Don’t rush to rent!

With Universities going fully online after 9th December 2020, many students will be travelling home and leaving the city.

There is no need to rush to find accommodation for your next academic year before you leave.

A common myth surrounding student accommodation is that “all the best houses go” and there will be no student properties left in January. There will still be a surplus of accommodation after the holidays, and if you wait, you may even get a better deal.

Once you decide on where you would like to live you will need to sign a contract. A tenancy contract is legally binding and is very difficult to get out of if you change your mind.

Your potential landlord should always give you at least 24 hours to read the contract and sign. If there is anything you are unsure of, you can take the contract to your Students’ Union to check over.

Here are some important things to look out for when signing a tenancy contract:

Is it joint or individual liability?

If the contract is joint liability, this means you will be jointly liable with each of your housemates for any rent arrears and/or damage to the property. For individual liability, you will be only responsible for yourself.

Fixed term contract

If you sign a fixed term contract, you will be liable to pay rent for the full period, unless there is a specific clause allowing you to give notice to quit (which is very rare). If you no longer want to live in the property, you will be responsible for finding a replacement tenant or paying the rent. This includes if you fall out with house mates, learning goes completely online or you do not want to continue with your studies.

Guarantees and parents ‘financial liability’

Some landlords will ask you for a guarantor. It is very important that the contract specifically limits your guarantors liability to just their guarantee’s rent/damages.  

It is also important to understand that if you enter into a contract with joint liability and your parents sign a general guarantee, there is a significant financial risk to your parents. If another tenant moves out or fails to pay the rent, your parents could be taken to court under the terms of the guarantee, even if you have paid your rent. 

If you would like to know more about contracts, take a look at our useful article here.

If you are ready to search for accommodation, you virtually view properties on the Unipol website here.

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