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Student Letting FAQ
We understand that moving into a property, especially if it is for the first time can throw up many questions and concerns. This page has been designed to hopefully answer the most common questions that we get asked, however, if you wish for any further clarification please feel free to call us on 01483 537200.
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 24hrs notice and probably don't want viewings too early in the day. Arrange a time when you can all attend, and it is best to book it over the phone the day 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 on google, print off the map 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!
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 and the agent is running a professional business.
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 times 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 by Guildford Council 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.
Some landlords will offer a service, to avoid arguments amongst yourselves at the end of the tenancy, that they will arrange all the cleaning for you. This not only prevents any disputes regarding whether you left the property clean enough at the end of the tenancy but also will avoid the nasty situation of one of you being left having to clean all the communal areas on your own because the other tenants have moved out. Although they arrange this service the nominal cost is paid by the tenants.
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.
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?
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 £65 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!