Renting accommodation in the private sector House Hunting *Don’t panic! Don’t feel rushed! *There’s plenty of accommodation out there and we can help you if necessary *The Accommodation Office is open 5 days a week *We can answer any questions, show you how to look and where to look. We have phones and P.C.’s you can use. *We’ll be here throughout the whole process if you need help or support! What are my options? * Share with students you already know? * Move in to an already established shared house where they have vacancies for housemates? * Move into private ‘halls’ * Move in with a family or a resident landlord? * Get a self contained flat? Before you start *How long do you want the tenancy for? *Think about sharing with students with similar interests and lifestyle…What size of group? *Whereabouts in the City do you want to be? * How much can you really afford? You all need to be very clear about your budget!! Extra costs = average per month, per person *Gas/Electricity bills (heating, hot water, cooking, lights, appliances) – average -£25 *Water/Sewage – average £8 - £12 *Contents insurance – average £5.50 * TV Licence – average £4 *Broadband – average £2.50 *Landline telephone – average £2.50 (plus calls) TOTAL: £47.50 - £49.50 AVERAGE PER MONTH PER PERSON!!! Location * The closer to the University the more expensive and scarcer the property * Consider Bishopston, Southville, Bedminster, Horfield for cheaper/better quality accommodation * Traditional student areas can mean no parking, higher burglary rates, poorer community relations. Condition of the property… * Use the Checklists available * Landlord is responsible for repairs to the structure of the building plus fittings for the supply of water, heating and sanitation * Poorly maintained property means Landlord probably doesn’t care * But if a property is too good it may be difficult to live in Guarantors *A person who guarantees to pay your rent or for any damage. *Joint liability can apply to guarantors *The guarantor will need a UK address *If you are unable to provide a UK guarantor you may be asked to pay up to 12 months rent in advance Holding Fees Usually between £100 and 1 month’s rent, paid to reserve a property for you. The fee should then be returned, used as a deposit or taken off your first months rent. If you change your mind without a good reason you will not get your money back. Contracts *You can get your contract checked by the accommodation office *Note that it will almost certainly be a fixed term agreement, and it is difficult to end them before the end of the fixed term *Joint and several liability – If the contract is in more than one name, you are jointly and severally (singly) liable for the rent! Deposit Protection Schemes There are 3 government approved schemes which landlords should use to protect the deposits of all assured shorthold tenants, by law! Taking an inventory *ALWAYS complete an inventory *List all the furniture, furnishings and equipment, and the condition they are in when you first move in. (marks, tears, any damage) as well as noting the state of decoration (blu-tac stains, etc). *You and the landlord should both sign the inventory and each keep a copy. Getting deposits back *Check which government scheme your deposit is protected with *Take an inventory and lots of photos at the beginning of the tenancy *Look after the property while you’re there. *Check whether you are allowed to use blu-tac on the walls *Report any repairs or problems to the landlord immediately throughout the tenancy *Clean like crazy before you leave (see check out list) and take photos of the house when you have finished cleaning *Make sure you settle your utility bills when you leave Where to Look- University Resources: Property Search *All properties have valid gas safety certificate *L/L’s advertising property are only allowed to charge £25 admin fee Bulletin Board *Students mainly advertising for 1 or 2 students to make up a house Bristol University Lets (BUL) *Our new accommodation agency ALL ON THE ACCOMMODATION OFFICE WEBSITE! Where to look - Other Resources *Online: There are several reliable websites, e.g. Gumtree, accommodationforstudents.com. See our factsheets for full lists. *Publications: Bristol Evening Post – Tuesday Venue - Wednesday Trade It (free) – Friday *Noticeboards: Newsagents + Post Offices, e.g. the 10 o clock shop and Cotham Post Office *Private students accommodation providers, e.g Unite Where to look -Agencies *Fees – Agencies usually ask for upto 35% of a month’s rent *This is legally only payable when the agency has found you a property *We cannot recommend any agencies, but can send you a list on request Any Questions?