Accommodation FAQs

What are my rights as a tenant?
Whether you are renting in halls of residence or from a private landlord, both landlords and tenants have obligations to each other.  Here is a very useful How To Rent leaflet from the government explaining tenant and landlord rights. This NUS video also has some useful Top Tips when renting: They have also produced a very handy House Hunting Checklist to help you through the process. The Tenant Fees Bill Landlords and their agents will no longer be able to charge fees for tenancies signed on or after 1 June 2019 How can the SU help? If you find yourself in a dispute with your landlord, then you should seek advice from us. We will be able to outline your rights, and in some cases mediate on your behalf.
Tue, 13 Jul, 2021 at 8:51 AM
What is the deposit scheme?
A deposit gives the landlord security in case you cause damage to the property or don't pay rent. The deposit belongs to you and you should get it back when you move out if there is no damage or rent owed. New for 2019: Deposit capped at 6 weeks rent If you rent your home on an assured shorthold tenancy, your landlord is responsible for putting your deposit in a government-backed tenancy deposit scheme within 30 days of receiving it. Your landlord must notify you of the following no later than 30 days after they have received the deposit: How the deposit is protected; The name and contact details of the tenancy deposit protection scheme and its dispute resolution service' Their (or the letting agency’s) name and contact details; The name and contact details of any third party that’s paid the deposit; Why they would keep some or all of the deposit; How to apply to get the deposit back; What to do if you can’t get hold of the landlord at the end of the t...
Tue, 13 Jul, 2021 at 8:54 AM
Who's responsible for maintenance and upkeep of my accommodation?
Their Responsibilities Your landlord is always responsible for repairs to: The structure and exterior of the building including the walls, stairs and bannisters, roof, external doors and windows; Sinks, baths, toilets, pipes and drains; Heating and hot water; Fixing chimneys and ventilation if they fall into disrepair (although you'll have to keep them clear of blockages); Gas appliances; Electrical wiring; Any damage to internal decorations caused by repair problems they are responsible for or while repairs were carried out. Your landlord is also usually responsible for repairing common areas, for example, staircases in blocks of flats, although you should check your tenancy agreement if you’re unsure about this. Your Responsibilities You are responsible for caring for the property in a responsible way. You should: Keep it clean; Not damage the property and make sure your guests don't either; Carry out minor maintenance such as replacing smoke alar...
Tue, 13 Jul, 2021 at 8:56 AM
Help! I can't afford my rent
If you find yourself in financial trouble, it is important to seek help as soon as possible. Not paying your rent is not an option as you may face eviction or legal action. The University’s Student Support Service has a specialist Student Money Advice Team who host regular drop-in sessions to discuss financial issues. How can the SU help?  We are able to support you to complete the grant application forms and guide you through some of the complex housing regulations in place.
Tue, 13 Jul, 2021 at 8:57 AM
What are 'Houses with Multiple Occupants' (HMOs)?
Your landlord usually has extra legal responsibilities if the home that you rent is a house in multiple occupation or HMO. The extra rules are there to reduce the risk of fire and to make sure that the people living in shared houses or flats have adequate facilities. Landlords of HMOs must make sure that: Proper fire safety measures are in place, including working smoke alarms; Annual gas safety checks are carried out; The electrics are checked every 5 years; The property is not overcrowded; There are enough cooking and bathroom facilities for the number living there; Communal areas and shared facilities are clean and in good repair; There are enough rubbish bins/bags. Many student properties are classed as HMO’s. An HMO could be a: House split into separate bedsits; Shared house or flat, where the sharers are not members of the same family; Hostel' Bed-and-breakfast hotel that is not just for holidays; Shared accommodation for students; although many ha...
Tue, 13 Jul, 2021 at 8:58 AM
Everything you need to know about accommodation contracts
A contract can be a verbal or written agreement. However, it is much better to have a written than a verbal agreement as this way both parties know what is expected of them. This clarity helps to avoid disputes that might otherwise arise. Types of Contracts in Use: What to Look Out For The type of contract you sign will depend on where you’ll be living: A house, flat or bedsit rented directly from a landlord/agent; A room or flat rented from a university or college or; In the home of an owner to whom you pay rent. Renting from a Landlord or Agent Most landlords or agents use an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement. This is usually for a fixed term of 6 or 12 months; in other words, it has a start date and an end date. If you sign a fixed term contract, you are responsible for paying rent for the full period, regardless of your circumstances. This type of agreement means that you are a tenant and have exclusive possession of the property. The landlord or a...
Tue, 13 Jul, 2021 at 9:02 AM
Frequently Asked Questions about Student Accommodation
I don't like my housemates Q: I don’t get on with my housemates anymore and I want to move out – can I give the landlord or agent notice? A: You must first check your contract. If you have signed a fixed term agreement, then you remain liable/responsible for the rent and you will need to find a replacement tenant. If you are in halls of residence or rent from a larger supplier, you may be able to obtain a transfer to a different room in the same building or another part of their portfolio. This way there is no loss of income to the owner and you get to move away from the problem. If there is a serious household dispute and you feel forced to move out, it is important to seek advice. My housemate has moved out and now we owe their rent Q: We have signed a joint contract but one of our housemates has moved out. The landlord or agent is asking us for the money but we feel the tenant should pay - is this fair? A: Sadly, fairness does not really come into it. The l...
Tue, 13 Jul, 2021 at 9:06 AM