes whilst living in your new home. We work closely with our landlords to ensure we have a portfolio of high standard and affordable properties for our students each year.

We have created this page to try to provide easy to access answers to some of the commonly asked questions we receive from our students. Remember, there are no silly questions! Anything you unsure of, feel free to ask us. Our offices are open 9am-5:45pm Monday to Friday, and 10am-2pm on Saturdays. And for those middle of the night panics feel free to drop us an email or leave us a voicemail and we will get back to you the following working day.

If you choose to put your trust in Belvoir, you will not be disappointed!

  

1 – How do I arrange a viewing and apply for one of your properties?
Firstly make some decisions between yourselves on if anything is a deal breaker! For example, some properties may have a mixture of single and double bed sizes, whilst other properties may only have one bathroom. This can help us to make sure we show you all the available properties that would best suit your criteria. Also ensure that you all have a guarantor.
Then contact the office, or pop in. We are happy to arrange multiple viewings or individual ones if you already have your heart set on one you’ve seen online.
For further information on booking a viewings and the application process in general please head over to our step by step guide to applying.

2 – What happens if someone else applies for the same property as me?
Our student properties tend to let fast, so occasionally we do end having multiple applications for one property. In this case we ask you to move as quickly as possible in getting the requested documents and information to us, as this makes a fast decision from the landlord more likely. We would then present all relevant information for all applications to the landlord for their decision. Once a decision has been made we will inform all parties involved and return any fees to the unsuccessful applicants.
If you are unsuccessful we can hold onto your fees and documents whilst you view any other possible properties, and hopefully we’ll find another one that suits you just as much as the first!

3 – How much do I need to pay to move into a property?
All applications carry an application fee, for students this is £100 per applicant. This covers the admin and referencing costs for both yourself and your guarantor. It also covers the cost of the contract creation and the inventory inspection, along with your copy of our inspection report. You will also be required to pay a £300 reservation fee per tenant (this will become your deposit once you move into the property). To hold the property over the summer, if you have chosen not to move in, you will need to pay your summer retainer. A summer retainer is the rent for the July and August period – but if you chose not to move into the property during this time, we will only ask you to pay half price for these months!

4 – What do I need to provide to be able to rent a property?
To reserve a property you will be asked to all sign the Student Terms of Business, and pay your application fees.
Once this is received we will allow you 2 weeks to each provide us with the following;
Completed and signed application form – both by you and your guarantor.
Proof of ID - for yourself and your guarantor.
Proof of your ‘Right to Rent’ in the UK – for you only.
2 x proof of current address – Guarantor only.
£300 reservation fee.

5 – Can we rent a property that is for more or less people than we are?Yes! Our properties are let as a whole (not room by room) so if you fall in love with a property that has 4 bedrooms but there are only three of you, you can still rent this. Please keep in mind that the property must still be paid for as a four bed shared. This means that the extra person’s share would need to be split between the 3 of you.

E.G. £68PPPW Four Bed = £272 PW
3 people renting it = £272/3 = £90.67

If you have a couple in your group who would like to share a room, we can ask the landlord if they will accept. They usually will request a slight increase in the rent to accommodate an extra tenant. And you will still need to pay a deposit of £300 per person living there.

 

6 – How do I work out the rent per week/per month?
At Belvoir Leicester we advertise our student specific properties as a ‘per week per tenant’ rental price as we understand this can make it easier to budget and compare with what you have paid previously. To convert this to a monthly price always remember it is not as simple as times by 4 (as there is actually 4.33 weeks in each month).

One way to do this is;
E.g. £64(PWPP) x 4(how many bedroom property) x 52 (weeks in a year) / 12 (months in a year) = £1,109.33 (monthly rental for the property)
(If you want to know the per person monthly rental, just remove the x4(how many bedrooms) from the calculation)

Professional properties are advertised at a PCM (per calendar month) rental. These are usually let only to working professionals, however sometimes a landlord will accept a student application with the relevant guarantor in place (there’s no harm in asking!).

To see how much this would cost you weekly;
E.G. £950(PCM) x 12 (months in a year) / 52 (weeks in a year) = £219.32 (weekly rental price) 
(/3(how many bedroomed property) - if want to know how much PPPW)

7 – Do I need a guarantor?
Yes, all student applications must be supported by a guarantor. This person needs to;
Be UK based.
Be in full time permanent employment or be self-employed.
Have no previous poor credit history.
Be willing to sign the tenancy agreement guaranteeing the tenancy should any rent shortfall occur.

8 – What is a guarantor?
A guarantor is an individual who has agreed to ‘guarantee’ the tenancy and tenant(s), this is usually a friend or family member. They are equally liable for the rental income and obligations of the tenancy and they are also required to sign the agreement to this affect. A guarantor must pass all the same referencing criteria as the tenant, in order to be accepted as a suitable guarantor.

9 – What is a tenancy agreement?
A tenancy agreement is a contract between a landlord and tenant. This is a legally binding document that sets out the requirements and obligations of both parties. Any negotiated and agreed upon terms must be included in the agreement prior to signing, for example, the agreed duration of the tenancy. Belvoir Leicester’s legal team have created fair and balanced agreements that clearly state any responsibilities or each party during tenancy.

10 – What does ‘joint and severally liable’ mean?
If there is more than one adult living at the property, the contract will specify that they are each, along with their guarantors, ‘joint and severally liable’. This means that, jointly, the tenants and guarantors are responsible for all rents and obligations to the property and the tenancy, as set forth in the agreement. Whilst also meaning that each tenant and guarantor is also individually responsible for all rental payments, liabilities and obligations set forth in the agreement. Basically, should one person vacate or abandon the property, for example, the remaining tenants are still liable for all payments and other responsibilities, regardless of them now living there minus one person.

11 – How long is the tenancy for?
All student tenancies are for 12 months (1st July – 30th June) but you get the option of only paying half price rent for July and August, if you’re not moving in over the summer!

12 – Can I move in from July 1st?
Of Course! If you would like to live in the property from any point during July and August, you must let us know from the beginning of your application process, so we can ensure the property and documents are ready for you. You will also be required to pay your full rent for the summer period also. This applies for the full property rent, even if only one of your wants to move in over the summer.

13 – How do I get my keys?
You will need to let us know 2 weeks in advance of the first person arriving to collect the keys. That person will then visit the office, sign any remaining paperwork and collect a set of keys for each of you.

14 – What bills do I need to pay?
Along with the property’s rent, tenants are responsible for their utility bills (gas, electric, water) as well as any additional set ups you have such as internet and phone lines, and TV licensing.
We will inform the relevant companies that a new tenancy has stated but it is your responsibility to call them, provide your meter readings, and set up your account to be billed correctly to yourselves.
If you are all students you will be exempt from council tax, but to qualify you will need to contact the council and prove that you are all in fact studying.

15 – How do I pay my rent and bills?
At Belvoir Leicester we understand that this may be the first time you have lived away from home, so you may not be clued up on how to pay your rent or bills - but we're here to help! 
For utilities, make sure you call the relevant companies as swiftly as possible once you are in the property, and they will talk you through setting up the right account in your names. 
For your rent, you must visit or contact your bank in order to set up a standing order. It is vital that this is paid to Belvoir from one account (if individual payments are made from each tenant then you will face further charges), so you may want to set up a ‘bills account’ with your housemates, or nominate someone trustworthy to all pay your rent to, who will have the responsibility of ensuring the payment is set up to Belvoir, out of their personal account each month. 
Your rent will be due on the 1st of each month, and we recommend you ask your bank to set up the standing order at least 4 days prior to this to ensure the money is in our accounts on time.
You will need to use the bank details and reference code provided to set this up.
If you are still unsure, ask the office to provide you with a ‘standing order mandate’ – this is basically a form with the required details already completed, that you can just hand to someone at the bank to set this up.

16 – Is my deposit safe?
By Law, your landlord or agent must register your deposit within 14 days of your tenancy starting, to a regulated tenancy deposit scheme. You will receive a certificate proving this when you collect your keys. For student properties, this is £300 per tenant. This will be held against your tenancy and can be used most commonly for repairs of damages that have been caused to the property; other possible uses of your deposit will be listed in your tenancy agreement. Belvoir Leicester is registered with TDS and DPS registration schemes.

17 – Do I need contents insurance?
YES! You should always insure your belongings, especially expensive items like laptops, tablets and phones. Just think, how would you feel if these were stolen or damaged beyond repair and you couldn’t afford to replace them? We work closely with a company called Endsleigh who can help you set up a contents insurance package perfect for yourself or together with all of your housemates too!

18 – Can I keep a pet at the property?
No, unfortunately not! Rental properties rarely allow pets, and student properties definitely do not. 

19 – Do I need my own furniture?
All of our student properties come furnished to a high standard. Each bedroom usually comes with a bed, desk and chair and a wardrobe or drawers, communal areas are equipped with sofas, chairs and tables, and kitchens are fitted to include all required white goods. (Always check with the agent what comes with the property you’re looking to rent!)

20 – What do I need to bring?
Have a quick look at our students ‘things to remember’ page!

21 – Can I decorate or make changes to the property?
Always ask first! Never make any changes to the property without prior written consent from the landlord. Please me mindful that landlord’s may request you return the property to its previous state before you vacate. If you choose to personalise your space, try to avoid using blutak or pinning items to the walls or ceilings. These items often lead to damage which you could be liable for repairing and repainting at the end of your tenancy.

22 – Something has broken in my property, who is responsible for fixing it?
This varies from situation to situation. We ask our tenants to first look at the issue in terms of ‘if this was my property how would this be repaired?’ For example, if you owned a house and the light bulb blew, you would not pay for an electrician to come change the bulb for you, so why would a landlord be required to do this?
For small issues, if you are able to simply repair them, then please go ahead, so long as the works do not cause any further damage.
For issues you are unable to repair or large property problems please call your landlord or agent as a matter of urgency. At Belvoir Leicester we work with a team of reliable and skilled engineers for each area of property maintenance and we will endeavour to have someone attend to your problem as soon as possible, based on an urgency of repair basis.  Please be aware that should any issue or breakdown be caused internationally by a tenant, or through tenant negligence, you could be liable for the cost of the contractor to repair the problem. For example, if a sink has been blocked due to misuse and waste being disposed of incorrectly, then this is tenant negligence.

For some helpful and handy guides on the little things you might be able to repair yourself, head over to our maintenance tips page.

23 – What happens if I lock myself out or lose my keys?
If you lock yourself out and your housemates aren’t available to help, then pop over to the office and we can lend you our set of keys, free of charge! You will however be charged if you fail to return them to us within 24 hours. 
If you lose your keys, you will need to let us know immediately. We can provide you with a new set, but you will be liable for the charges of this. (Should lock changes be required due to misplaced keys, this is something we will arrange, but you will be invoiced for!) So take care of those keys!

24 – Is my landlord allowed to enter the property?
Landlords and agents will generally require access to the property periodically, to carry out maintenance works or general property inspections. However, they are required to provide the tenant with 24 hours written notice of their upcoming visit. Should a tenant refuse access the landlord or agent, does not have the right to enter the property without prior permission.
The only exception to this, is if access is required on an urgent or emergency basis, and if waiting the required time would be negligent to the property, tenant or landlord – for example to repair a large leak.

25 – How do I get my deposit back?
At the end of your tenancy you will be required to leave the property in a clean and tidy state, and in the same condition as it was when you moved in, according to the inventory. Within a week of the last day of your tenancy, and once you have each returned all the keys, we will carry out an inspection of the property, in comparison to the inventory you have signed. If no claims are to be made, your deposit will be returned within ten working days of the final inspection. If claims are being made against your deposit we will notify you this, and quotes will be obtained for the required works. Once these have been received we will inform you of the cost of the claims and how much is to be returned to you. Once you confirm receipt of this information we will process the refund, which should again, reach you within ten working days.

 

We are happy to help you through each step of applying, moving in and living in one of our properties, so if you question isn't answered here then feel free to call or pop in for a chat. 

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