Housing Guidance

 

 

 

How to Rent Guide

 

What is renting?

Renting a property is when you pay someone for the use of their property. Rental properties include houses or flats which are often shared by multiple tenants, often groups of friends or those living in first year university accommodation together, team up and rent shared housing.

Why may I need to rent?

Generally, first year university students live in shared accommodation blocks/halls provided by the university or associated providers (however, some may choose to find accommodation outside of this – which is of course absolutely fine too!). For your further years of study, you may need to find accommodation outside of the university provided halls/blocks.

In some cases, students might stay in university provided accommodation after their 1st year.  Please contact Accommodation@Hartpury.ac.uk if this might apply to you.

What is a tenant?

A person who occupies land or property. If you are renting a property, you are a tenant.

What is a landlord?

A person who rents out property.

What is a deposit?

A deposit is an amount of money provided by the tenant to the landlord prior to renting and is then refunded from the landlord to the tenant after the rental lease has ended. A deposit is used by the landlord in case the tenant cannot pay their rent or to pay for damages caused by the tenant during the rental duration. Unless there are disputes, deposits should be returned within 10 days of the tenancy ending.


Ensure you check that the landlord has put the deposit in a Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme. You should receive a certificate outlining the scheme protecting your deposit. Your deposit must be protected by law in an approved government scheme to ensure money is not deducted unfairly. For further information on deposit protection and the approved government schemes, please head to https://www.gov.uk/tenancy-deposit-protection and https://england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/tenancy_deposits/check_if_your_tenancy_deposit_is_protected.

 

 

What is a Guarantor?

You may need a guarantor to sign your tenancy agreement. A guarantor is somebody who legally agrees to be responsible for any owed rent, the property and its’ condition. Having a guarantor is like having a back-up for both you and the landlord. If you cannot pay your rent or pay for damages, a guarantor will be legally bound to do so.

If you are struggling to find a guarantor, there are places that can help you. Hartpury can act as guarantor for International students living in Blackfriars accommodation. There are also companies that can assist you finding a guarantor:

 

Housemates:

Consider who you are planning to live with. 

  • Are you a night owl, and they’re early birds? 
  • Do you have a more laid-back approach to housework compared to them? 

You might find that you would prefer to live with people on your course or sports team rather than who you lived with in the first year.  Make sure you spend some time really thinking about your priorities for a house (and housemate) and make sure it matches who you’re thinking of living with. Remember, once you sign the contract, you’re going to be living with those people for the duration so take your time to make sure that you’re living with the right people! 

You do not need to sign up to a house in the first term!

 

Things to consider when renting:

  1. You may feel pressured to sign contracts but take your time to decide!
  2. Look at average rent prices in the local area
  3. Try to compare 3 houses before you make a final decision
  4. Look at the public transport and transport routes available in the area
  5. If you have a car, is there adequate parking and do you need a permit?
  6. Make sure everyone sees the property before a decision is made
  7. Find an accredited landlord or letting agent as they tend to hold high standards and a complaints procedure in case you do need to complain
  8. You may have to pay admin fees with particular agents so ask for a full list of charges before agreeing to rent.
  9. You can use the land registry online to find the registered owner of the property – https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/land-registry
  10. Work out the costs – does the cost of renting the property include bills such as gas, electricity, water, internet or TV licence?
    1. If you do need to pay bills separately:
      • Work out the cost to heat the property by checking the energy performance certificate, whether it has double glazed windows and good central heating which will reduce heating bills.
      • Are you sharing the property? How will you ensure the bills are divided evenly?
  11. Check out the protection of you deposit. Your deposit must be protected by law in an approved government scheme to ensure money is not deducted unfairly.
  12. You may be asked to provide a holding deposit to reserve the property – get a copy of the proposed contract before handing over money.
  13. If you can, have a chat to the previous tenants to see how they got on with the landlord and the property

 

 

Things to avoid:

If the landlord cannot show the following, AVOID renting the property!!

  1. Show you a gas safety certificate
  2. Tell you the deposit protection scheme they use
  3. Show you an HMO licence

 

Where can I find more information?

 

 

 

Make sure you take your time.

Do not feel pressured to sign a contract before you are ready.