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Home from Home Property Management Services is setting up this web page to help give you guidance. We keep hearing about students who have had less than good letting experiences. Just some of the issues to watch for:

Make sure you are going to get on with your house or flat mates before entering into a Tenancy Agreement.

Try to rent through an agent who is a member of the Association of Residential Letting Agents.

When you view a property – check it thoroughly. Just a few examples to check: Make sure you are going to get on with your house or flat mates before entering into a Tenancy Agreement.

Try to rent through an agent who is a member of the Association of Residential Letting Agents.

When you view a property – check it thoroughly. Just a few examples to check:

  • There is sufficient room.
  • What the kitchen includes. For example, washing machine, fridge/freezer, tumble drier, table and chairs.
  • That if there is a shower, what is the water pressure like.
  • If there are two showers, that both work adequately and that one is not too close to the header tank so really cannot be called a shower.
  • The condition of the mattresses. 
  • That in each bedroom, in addition to a bed, there is a proper wardrobe, drawer space, desk, chair, bedside table and lamp. 
  • There are heavy curtains at all windows. 
  • How the central heating is powered? 
  • The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). 

To see an up-to-date Gas Safety Certificate – if there is gas in the property.Where your deposit will be lodged. There are three government-approved schemes and your deposit must be put in one of these. They are: -

  - Tenancy Deposit Scheme.

  - My Deposit

  - The Deposit Protection Service. 

Whether the property is registered as a House of Multiple Occupation. If so, ask to see the licence, which is issued by the local authority.

When you move in you must be given a written inventory. It is essential to check this thoroughly and amend accordingly. Take photographs of anything you think might be a discussion point at the end of the tenancy – for example, whether the oven is clean, whether the washing machine drawer is clean and, indeed, the cleanliness of the whole property. It is best if you all sign and date the declaration and insist you keep the original and that the letting agent takes a copy of the original.

Ensure you register with the utility companies and give your names and meter readings when you move in. It is also important to ensure that you notify the Council Tax that you are students and get the exemption certificate/s.

You need to check where to pay your rent each month. If you rent a letting-only property, then the agent has the responsibility to move you into the property up to dealing with the inventory. Then you will be dealing direct with your landlord in terms of paying the rent to the landlord and any maintenance issues.

Do not let maintenance issues store up. Notify the letting agent or landlord direct with anything immediately, and follow-up by phone and/or email, if the matter is not dealt with within a reasonable time.

If you have a garden it is your responsibility to look after it. However, it should be neat and tidy when you move in. At the end of your tenancy, if necessary hire a gardener to tidy the garden. If there are four of you sharing a property, it does not cost a great deal of money.

The same applies to the cleaning of the house. Again, you should expect the property to be clean when you move in and, therefore, you need to leave it clean when you move out.

If the garden and the cleanliness of the property are not up to standard, you have the right to ask for these to be done before you sign off the inventory.

You do need to respect the property and garden and treat it well, then there is no excuse for your deposit not to be returned to you.

Be on hand for the check-out. Most agents and landlords prefer to do the check-out first and then speak to the tenants if there are any discrepancies. However, stay involved with the process and whatever you do, do not hold back your final month’s rent. Indeed, do not withhold any rent during your tenancy, as you are then breaking the terms of the Tenancy Agreement.