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RENTING TO STUDENTS

 

 

RENT


Rents vary considerably depending on the location on the property, standard and range of facilities. It may be useful to look for similar properties and view the statistics page on our website to see what other landlords charge in the area where your property is located. This will help you to price competitively.

 

Some landlords offer all inclusive rents, so all utility bills, water rates and sometimes internet costs are included in the weekly rent. You may want to offer two rent levels, one including and one excluding bills. We have found that most students prefer to have all inclusive as it’s more convenient.

 

 

INCLUDING BILLS IN THE RENT


If you do offer all inclusive you may want to consider an annual cap for the cost of bills, which should be clearly stated in the Tenancy Agreement. The amount should be fair and be based on an accurate estimate of the energy consumption for your property (see your property Energy Performance Certificate). If the tenants go over the cap, they will be required to pay the additional bill and you should provide them with a copy of the fuel bill as evidence of this.

 

Where an advert for a property is bills inclusive, the advert will clearly state in red the following message: 'inclusive utilities may be capped, please ask the landlord/agent'

 

 

DEPOSITS


You may choose to charge a deposit which is held during the tenancy period to cover any damages that may occur to the property. It is a legal requirement for all landlords to secure deposits in a Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme, and this must be done within 30 days of receipt of a deposit. Please see www.gov.uk/tenancy-deposit-protection for further information. On your property advert, you can select which deposit scheme you will use for this, where applicable.

 

If you fail to protect a deposit with one of the approved schemes within 30 days, the a tenant can apply to the county court to request their deposit is repaid to them. The court also has the discretion to request you to pay compensation to the tenant, of up to 3 times the amount of the original deposit.

 

The amount that you charge for deposit will depend on the type of accommodation you have, but a typical amount would be up to £250 per person for a shared house. It’s important to choose a deposit amount that is fair and competitive. If the deposit is too high, students may be put off.

 

The deposit must be refunded at the end of the tenancy providing the students leave the property in the same condition as it was when they moved in, accounting for fair wear and tear. It’s important that you take an inventory at the beginning and at the end of the tenancy. You may also want to take dated photographs as this will help to resolve disputes over damage to the property. If the amount of deposit to be returned is agreed by both landlord/agent and tenant, then this must be returned within 10 days of the agreement. If there is a dispute about the amount to be returned, the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) process operated by your tenancy deposit protection scheme can be used.

 

 

CHOOSING TENANTS


You are free to choose whoever you want as tenants, however discrimination against students on grounds of sexual orientation, race, creed, colour or religion is illegal and LSH will take action against anyone who contravenes this.


Landlords can only specify a preference for male or female students within their property description if the property already has tenants of one gender only.


There is always a need for accommodation for families, students with a disability and short-term lets for exchange students. If you are willing to offer you accommodation to these groups, please let us know during your application to become accredited.


LSH will not recommend individual students to landlords, neither will we recommend particular landlords and/or agents.


LSH doesn’t hold any information about students so we advise that you obtain the following details from your new tenants:

 

  • Student registration number

  • Course details

  • Home address

  • Council Tax Exemption Certificate (full time students only)

     

WHICH TENANCY AGREEMENT?


All contract arrangements are between you and the student tenants and it is important that you familiarise yourself with the legal procedures. Your solicitor will be able to give you more information.


Since February 1997, every new contract entered into is automatically an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST), unless stated otherwise. The AST is the most common form of agreement used by landlords because it is relatively easy to regain possession of the property at the end of a contract.


LSH produces a basic AST, which can be purchased by LSH accredited providers from our office.


It is possible to have a contract for less than six months but please be aware that tenants have the right to stay in a property for a minimum of six months even if a contract has been signed for a period less than that.


If you reside in the property (Homestay), an AST cannot be used as this type of accommodation is known as ‘lodgings’, therefore a License Agreement must be used. This gives the student permission to stay in the property and your tenants will be ‘excluded tenants’ from the Protection from Eviction Act. We advise that you consult your solicitor to draw up terms and conditions of a license as informal agreements may lead to disputes.

 

Furthermore, the Government has issued a model tenancy agreement and guidance to landlords on use of the tenancy agreement and the meaning of its clauses. Landlords and agents may benefit from comparing the clauses within their own tenancy agreement to the ones that are contained within the model agreement. Details can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/model-agreement-for-a-shorthold-assured-tenancy

 

More information

The student housing market in Liverpool

Renting though LSH

Making the most of your accreditation

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