5 Top Tips For Student Tenants

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Top Tips for student tenants

Top Tips for student tenants

With UK University terms now started for the 2012/13 academic year

we offer 5 great tips for new student tenants.

1.- Many landlords require a deposit for the rental of a property and may ask for the deposit and the first month’s rent.

  • This can be quite a large sum of cash to part with up front so when saving keep the necessary money separate and don’t be tempted to spend it or else you won’t be going anywhere!
  • If you are sharing with others, make sure that you and your flatmates have calculated how much you will each need to contribute every month
  • Budget adequately to have this money ready before you move in.

 Under UK law all tenancy deposit money accepted by a landlord must be protected by one of three government authorised schemes.

  • Ensure that your landlord is protecting your deposit and ask for a copy of the Deposit Protection Certificate to be provided to you as proof of protection. 

The majority of students should not have problems getting their deposit back at the end of their tenancy. However, you should be aware that any accidental spills or damage to the property could result in a damage deduction from the original deposit amount.

  • To minimise the chances of damage try to look after the property and keep it looking clean and tidy, as it was when you moved in. This may not always be easy in a house of multiple occupation (HMO) however each individual tenant can be held solely or collectively liable for all damage.
  •  Read the terms of the contract to ensure you’re not breaking any of the landlord’s or letting agent’s rules and ensure you are aware of your rights and responsibilities as the tenant. 
  • There may be separate clauses written into the tenancy agreement (AST) that may include points about not putting nails into the walls and keeping the garden tidy. It is only fair that you look after your home for the time that you live there. 
  • Parties aren’t necessarily a no-no, but remember that any spills or stains could mean a deduction from the deposit when it’s time to move out.  
  • Remember to show some respect for your neighbours if they are not invited to your parties, the last thing you want is the landlord receiving complaints.

 2.- Part of the moving in process should also include an inventory conducted by the landlord or letting agent so that all parties have an accurate record of the condition of the property and everything within it on check in.

  •  Be sure to ask your landlord or letting agent about the inventory.
  • All tenants should receive a copy of the inventory following check in and are required to sign to accept and agree the condition and state of repair of the rental property are recorded correctly. 
  • Keep the inventory document safe as you will need it when the tenancy ends and you check-out of the rental property.

 3.- All tenants are free to enjoy their home without interruption from the landlord or their appointed agent. However, you should be aware that your landlord may wish to conduct periodic inspections on the property, every 3 to 6 months or so.

  • This is quite normal and is primarily for property maintenance and the landlord’s peace of mind.
  • The landlord or their representative will need to give you at least 24 hours notice before they enter the premises and it is reasonable to allow them access, refusal may jeopardise your tenancy.
  • You must also allow the landlord or their representative, entry to the property towards the end of the tenancy, so that they can conduct viewings with prospective future tenants.

 4.- Take care of all your belongings and possessions when moving into rental property as the last thing you will want is to have to fork out for new possessions as a result of damage, loss or theft. 

Student houses are like an Aladdin’s Cave for thieves on the prowl and expensive student necessities like laptops, mobile phones, iPods, games consoles and TV’s are all worth stealing and most burglaries are committed by opportunistic thieves.

  •  Avoid getting caught out organise tenant contents insurance, to cover your possessions.
  • This is the tenant’s responsibility not the landlords.
  • Don’t be careless about leaving windows open and doors unlocked when you are out
  • Ensure valuable items are left out of sight.
  • Set the radio and lights on a timer when you are out of the property for extended periods to give the appearance that someone is at home.

 5.- Pay the rent, in full, on time every month – No excuses.

Living away from home can be expensive but it is advisable to ensure that all bills for utilities and services are paid in full when they are due. Unless stated in the tenancy agreement all energy and supplementary services such as broadband and or telephone are the tenants responsibility and not the landlord’s.

  • If you are sharing a rental property organise to pay individually to ensure that you keep a roof over your head during the university term.
  • Failure to pay for utilities and supplementary services can result in CCJ’s against you.
  • The landlord is within their rights to pass on any previous or forwarding addresses to debt collectors.
  • Failure to pay the rent will make you liable  for eviction.
  • If evicted you will also face court costs as well as having to repay the owed rent.

Good Luck with your studies and enjoy the term!

This was written by Mike Clarke. Posted on at 9:00 am. Filed under Landlord News. Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow comments here with the RSS feed. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.