Viewing A House
You’ve picked your housemates, you’ve spent hours on Property Pal looking up houses and you’ve finally agreed who’s getting the Ensuite. But before you’ve signed the contract, be sure you really know what you’re doing…with this handy checklist!
Does it have a smoke alarm and a fire extinguisher? Legally, all houses have to!
Do the bedroom doors have locks? You can request this before signing a contract.
Is it gas or oil? If oil, is the flue located inside the property? Is there an open fire? If so, is there a carbon monoxide alarm fitted?
Is there any visible damage to the house or its’ contents? Make sure you have a written record of the damage with photos and descriptions and agree the record with the estate agent. Doing this over email is ideal!
Does the house have a HMO (Houses of Multiple Occupancy) certificate? If 3 people or more from different families are living in the same house the house is defined as a HMO. This status relates to special legislation which affects your rights and responsibilities as tenants.
Do they have a Gas Safety Certificate provided within the last 12 months?
Look for signs of mould or damp – especially in bathrooms and near windows.
If current tenants are showing you around or are in the house ask questions!
Before Signing A Contract
Make sure you know when the contract starts (when you can move in) and ends (when you have to move out).
Make sure you have a copy which includes the name, address and contact details of your landlord.
Make sure your deposit is protected in a tenancy deposit scheme. This is a legal requirement!
Are bills included in your rent? If so, make sure this is in the contract.
Ask for an inventory/list of contents.
Read the cancellation section of the contract – is a cancellation clause included? If in doubt, ask!
For HMO properties you are entitled to a rent book.
Your tenancy agreement should always be in writing.
Whilst Living In A House
Find out when waste recycling / bin times
Pay your rent and bills on time. You could end up being fined if you don’t.
Introduce yourself to your neighbours; let them know if you are having a friends round! Keep the noise down as you will want this respect back come exam time.
Report repairs and issues to your letting agent/landlord, preferably in writing (email or text message is fine).
Take care of the property – keep it tidy, take out bins, heat and ventilate it.
Report repairs and issues to your letting agent/landlord, preferably in writing (email or text message is fine.
Your landlord must give adequate notice (usually 24 hours) before visiting the property, unless it’s an emergency. You can refuse entry if they haven’t given notice.
Your landlord is responsible for the repair of the structure and exterior of the property, the interior of the property, any heating appliances and anything else listed in the contract.
If you’re unsure about a contract, ask for a copy and bring it to your Students’ Union officers – we’re happy to help! Email your site VP below!
If you are in need of permanent or temporary accomodation SHAC housing can help you out http://www.shac.org.uk/
Advice on emergency accomodation can be obtained at http://www.simoncommunity.org/