Prospective Tenant Guide

Our guide should answer any questions you have about finding the perfect student property in Canterbury or Medway. If you don’t find the answers you’re looking for, then feel free to get in touch and talk to one of our team.

 
 

The basic process...

 

 

Step 1:

Establish a group

Establish the group of friends you want to live with. Individuals looking for a group to join up with should take a look at our Facebook page.

 

Step 2:

Search properties

Use our website to search for properties or visit us in person at our lettings shop in St Dunstan’s Street, Canterbury. This is best done around November.

 

Step 3:

House viewing

Give us a call to book a house viewing for up to three houses.

 

Step 4:

Decide and reserve

Decide on a house and pay the reservation fee.

 

Step 5:

Book contract meeting

Book a contract meeting with your whole group.

 

Step 6:

Tenancy application

Complete the Tenancy Application on our website.

 

Step 7:

Attend contract meeting

Attend the contract meeting with your whole group, where you will sign the tenancy agreement and pay the letting fee.

 

Step 8:

Guarantor agreement

Your guarantor will be contacted so that they can complete the Guarantor Agreement.

 

Step 9:

Relax

Relax in the knowledge that your student accommodation is all sorted for the year.

 

 

Looking for a house

 

When should I start looking for a house?

To ensure that you will have a good range to choose from, we recommend beginning the search for accommodation for the following academic year around November time.

 

Who should I live with?

This is completely up to you, but you might want to consider the following:

 

Tidiness

Different people have different ideas of what condition a house should be kept in, it’s a good idea to find housemates who share your views on this matter to avoid having to clean up after everybody else.

Way of life

If you know you like to have a lie-in most mornings, you might want to avoid a house full of early-risers who will wake you up. Similarly, if you like to get to bed early, it might not be a good idea to live with a group of nightclub enthusiasts.

Size of group

Although living with all of your friends might sound fun, consider whether or not you’ll appreciate a large group for a full year.

 

 What price range should I look at?

Remember that on top of rent costs, you’ll have to pay utility bills. If you get a utility bills package with us, that will be an extra £15 a week per person. Other costs to keep in mind when budgeting include TV licence, broadband, travel expenses and food shopping.

  

What area should I live in?

All of our houses are within reasonable walking distance from UKC, CCCU, UCA and the Medway Campuses. See our Locations page to help you decide which area suits you the best.

  

How do I set up a viewing?

Once you have selected up to 4 properties that you wish to view, you can contact us to arrange a viewing. Please allow 1 – 1.5 hours for the viewing and try to make sure your whole group can make it.

  

Can I take photos during the viewing?

Yes, as long as we have the permission of the current tenants.

  

I couldn’t attend the viewing with the rest of my group, what can I do?

After the viewing, you will be emailed link to the virtual viewing tour so that you can see the house.

  

What should I look for when viewing a house?

See our handy House Hunting Checklist for general things to look out for, and also make sure to write your own list based on what’s important to you.

 

 

 
 

Securing a House

 

How should I prepare for the contract meeting?

  • Read the draft tenancy agreement on our website.
  • Complete the Tenancy Application on our website (including bank details and guarantor details).
  • Bring your Student ID card as proof of identity and for Council Tax exemption records.

 

What’s the reservation fee?

A non-refundable fee of £30 per student, which reserves the house for 5 working days. The house will be re-marketed if the paperwork is not completed in 5 working days. The reservation fee will be deducted from the letting fee later on.

 

 

What’s the Tenancy Application?

You can find this on our website. Each housemate must complete their own individual tenancy application before the contract meeting. The information you put in will allow us to produce a Tenancy Agreement and a Direct Debit form. If you won’t be paying your rent, you should put in the bank account details of the person who is.
http://www.studentplaces.com/tenancy-application.htm#/

 

What is the Tenancy Agreement?

You can find a sample Tenancy Agreement on our website. It outlines the expectations of both the tenant (you) and the landlord. It is a fixed term agreement for a period of one year, usually the agreement will start in mid-June to the 1st of July. Please remember that this is a legally binding document once signed; we recommend reading it yourself and also having a parent or guardian read it too. Please get in touch if you have any questions about the content of the contract, it’s better to ask before signing than after.

 

 

What is a Guarantor / Guarantor Agreement?

A guarantor is someone who must agree to honour all your obligations during the term of your tenancy should you default in any way. Your guarantor must be over 25 years of age and a UK resident. Before electing a guarantor, you should check with them that they will be willing to sign the guarantor agreement (an example of which can be found on our site). Your guarantor will be contacted after the contract meeting and will have 14 days to sign the agreement. All students will need a guarantor, unless you pay the year’s rent in full at the start of your tenancy. If you are having trouble finding a UK guarantor, you may find our International Students Guide helpful.

What is the Letting Fee?

The total letting fee is £250 per person, which is non-refundable. This fee secures your tenancy. £30 is paid when you reserve the property (reservation fee) and the rest is paid when you sign the tenancy agreement.

 

 

The letting fee covers the cost of:

  • House viewings
  • Production of all tenancy paperwork
  • Tenancy contract signing meeting
  • Correspondence with your guarantor
  • Setting up of Direct Debit instructions for rent payments
  • Setting up of utility accounts for gas, electric, water and sewerage
  • Correspondence with local authority for Council Tax exemption
  • Production of Condition & Inventory Report
  • Welcome meeting at the house for the first person to move in
  • House meeting with all tenants for advice and guidance
  • Garden maintenance throughout the tenancy
  • Personal contents insurance policy with Endsleigh Insurance
  • Check-out inspection 

I am a member of a sponsored club, is there a discount?

As a paid member of the club you will receive 10% discount off your letting fee as well as a £50.00 gift voucher for the house when you move in. Only one voucher can be provided per house.

See our Sponsored Teams page for more information, including a list of all the teams we sponsor.

 

Rent, Bills and Deposits

 

How will rent payments be scheduled?

To ensure that you will have a good range to choose from, we recommend beginning the search for accommodation for the following academic year around November time.

You have three options:

 

1.

Pay annually in advance. This is the only option if you don’t have a suitable UK guarantor.

2.

Summer payment of 3 months’ rent due on 1st July followed by termly rent of 3 ½ months on 1 October, 3 ½ months on 15th January (Christchurch Students only) or 1st February (UKC Students) and 2 months on 1st May (Christchurch Students only) or 15th May (UKC Students).

3.

Summer rent monthly on 1st July, 1st August & 1st September followed by termly rent of 3 ½ months on 1 October, 3 ½ months on 15th January (Christchurch Students only) or 1st February (UKC Students) and 2 months on 1st May (Christchurch Students only) or 15th May (UKC Students).

 

 How do I pay rent?

Rent is paid by direct debit. During the contract meeting, you will be provided with a direct debit mandate to complete. Once this is set up, the money will come out of your bank account automatically, you just need to make sure you have enough money in your bank before each due date.


How does reduced summer rent work?

At many of our properties, you will have the option to pay a reduced rent over the summer period. This reduction is only available on the condition that you do not live in the house during the summer period. If a student in your house chooses to live there over the summer, full rent must be paid by everybody.

 

Do I need to pay a deposit too?

Most of our student houses do not require a deposit to be paid. If a deposit is payable, it will usually be around £100 and it will be held by a government approved scheme for the duration of your tenancy. You will be given full details of the scheme and be able to access your account on line.


Are bills included in the rent?

Bills for gas, electricity, water supply and sewage are not included in rent prices. However, we will set these accounts up for you before you move in so you don’t need to worry about sorting out providers. If you’d prefer a bills package to avoid the hassle of splitting bills between housemates, we now offer one at £15 per person per week. This covers gas, electricity, water and sewage.


Do we have to pay council tax?

If all tenants are students, you should be exempt from paying council tax. You will need to prove to the council that you are a student using a Student Enrolment Certificate, a process that can usually be completed online. Please contact your university/personal tutor if you have any further queries about this.

 

 
 

The house and moving in

 

Is the house furnished?

Yes. As a minimum, each bedroom will have a bed and desk plus wardrobe and chest of drawers; in the lounge there will be a lounge suite and usually a dining table and chairs. The kitchen will be equipped with white goods, including a microwave.

How do we set up the Internet?

You will need to set this up yourselves. We recommend using a comparison website to find the best deal, taking into consideration line rental as well as broadband costs. You should try to do this at least 6 weeks before moving in, as the process may take a while. 

 

Can we keep pets in the house?

No, you are not permitted to keep pets in the house.

Can I leave my belongings in the house during the summer holidays?

You may leave belongings in the house after the tenancy start date, however if you are not living in the house we ask that you leave these belongings in one room - packed up and labelled with your name - for the convenience of cleaners and other tradesmen who may be working on the property. Please note we do not take responsibility for any items left in the house over the summer period and you leave them at your own risk.

Will our belongings be insured while in the house?

When you take a tenancy at one of our houses, we will provide you with a standard contents insurance policy with Endsleigh Insurance. This is included in your letting fee. Since this is your personal insurance policy, you may subsequently tailor it directly with Endsleigh Insurance to ensure it meets all your requirements whilst living in our house. When you receive the insurance policy certificate, we highly recommend reading the small print so that you know the details of what is covered.

How do we collect house keys?

You will need to give us at least 3 working days’ notice in advance of the date you intend to move in. One of our team will then meet you at an agreed upon time and date outside the house, where they will give you the keys and also explain some of the essential information about the property. If you are not the first tenant to move in, you can either request that your keys be left with the tenant(s) who have already moved in or you can collect them in person from our office at 73 St. Dunstan’s Street, Canterbury, CT2 8BN.

 

How does the Inventory work?

In most cases, a Condition and Inventory Report will be carried out when you move in. This is an opportunity to agree upon the current condition of the house and on the items of inventory provided. Once this report has been completed, you will have 48 hours to notify us of anything that was missed during the move in appointment and that needs adding to the Condition and Inventory Report. After this time, no further amendments can be made so we recommend thoroughly inspecting the house once you move in to avoid problems later.