When you rent your first house or flat through a student letting agent, there can be a lot to take on board. If you have never been through the student lettings process, you should be aware that there are a number of things you will need to pay for and you will be taking on an important responsibility. Your accommodation will be your home for the year so you will pay for the rent and utilities. Remember, it is very important that you look after your property well and tell us straight away if a problem arises. It is always better to sort things out in good time, rather than waiting until you have your Check Out inspection.
The government has announced that from 1 February 2016, all private landlords and agents in England will have to check new tenants have the right to be in the UK before renting out their property. ALL tenants are required to show original passports, visas and resident cards (if applicable). Without doing so will mean that the tenants will not be able to move in.
Once you have paid your administration fee of £186.00 including VAT the property is then reserved for you subject to satisfactory references being received. The admin fee covers referencing of tenants (identity, immigration and visa confirmation, financial credit checks, obtaining references from current or previous employers/landlords and any other relevant information to assess affordability) as well as contract negotiation (amending and agreeing terms (and arrange the tenancy and agreement. The Guarantor Fee is included in the set-up fee and covers credit referencing and preparing a Deed of Guarantee as part of the Tenancy Agreement.
Your head tenant will pay an eight week deposit to North Oxford Property Services one month before your tenancy start date. The deposit will need to be paid in person in the office by either card or cash payment. One of our members of staff will then register your deposit with our deposit company (My Deposits) and you will be asked to sign your deposit certificate whilst in our office. You will then be given the original copy for your safe keeping.
Your first accounts will be paid one month before your tenancy start date. Your first account will consist of your deposit and your first month’s rent (you will be sent an invoice showing this amount by email). This must be paid in the office by the head tenant one month before the start of the contract. Your first month’s rent will be an apportioned rent which means that you will pay from the day you move in until the end of the month. For the rest of your tenancy your rent will always be due on the 1st of the month. Rent is to be paid direct into North Oxford Property Services Bank by either Standing Order or Direct Debit.
Providing all your first accounts have been paid, references and guarantors are received for everyone moving into the house, we can issue the head tenant with ALL keys at 4pm on the tenancy start date. If your tenancy starts on a Saturday the head tenant will need to collect the keys before 12.30 as this is when the office closes. Should the head tenant be unavailable then you can nominate another tenant to collect the house keys however we will need this in writing beforehand.
The head tenant will be given two copies of the inventory for the house upon collecting keys. Any discrepancies that you find should be noted and then one signed copy should be given back to the office within one week for our records when we carry out our check out with you. If the inventory is not sent back within this time then it will deemed to be correct in every detail when we carry out our check out at the end of your tenancy.
You are responsible for the payment of all utilities. Once you have moved into your property you should contact your utility company to inform them of your move in date. You will also need to contact your utility companies at the end of the tenancy to give them all your final meter readings so that you can provide us with paid utility bills.
You will not need to worry about Council Tax as students are exempt however it is the responsibility of the tenants to inform the Council when you have moved into the property and that you are students. You can contact Oxford City Council on 01865 252870.
You will need to report all maintenance issues to your dedicated Property Manager the day that you are aware of them.
We are on call 24-hour call should you have a genuine emergency (07795187452).
You will have your own dedicated Property Manager for the duration of your tenancy. Your Property Manager will be the person responsible for your inspections (three times during the year) and your property checkout.
You will be sent a renewal letter in October offering you the chance to re-new your tenancy with us for the next academic year. If you decide to re-new you will need to contact the office before the deadline to book an appointment to come in and resign a tenancy agreement. If only one of you decide to resign and want to find other tenants to join you we will draw up a tenancy agreement in just your name until you have found new house-mates.
Fee’s for renewing your tenancy £93 including VAT per person
Once you have signed your tenancy agreement you are legally bound by the terms of the agreement. You landlord is under no obligation to release you from this tenancy early so you would have to find suitable replacement tenants. You will still be liable for the house (and rent) until a new tenancy agreement has been signed and satisfactory references have been received.
Early termination fee £300 including VAT per person
Should a tenant decide that they need to leave the tenancy early they will need to inform North Oxford Property Services and find a suitable replacement tenant. Once a replacement has been found ALL existing, leaving and new tenants must attend an appointment booked in the office agreed with by a NOPS member of staff.
Your Guarantor will need to be aware that they will be joint and severally liable for the tenancy. The liability will cover the rent and any other terms set out in the Tenancy Agreement in the event that any named tenant does not meet their tenancy agreement. We require your guarantor to be a home owner living in the UK and to be someone we can perform a credit check on. Should you not be able to provide us with a suitable guarantor then we will require 12 months rent in advance.
Your Landlord will retain buildings insurance on the property, however this will not cover your own personal belongings or furniture. You must therefore insure your own possessions and the policy must include personal liability and accidental damage to the Landlords possessions.
Check out Fee (tenant’s share) – £96.00 including VAT for a 1 bedroom property and a further £34.00 including VAT per extra bedroom – If the checkout is extended due to excessive wear and tear the Property Manager reserves the right to charge an additional fee of no more than £42.00 inc VAT which shall be dependent on the time required to carry out the additional work. This fee pays for the Property Manager to attend the property to undertake an updated Schedule of Condition based on the original inventory and negotiating the repayment of the security deposit(s).