Inspecting The Property
When you wants to inspect a property, let someone know
where you are going or take someone with you (female students should avoid
inspection on their own at night). Most student
accommodations are terraced houses or flats, so be aware of parking areas and if
you can ask about you neighbours, it is helpful to know if they are students or
family with four kids.
When inspecting outside of a property you might want to
ask yourself the following questions.
Are you happy with the location? (even after dark)
Is the exterior of the property in good condition?
(roof, windows, garden)
Is there safe access to the property? (adequate
lighting after dark)
When inspecting inside of a property you might want to
ask yourself the following questions.
Is the property reasonably secure? (Window locks,
Solid doors, etc)
Are the gas appliances
safe? ( ask to see CORGI
Is the electrical wiring safe? ( ask when was last
Is the property safe in the event of fire? (smoke
alarms, fire exits)
Does the property suffer from any damp? (attic &
ground floors susceptible)
Is the house warm in the winter? (ask current
tenants, is it double glazed)
Is the house clean? (if not, make sure it is before
you move in)
Are the facilities in the kitchen adequate for the
number of occupants?
Are there adequate washing and toilet facilities?
(how is the water heated?)
Is your room sufficient for your needs? (enough
electrical sockets, adequate furniture, heating, lighting)
Are you happy with the overall state of repair and
decoration? (if not, is the landlord willing to carry out the work before
you move in?)
Are all the facilities in the house in good working
order? (telephone, washing machine, etc. make sure before you move in)
Management of the property
Make sure that you have read and understood your
contract, and if you are unsure, seek advice before signing. however if you have visited and seen a property that you like and that
you have decided it is the right place for you, then you should ask yourself the
Are you happy with the landlords arrangements for
doing repairs, for instance incase of an emergency, burst pipe, boiler not
working, washing machine not working.
Do you understand what is included in the rent and
when it is due. (should be stated in the contract)
Are you sure about what the deposit is for.
(disagreement over the amount of deposit that is withheld is one of the most
common problems between landlords and tenants)
Has the landlord prepared an inventory detailing the furniture and fixtures
with in the property and their general conditions.( most landlords do not
provide this, you can create one of your own)
Share with someone
If you are going to share a house with other students,
insist on meeting them first and find out what sort of arrangements they have
for housework, household bills, heating arrangements, TV licence.
If you want to have a visitor, ensure that it is
alright with the others in the household.
Landlord's & Tenant's Responsibilities
Details of the landlord and tenant responsibilities
should be laid down in the agreement, In general, by law the landlord's are
responsible for keeping in good repair and working order of the exterior of
the property and the facilities of the interior such as heating appliances, gas
and electrical appliances provided, bath, toilets, sinks and basins.
Landlords have a legal responsibility to carry out
these repairs regardless of what is in the agreement. It is essential that you
put requests for repairs in writing as soon as possible.
Tenants have an obligation to look after the property,
not to damage the property or its contents. They should undertake minor
maintenance work, ensure the property is kept cleaned and ensure to take
necessary steps to protect the property during periods of absence. (i.e. turn
cold water mains off during Christmas and winter holidays to avoid burst pipes)
Finding the right
Try to find accommodations in areas that are popular
with students. When you want to find somewhere to live you must do so according
to your own circumstances, for instance if you are on a tight budget and do not
have a car try to find somewhere with in walking distance to the university or
college, however this will be expensive in central London and big cities.
What is the
law for renting?
Most lettings of houses and flats are assured or
assured shorthold tenancies. These allow the landlord to charge a market
If you rent on an assured shorthold tenancy, the
landlord has a guaranteed right to get his home
back after 6 months - if he needs it. However If you rent on an assured tenancy,
you (the tenant) have more security.
From 28 February 1997 all new tenancies are assured
shortholds unless the landlord
agrees otherwise in writing.
Landlord will not have to give the tenant a special
notice to set up an assured shorthold.
Landlord will be able to get his property back if
the tenant owes at least 2 months or rent.
It will be easier to evict tenants causing a
nuisance to local people.
Common disputes & problems
If you are encountering problems with you landlord/lady
you should discuss the matter with student services at your university or
If you are threatened with eviction, seek advice
immediately. It is illegal for landlords to evict tenants by changing locks
while they are out, physically throwing out, or preventing tenants getting into
part or all of their home. If this happens call the police.
If you share accommodation with your landlord/lady,
then you can be evicted without having to get a court order. You should be given
written notice to leave the property, once the period of notice has expired, the
landlord/lady can evict you immediately. (Seek advice before you get to this
You could be evicted if you have rent arrears or have
legal action against you to recover the rent.
Breach of the agreement
wants tenant to end tenancy
who want a tenant to leave before the agreed term has expired must
follow a correct procedure. Failure to
do so will mean the landlord has illegally
evicted his/her tenant and the tenant
can take legal action to be reinstated in the
and seek compensation. Landlord can not seek possession of the property during
the first six months of a tenancy unless a serious breach of the contract has occurred.
the six month a court order is required for an outright possession if the
duration of the contract is for 9-12 months. Once outright possession has been
granted, if the tenant still does not evacuate, the landlord must apply to
courts for a warrant of possession and allow bailiffs to evict the tenant.
wants to end tenancy
students are not normally entitled to end the tenancy early unless they have
strong cases to do so,
such as serious breach of the agreement by the landlord, or there
is a clause in the contract
allowing tenants to leave early or the landlord
voluntarily releases the tenant
from the contract. If none of these conditions
apply, where a tenant does move
out before the end of the contract he or she
is liable for the rent until the end of the contract or until another tenant
you have a visitor in your shared accommodation, firstly ensure that it is
alright with the others in your household secondly if your visitor stays so long
that he or she seems to have become a resident, then you may be in breach of
your agreement unless approved by your landlord/lady.
Withholding of the deposit
the most common dispute between landlord and the tenant. Landlord will always
withhold money from the deposit to pay for any damage you have caused or to make
sure that all the bills are paid, if you owe any rent at the end of your
agreement this will also be taken from the deposit.
wear and tear to the property or the contents would not justify any deduction of
avoid having problems at the end of your agreement, prepare an inventory list of
all the furniture and the fixtures in the property and get a receipt for the
deposit.( the agreement should state what the deposit is for and when it will be
Tips To Save Energy
Energy efficiency can save you money if you follow these
Always think about fuel costs before you move in.
If possible ask current tenants about their full
bills, ask the landlord if the property has been energy improved.
If buying/hiring a washing machine/fridge
or a freezer,
choose one that is energy efficient. If you
have off-peak (economy 7) electricity, do your washing at night.
If you have a room thermostat reduce it by 1 deg Celsius.
Only pay for the heat you need, turn off radiators in rooms not in use. when
you go out turn down thermostat valves on your radiators if you have
Turn off the lights in unoccupied rooms. if
possible get low energy light bulbs, on average uses five times less
electricity and lasts up to eight times longer.
Damp rooms are harder to heat, try to open the
window first thing in the morning to let moist air out. do not
forget to close it when you leave.
Wait until you have a full load of washing,
use the half load or economy button on the washing machine.
Take a shower instead of a bath & don't fill up
the kettle too much.
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