How to Rent a Student Property
1. Identify a property you would like to rent
Please arrange all viewings through our office. Please do not just knock on the door and ask the current tenants to show you around. All viewings must be carried out with prior appointment and we are required to give existing occupiers 24 hours notice of any visit. If you are interested in a reserving a property without seeing it (e.g. you are based abroad and you are unable to view before your arrival in the UK), we strongly advise that you to speak with a representative at CP Walker prior to submitting your application. We will give you accurate feedback on available properties. Once an agreement has been signed, you are not able to change properties when you arrive in Nottingham if for any reason you decide you don’t like the location etc. It is not a good long term solution for a landlord to have an unhappy tenant in his/her property and so we will try and make sure you find the right property to start with.
2. Complete an Application Form
Once you have identified a property that you want to rent, each person in your group will need to complete an Application Form. This provides us with the details we require to take appropriate references and obtain the owner's approval to proceed with the letting. Application Forms are available from our office as paper versions or we can provide a digital copy for you to either print off and return by hand or via email if you prefer. Students are asked to provide with their application:
1. Photo ID (copy passport or driving licence)
2. A copy of your Student Card (or a copy of your offer letter if you are not currently registered as a student)
3. Overseas Students will be required to provide confirmation of their overseas address.
4. When handing in the application, each person will be required to pay an Application Fee of £95. This fee can be paid in the office by card or cash or you can also call and pay with card over the phone.
Once the application has been accepted, the property is placed “Under Offer” and no further viewings will take place. We would ask you to contact us immediately if for any reason you have a change of plan and decide not to proceed with completing the Tenancy Agreement. If there is any delay on your behalf in completing the Agreement, we reserve the right to place the property back on to the market and we will inform you when this has been done.
3. Right to Rent Check
In accordance with UK Law, we are required to check that all tenants have the right to rent a property, meaning that they are in the country legally as a UK citizen, EU or EEA national or have valid immigration permission to be in the UK. We are required to see the original version of your passport prior to the start of the tenancy or before keys are released. You can show us your original passport when you submit your application or come in to sign the tenancy or any point in between. If you do not have a permanent right to remain in the UK, we will need to see your Visa and will need to re-check your papers no more than 28 days before you move in to the property.
4. Check Tenancy Agreement and obtain Guarantor
When we have received your application, we will email to you a copy of the Tenancy Agreement so you can check through it and raise any queries that you may have on any of the terms and conditions. We will also write to your Guarantor and ask them to complete a Guarantor Form. Guarantor Agreements will then be sent for your Guarantor to complete. You should speak with your Guarantor to forewarn them about this so that Forms and Agreements are returned as quickly as possible. Overseas applicants will be considered without a UK based Guarantor but may be required to pay an additional deposit or more rent in advance. This will vary case by case and landlord by landlord. If you are an overseas resident, we would advise you to check the particular requirements when you submit your Application.
5. Complete the Tenancy Agreement & Pay the Deposit
Once we have the owner’s approval to proceed with the letting, we will contact you to make an appointment for you to come in to CP Walker’s offices to sign the Agreement. Students that are based overseas or who are unable to come in and sign will need to make alternative arrangements for the Agreements to be signed (usually emailed over, signed and returned by email or post).
On completion of the Tenancy Agreement, each person is required to pay the deposit (or “damage bond”) which is fixed for each property at £300 per person. The Deposit will be registered in accordance with UK Law. If someone is going to pay the Deposit on your behalf, you will need to inform CP Walker when the money is paid. Unless we advise you otherwise, the Deposit will be held by CP Walker & Son in accordance with the terms of The Tenancy Deposit Scheme. The Tenancy Deposit Scheme provides tenants with the protection that the Deposit will be dealt with fairly and will be returned at the end of the tenancy less any proper deductions. The Scheme offers an arbitration service for both parties to use should there be any dispute about the Deposit at the end of the Tenancy. For further details of the scheme, visit www.thedisputeservice.co.uk.
6. Rent Payments
Rent payments are usually payable termly. Overseas residents will usually pay in 1, 2, 3 or 4 instalments (subject to what is agreed in each case). Postgraduate students who receive funding monthly will usually pay monthly. In all cases, payments are due by Standing Order (direct bank transfer). If you want to request a variation from the standard termly payment arrangement outlined below, we would ask that you agree this when you submit your application.
A Standing Order Mandate to effect the payments by direct bank transfer will be completed at the same time you sign your tenancy. If payment is going to be made by a parent or other third party, please inform us so the mandate can be prepared accordingly. The first instalment of rent is due 14 days before the start of the tenancy. This allows cleared funds to be in our account when you come to collect keys.
In the case of termly payments, the following amounts are due and on the following dates. There dates have been set to tie in with the dates for the receipt of student loan payments:
|Payment date||Amount of Rent Due|
|Tenancy start||6 weeks (48 week contract) or 9 weeks (51 week contract)|
|1 October||16 weeks|
|1 February||16 weeks|
|1 May||10 weeks|
Payment terms for overseas students without UK guarantors will be agreed subject to the specific circumstances. If you don’t have a UK account when you complete the tenancy agreement (i.e. you currently live overseas), then you should make the initial payment by international bank transfer and complete a Standing Order once you have set up your UK account.
Keys will only be released once the initial payment of rent has been received in full (i.e. everyone in the house has paid).
7. What to do after signing the tenancy – Internet, phone TV etc.
Once you have signed your tenancy, we will pre-register you for Virgin Media “early bird” scheme for students. This will not commit you to taking up Virgin internet or TV services but it will mean that you are entitled to a discount if you do when you move in to the property. The start of any academic year is always a busy time of year with lots of people moving and a failure to plan ahead can mean that you have to wait for internet to be installed after you have moved in. By pre-registering by Virgin Media, your will be entitled to a discount voucher allowing you free installation if you do decide to use Virgin. You should plan to place your order for internet around 4 weeks before you plan to move in so that you can arrange for the installation on the day after you collect keys for the property.
8. Utility Suppliers
When you move in to the property, we will take readings and we will notify the relevant suppliers of electricity and gas (usually Eon) and water (Severn Trent). After you have moved in and the accounts have been set up (this process normally takes around 14 days), we advise that you speak with the suppliers to agree how you pay your bills. Utility bills are usually considerably cheaper if you arrange to pay by direct debit. In any shared house you will therefore need to agree how the bills are to be paid.
CP Walker can arrange for the utility bills to be fixed for the year (so you can budget your weekly expenses). This does not give you unlimited use but it will allow you to budget more accurately. Typically you may look to pay £15 per person per week for a bills inclusive deal (subject to the number of occupiers in the property). Ask when you submit your application if you are interested in finding out more information about a bills inclusive deal.
9. Turnaround between tenancies
Once the existing tenancy has finished, contractors will go in to the property and carry out works that have been identified. The property will also be cleaned prior to the start of the tenancy. Applicants should be aware that as part of the terms and conditions of the tenancy, a cleaning charge is made at the end of the tenancy payable from the deposit monies paid. The charge for a standard clean is £50 per tenant subject to a minimum of £100 per property.
10. The move in – collect keys and agree the Inventory
When you are ready to move in to the property, you should contact our office at least 48 hours in advance to notify us that you are coming in to collect the keys. We also advise that you check to make sure your initial instalmentS of rent haVE been received.
Keys can be collected 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 12.30pm on Saturday. Keys will only be released once we have received the initial instalment of rent in full. If you have a Joint Tenancy then this means that everyone in the house has paid. You are advised to check payments have been received before you start your journey to our office.
When or shortly after you move into the property, we will give you an Inventory & Schedule of Condition. This document records the general state of the property as at the start of the tenancy and lists the various contents that are supplied with it. You will then have a period of 7 days to check through the Inventory to make sure you are happy with it. The Inventory forms a record of the state of the property for the benefit of both parties and against which any disputes can be referred to during or at the end of the tenancy.
We will take meter readings at the start of the Tenancy and will notify the gas, electric and water suppliers. We will also notify the Local Authority. Once accounts have been set up, you should speak directly with the suppliers with any queries that you may have on any of these accounts. As these accounts will be in your name, the suppliers will not discuss any aspect of the account with CP Walker or the Landlord under data protection rules. The Local Authority will normally send you an invoice for Council Tax and you will then need to contact them direct with your Student ID to confirm your exemption to Council Tax.
If you have any further questions, please telephone (+44) 115 925 4062 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
"We were really satisfied with the service provided to us from CP Walker & Son. We had a tight deadline to sell our house, and to complicate things had tenants who sometimes restricted the access to the property for photos and viewings. CP Walker & Son, and particularly Mark Finnigan, dealt with these challenges in a professional and effective manner, providing us with support and advice while sensitively liaising with the tenants and respecting their rights, and ultimately bringing the sale through to completion. We really appreciated the integrity and good service throughout our dealings with CP Walker & Son."