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					Checking Out
You will need to do the following on the last day of your contract.  Take meter readings and send them to the utility suppliers.  Clean the property thoroughly, including toilets, ovens and grills  Make an appointment to show your Landlord the property and return deposits etc.

Things Every Student Should Know
1) Contracts are for the whole academic year. 2) You usually cannot haggle or negotiate with a Landlord. 3) You cannot walk away from your contract. You must inform your Landlord and find a new tenant. 4) You must pay your utility bills before you return home.

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Accommodation Services

International Student’s Guide to…Private Sector Rented Accommodation

Student Guide To – Introduction
Where to Live: Park Campus Kingsthorpe, Kingsthorpe Village Avenue Campus Semilong, Mounts, Kingsley/Poet‟s Corner, Abington Who We Are: The Accommodation Services Team is here to help you find safe, secure and pleasant accommodation on or off campus. Please contact us on 01604 892842 or see our webpage http://www.northampton.ac.uk/study/accommodation/ The International Student Support Team is here to help International students to adapt, settle in and reap the benefits of studying at the University of Northampton. Please contact us on 01604 892420 or see our webpage http://www.northampton.ac.uk/departments/studentservice s/international/

What This Is: This booklet is designed for students who are venturing into the Private Sector to find accommodation. We are here to help you.

 Is there any parking available for you? Will you need a permit for it?  Who is responsible for maintaining the garden?

You should always ask to see a current Gas Safety Certificate as Landlords have to have this by law, and from October 1, 2008 they also need to produce an Energy Performance Certificate. There is no legislation covering electrical safety as yet, but it is worth asking the Landlord if they have one.

Gas and Electric Bills
You will be responsible for the bills in a property, unless the contract states otherwise. When you move in, take meter readings for all utilities and inform the relevant companies. If the meter box is locked, you can buy the key at any hardware shop. More Information: M number enquiry line – 0870 608 1524 „Anglian‟ Water for the Northampton area.

Accommodation Services Telephone: 01604 892482 Email:accommodation@northampton.ac.uk Web: www.northampton.ac.uk/stu

Check It Out – Check It Off
House hunt sensibly – all together if possible. Find out what you need to pay and when.  Do not move in to a house with three or four students per room – this is illegal in the UK and is very dangerous. Landlords who do this are breaking the law and do not care about your safety.  How clean is it, and will it be clean when you move in?

 Is it safe and secure? Are there locks on the doors and fire alarms in the bedrooms?  Is all the furniture you need already there?

 Does the property have all the appliances you require – radiators, washing machine, dishwasher, tumble dryer, fridge freezer?  Is there a shower? Does it have sufficient pressure?

 Are there any obvious repairs that need doing? Get the Landlord‟s written agreement that these will be done prior to moving in  Are there any sources of noise close by like busy roads, train tracks or the local pub? What if it gets busy?

Landlord Responsibilities
The Landlord must keep your property in good order by law. This does not cover damage caused by you. Always inform your Landlord/Agent immediately of any issues –in writing as well as by phone. Your Landlord will need „reasonable time‟ to carry out the repairs and he/she or workmen will need access. “Priority One - Emergency Repairs: any repairs required in order to avoid a danger to health, risk to the safety of residents or serious damage to buildings or internal contents - within 24 hours of report of defect. In circumstances where this is not practicable, landlords will make best temporary arrangements. Priority Two - Urgent Repairs: repairs to defects, which materially affect the comfort or convenience of the residents - within five working days of report of defect. In circumstances where this is not practicable, landlords will make best temporary arrangements. Priority Three – Non-Urgent day-to-day repairs: reactive repairs not falling within the above categories - within 28 working days of report of defect or otherwise as agreed in writing.” More information www.landlordzone.com

What About Deposits?
All Landlords should take a deposit and protect it in a scheme below. This means that you both agree what to return at the end of the tenancy. Landlords who do not take a deposit may be renting illegally – the property may be unsafe and not suitable to rent. Avoid them if you can. Tenancy Deposit Solutions Ltd (TDSL) – 0870 707 1707 http://www.mydeposits.co.uk Deposit Protection Service (DPS) – 0871 703 0552, http://www.depositprotection.com The Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) – 0845 226 7837 http://www.thedisputeservice.co.uk The schemes allow tenants to get all or part of their deposit back when they are entitled to it. Your deposit is NOT in place of your last month‟s rent. You will need to pay this. Inventories are very important- it proves whether you did the damage or not. If your landlord has not organised one, do it yourself! Take photographs to back it up and send a copy to the landlord by registered post. At the end of the contract arrange a check out time to go through the inventory and note any changes above and beyond fair wear and tear. Be aware that each scheme has a dispute resolution service. www.direct.gov.uk/en/Tenancydeposit/index.htm

The Tenancy Agreement
The most common contract will cover the academic year (10 months). Students looking in March will also have to pay a fee over the summer to reserve the property ( a retainer fee). Never sign a contract unless you are willing to move in to a property – it is legally binding and you will be obligated to pay rent. Always check the AST thoroughly before signing it, or take it to a professional to check over – any good landlord will allow you time to do this. Check if it is a Joint Tenancy – if anyone named on the contract defaults on their agreement, you will all be held liable. Check who should be paying the bills. Be careful of “hidden costs” such as penalties for the late payment of rent, or penalisations for leaving early. Landlords may also charge you to find replacement tenants, should you no longer want to rent the property. These should be clearly laid out in the Tenancy Agreement.

More Information www.mypropertyguide.co.uk http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk

Maintenance Issues
Always record contact with the Landlord or Agent, should you need to refer the issue to the EHO or Accommodation Services. From the NSAS Terms and Conditions, the recommended repair periods are: “Priority One - Emergency Repairs: any repairs required in order to avoid a danger to health, risk to the safety of residents or serious damage to buildings or internal contents - within 24 hours of report of defect. In circumstances where this is not practicable, landlords will make best temporary arrangements. Priority Two - Urgent Repairs: repairs to defects, which materially affect the comfort or convenience of the residents - within five working days of report of defect. In circumstances where this is not practicable, landlords will make best temporary arrangements. Priority Three – Non-Urgent day-to-day repairs: reactive repairs not falling within the above categories - within 28 working days of report of defect or otherwise as agreed in writing.” Should you have problems getting repairs done, record all contact with your Landlord and report this to the Accommodation Services.

Arranging Viewings
Please note that the University registers individual properties, not landlords or their entire portfolio. Consequently, you may be asked to view other properties which are not on the Housing List – ask yourself why. The University encourages all students to take properties from the Housing List and not from elsewhere. We keep copies of safety certificates and inspection reports on file, and most properties are now pending Accreditation adhering to the strict health and safety regulations laid down by the Northampton Student Accreditation Scheme. Don‟t panic into automatically taking the first property that you visit, as there is plenty of choice. Remember, you will be signing a contract for the whole year so ensure that you make the correct decision. You might like to consider other areas or different types of properties. Even if you then decide to take the first property you saw, at least you have the peace of mind of knowing that it was the best one. When you conduct visits it is a good idea to bring with you a small goodwill deposit in order to secure the property you like best. Always make sure you know what this money covers – for example the administration fee, or part of your retainer. You should not have to pay extra to reserve a property.

Glossary of terms
Name Agent Contract Description Someone who acts on behalf of the landlord. Always get receipts for money A legal agreement between two parties either oral or written. Once a contract is signed, you are tied to it. The money paid by a resident to use the property. This is usually exclusive of utility bills. A sum of money taken at the start of the contract. Any damage to the property will be charged and deducted from your deposit. A form that all full time students will receive at enrolment. If a property is inhabited solely by full time students then it should be exempt from council tax. Students will need to provide their exemption certificate to the landlord so that they can demonstrate their student status for council tax purposes. A UK based person who will pay up if you do not pay your rent. If you do not have a guarantor, the following MAY be taken instead A substantial amount of rent in advance (3 months for example) A letter from your sponsor detailing any sponsorship monies or funding Details of any bursary you receive from the University Proof that you have enough money to pay your rent (bank statement etc)

Rent Damage Deposit Council Tax exemption certificate

Guarantor


				
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