Terminology

Fixed Term
This is the amount of time you have signed up for the tenancy – this will usually be 42 weeks or 11 months in student housing. If you aren’t sure always ask how long you are signing up for.

 

Guarantor

This is someone who will guarantee your rent payments are made. In the UK most student rented accommodation will require you to have a guarantor. If you do not have one you can access www.housinghand.co.uk for a small fee, or you can offer to pay more than one month’s rent in advance, e.g. pay three instalments of rent over the fixed term.

 

Security Deposit

A security deposit is often referred to as the deposit. It is usually the equivalent to ones months’ rent and is used in case you don’t pay rent or cause damage to the accommodation and fail to fix this damage before you move out. If you have an assured shorthold tenancy, this deposit will need to be protected within a Deposit Protection Scheme.

 

Deposit Protection Scheme

If you have an AST the law states your deposit has to be protected. The landlord MUST send you proof of this protection within 30 days of you paying the deposit. If you aren’t sure you can come in to see us to check.

 

Council Tax

Council Tax is a local government tax. Full time students do not pay this as long as you provide the Council with a copy of your Council Tax Exception Certificate which is available to download from myHub.

 

Eviction

This is when your landlord or letting agent decides they want you to leave the property before the time you originally agreed to move out. Depending on the type of contract you have, your method of eviction will differ. Contact us for advice if your landlord has said they want you to leave before your prearranged move out date.

If your landlord tries to evict you using the methods below then this could be deemed as an illegal eviction and you can get support. Contact us, the local Council or the Police if you believe you are being evicted illegally.

  • Forcing you to leave by threatening or harassing you
  • Throwing you out
  • Stopping you from getting into certain parts of your home
  • Changes the locks when you aren’t home.

 

Landlord

This person is who you have your agreement with as they own the property. Sometimes landlords will have a letting agent manage their house and you will have no contact with your landlord.

 

Letting Agent

Most student houses are managed by a letting agent (they may act on behalf of the landlord).  These are companies who collect the rent and who will be your contact for any issues in your accommodation.

 

Tenant

This is you. Tenants have certain rights and obligations. You can learn more about your rights and obligations here.

 

Rent

This is a set amount of money that you pay every week/month for your accommodation. Before you move in you will know how much this is and it cannot change during the agreement.

 

House of Multiple Occupation (HMO)

An HMO is a shared house where all or part of a building is to three or more people. There must be more than two households (families/couples). Those in the house must share bathrooms, toilets and/or cooking facilities.

 

Inventory

This is a list of items all furnishings, appliance and decoration within your accommodation. When you move in you may be asked to fill one out, commenting on the general condition of the property. You will need to write down any comments about paint (if there are scratches or marks), carpets and furniture (if something is broken or is breaking) so any issues with the property can be identified as having occurred before you moved in, and therefore not your fault. We advise you include pictures to prove what it looked like. This can help you get all your deposit back at the end of the tenancy, as long as you have left the property in the condition in which you moved in.

 

Break clause

This is a sentence or paragraph in your agreement where the landlord or tenant has the option to leave the agreement early (during the fixed term). This will usually explain a fee or the agreed way to stop the contract early. If you aren’t sure if you have one do come in and see us, we can check for you.

 

Gas Safety Certificate

All gas appliances your landlord provides must be correctly maintained and a gas safety check carried out every 12 months by a Gas Safe registered engineer. By law, your landlord must give you a copy of the Landlord’s Gas Safety Record (also referred to as the Landlords’ Gas Safety Certificate).

 

Holding Deposit

This is different to Security Deposit, as it is sometimes charged by landlords prior to you signing an agreement as a guarantee that you will take the house.

 

Joint and Severally Liable

A housing agreement (an Assured Shorthold Tenancy) signed by all housemates.

 

Statute 21 Notice of Eviction

A court notice which needs be served if the landlord wishes to evict you from an Assured Shorthold Tenancy before the end of the fixed term.

 

 

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