I have found a property on your website that I would like to view, what do I do next?
Contact us via phone, email or our contact page and let us know which property you are interested in, and when is best for you to view. If there is a large group of you, don't worry if you can't all make the viewing, we can arrange multiple viewings so everyone can see it before making a decision. If we feel that there are other properties that you may be interested in, we will ask if you would like us to add these on. Our viewings are free of charge.
How long will the viewings take?
We usually book out a time slot of 10 minutes per property. However if you are seeing multiple properties we will book extra time depending on the number of properties you are viewing. If you need to cancel a viewing, please contact the office at your earliest convenience.
What are the contract lengths?
All of our Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreements for Students are 12 month contracts. Some of our Landlords may offer shorter tenancy periods of 10 or 11 months, depending if the tenancy end date would still fall into the prime student renting period of July, August or September. If you have seen a property and would like to know if the Landlord will accept a shorter tenancy, please contact us.
We have viewed a property with you and would like to take it?
If you would like to take one of our properties we will initially require a Holding Deposit which is equivalent to no more than 1 weeks rent. This can be split between all tenants or paid by one of you. The Holding Deposit is then deductable from the first months rent. You will all be required to complete a simple application form and provide a copy of your Student ID and Driving License or Passport. Once the Holding Deposit has been paid there is nothing else to pay until a month before the tenancy start date when we will require your First Months Rent and Security Deposit. We require all Student Applicants to have a UK Guarantor.
What other funds are required?
Prior to moving into the property we require you to pay your First Months Rent (minus Holding Deposit) and Security Deposit. The Security Deposit is equivalent to one months rent + £50.00 per person. Please note, some of our Landlords will ask for funds to be paid at different dates to stated above, and some landlords ask for the rent to be paid over a different timescale (10 or 11 months) - a member of our team will inform you if this is the case at the time of signing for one of our properties.
What is a Security Deposit?
As of 6th April 2007 in England and Wales Security Deposits must be protected by a protected deposit scheme. The scheme your Landlord uses will be written into your Tenancy Agreement.
A Security Deposit is taken from each Tenant in a property. The Security Deposit is held as security for the performance of the Tenants obligations under the Tenancy Agreement and does NOT form part of any rent payments.
The Property will be inspected at the end of the tenancy and the Landlord will decide if they are going to claim for anything (common charges include cleaning, damage to furniture, damage to property etc).
What is a Guarantor?
All student Tenants will require a Guarantor. A Guarantor must live in the UK and are normally a parent or family member. The Guarantor must earn over £15,000 a year and agree to sign the Tenancy Agreement.
What type of Tenancy Agreement will I need to sign?
All our student tenancies are Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreements. The Tenancy Agreements are also joint and several.
Where there is more than one person named on a tenancy, they are 'joint and severally" responsible. This means that, jointly, the Tenants and Guarantors are liable for the payment of all rents and all liabilities falling upon the Tenants during the tenancy, as well as any breach of the Agreement. If a tenancy has a guarantee from the students' parents, any one parent guarantor will effectively be guaranteeing the whole of the rent, not just his son or daughters share.
My Landlord is withholding my deposit?
If you have moved out of your property and have not received your deposit, the lead Tenant will need to contact the deposit scheme which is protecting the deposit. Details of the scheme will be in your tenancy agreement.
What is a Lead Tenant?
One Tenant will need to agree to be the “Lead Tenant”. The role of the Lead Tenant is to action on behalf of the other Tenants and any third party when dealing with the deposit scheme in which the deposit is protected. The Lead Tenant can make enquiries or initiate disputes at the end of the tenancy.
Prescribed information for your deposit scheme will be provided with your tenancy pack when you tenancy starts with information on how to claim your deposit back.
What will be included in the property?
All student properties will include oven, hob, fridge/freezer, washing machine, sofas, bed-base and mattress, wardrobe, desks and drawers. Some Landlords do provide more appliances / furniture, however on our unmanaged properties; we do not hold a comprehensive list of items.
Students have to provide their own crockery, kitchen utensils, bedding and sheets. Some properties will have a TV included, however where there is not one included it is the tenants responsibility to organise. If a TV is included please check with us to see if the TV licence is the students or Landlords responsibility.
What do I do when I move into the property?
Keys will be available during office hours from our Jesmond office on the tenancy start date. If all Tenants are not moving in at once, one tenant can collect all sets of keys or we can keep a hold of the other Tenants keys until needed. Some Landlords like to meet their tenants to introduce themselves and welcome their Tenants to the property. If this is the case, you will be informed prior to the start date. Tenants cannot move into the property earlier then the agreed start date.
How do we pay utility bills?
If we manage the property, we will inform the services (gas and electricity supplier, water provider and council tax) that you have moved in. We will also provide the gas and electricity providers with the up to date meter readings. You will still be required to take a copy of the fully signed Tenancy Agreement and a Tax Exception Certificate from your University / College to Newcastle Civic Centre to ensure that you are not charged for council tax.
Tenants will need to organise between themselves as to how utility bills will be paid. Some tenants will open a joint account for everyone to pay into and for the bills to automatically come out of. Some tenants will choose a service each (one may take gas, another takes electricity etc) and pay for their allocated service, and organise between them who owes who money.
On properties which we do not manage some Landlords may inform the services. We recommend you check with your Landlord.
Utilities are not included in the rent (unless otherwise stated).
Do we have to pay council tax?
Students are exempt from paying council tax, however they do need to provide proof to the council. Tenants will need to get a Tax Exemption Certificate from their university and email it to council.
Do I need a television licence?
It is the tenants responsibiltiy to arrange a TV License.
How do I apply for a parking permit?
As a large area of Newcastle has permit parking restrictions, you may need to apply for a parking permit. You will need to take a copy of your Tenancy Agreement, and proof that your car is registered to your new address, to Newcastle Civic Centre where you can apply for a permit. Properties are able to apply for two residents permits and one visitors permit.
What happens if my rent is overdue?
Written into the tenancy will state that there is a charge if your rent is more then 7 days late. Please contact Rhapsody or your landlord as soon as you realise your payment has not come out of your account.