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Student son & tenancy

(14 Posts)
RoseWei Wed 27-Feb-13 21:33:09

Desperate here .... student son and a friend have apparently taken on a rental for next year - I was very worried as the deposit is very high. He didn't the money - and neither did we. Against my strong advice, he seems to have opened up another bank acc and got himself an o/d. I said I'd speak to his new landlord and try to come to some arrangement - perhaps paying him cum my pay day. Something.

DH rang landlord today who said - this isn't a student house so DS will be paying full whack from start of June (and he'll still be paying present landlord - that goes on till the end of the Summer so there'll be a couple of months overlap). I'm used to the concept of the Summer retainer (DS got caught up in a 3 + month retainer with present room) - but this landlord implied that as this isn't a student house, DS and his friend would be paying full rent from start of June. A period where is no student loan - little prospect where we live of DS earning that much - and DH and I have other kids and a big mortgage and a modest joint income.

I don't know when DS signed an agreement - could have been a while ago because the deposit was paid in two bits - some of it a couple of weeks ago and the rest today. When DH rang, he was told that DS and his friend had just come in and paid the rest of their deposits and that was that.

This landlord had student rentals - has he seen two gullible lads and decided that this is isn't one?

DS reluctant to speak with student housing - such a struggle persuading him to go be rationale - to budget - to understand that if you sign in haste, you may repent at leisure.

I am sick with worry. Actually quite poorly now anyway but this is the last straw. We've emailed/left messages for DS to phone - he isn't. At this rate, I'll have to sell computer - take on extra jobs (and I work bloody long hours as it is) etc etc - If he bails out, he could be sued?

Just how liable is DS right now - can, if he saw fit, this agreement be rescinded? Many thanks for any advice.

CheddarGorgeous Wed 27-Feb-13 21:43:34

You need to see what he signed.

How old is he?

gotthearse Fri 01-Mar-13 04:01:39

surely he can get a job and pay his own rent! most other students do this.

ParmaViolette Fri 01-Mar-13 04:16:56

He'll need to stay in his university town and work over the summer, and pay his rent like a grown up.

My parents support me at university, hence they are always part of the decision making process when it comes to things like renting, as despite having a PT job- I never have enough funds for a 500 quid deposit due to my tiny maintenance loan.

From one student to another, your son has been an absolute moron- and you can't just bail him out, especially if you don't have the means to. The landlord may have indeed saw them as an easy way to increase his profits- but at the end of the day your son signed a 52 week contract with a huge deposit without consulting you. It's not the LL fault at all!

Our student loan is due on the 29th of April, and it's the biggest payment of the year. I suggest you demand whatever of that what you can and put it towards any rent for his new property.

ratbagcatbag Fri 01-Mar-13 04:17:42

Sorry, but this would be a case of tough loving, if he's old enough to sign the agreement he's old enough to deal with the fallout of not paying his own rent. Sorry, but you're worrying to death and he's ignoring your calls, why should you sell a computer and family items to bail him out? That's possibly detrimental to your other dcs when if he's at uni I assume a fairly standard level of competency. Definately his problem not yours.

QuiteOldGal Fri 01-Mar-13 06:24:09

I'm surprised you didn't have to sign a Guarantor agreement to pay this rent if your DS didn't. Before my DS could get his student rental I had to sign an agreement to pay his share of the rent if he didn't. If DH or I had refused to sign this document then DS would not have been able to have the student house. So if you haven't signed one of these it will be your sons problem.

greenfolder Fri 01-Mar-13 06:59:32

Either leave well alone. Or tell the landlord that you are frankly amazed that he has let to a 19 year old with insufficient income to meet the rent. But good luck to him with getting the rent from him.

RoseWei Sat 02-Mar-13 20:26:51

Thank you all very much for your comments - all read and appreciated.
Just spoken to DS who says that he is sending me Guarantor agreement forms - I said very little as I'm in the full throes of 'flu and finding it hard to talk.

Might this mean that the contract is invalid until they are signed? Told me that he hadn't read the contract before signing - and when I asked, said he had no idea whether or not he's liable for a 50% retainer for the 3.5 Summer months when he'll be at home or if it's full price. DH, who spoke briefly, to landlord thought it might be but he didn't clarify. Obviously, this needs to be done.

I totally agree - this is really his problem - and with the best will in the world, we can't bail him out if full rent it be. We don't have much in the way of job security and our absolutely priority is to pay the mortgage and all our bills - there's very little left after that.

This is obviously a tale of exploitation (landlord seeing two young, daft, panicking students), folly (DS not reading the contract before signing) but I don't want it to include weakness of my part - I can't sign a Guarantor form unless I see the contract and am happy that this is a genuine student let. At the moment, it doesn't look like one.

Anyway, thanks again, but if anyone could shed some light on this business about the Guarantor form - I'd be grateful.

CardinalRichelieu Sat 02-Mar-13 20:31:51

I don't think you signing the guarantor form has anything to do with whether the contract is valid, unless it says otherwise in the contract. However, if you refuse to sign the landlord may agree to terminate the contract. I'm not sure if you would get back the deposit though.

I have discovered that its important not show landlords that you don't have a clue, otherwise they can get quite manipulative (if they are a bit dodgy that is).

QuiteOldGal Sat 02-Mar-13 21:34:49

I think DS had to pay £100 deposit/admin fee, I know he mentioned £100 before I had seen this Guarantor form. Definitely get DS to email you everything he has got so you see what your signing for.

Make sure when you get the form that you are only liable for your DS share of the rent and not the whole house rent. DS emailed me all the contracts and he had signed them but I hadn't sent back the Guarantor form so I don't think it was valid because having this form seemed to be part of the contract.

Luckily everything was OK and I just signed it, but I don't know what would have happened if I hadn't. I think he would have just lost his £100 or they wouldn't have had a guarantor for his rent. I did find it all quite stressful as I wasn't sure how well DS had read these contracts and he had signed it and then asked me to be a guarantor afterwards.

I had said to DS I wasn't going to be liable for 5 peoples rent but luckily it was all OK so i didn't have to look any further into it.

Bluestocking Sat 02-Mar-13 21:42:19

The university's accommodation office probably won't be able to advise but the students' union at his university will have a housing advice service where he can get information and advice about his tenancy and what his legal obligations are.

BrittaPerry Sat 02-Mar-13 21:54:29

There's no suh thing as a 'student let' really. There might be different terms such as being allowed to pay termly and pay a reduced rent over summer, but that is just an optional part of a ontract that anyone could enter into. Likewise, there is nothing to stop an adult student from taking on a monthly rent. Most students in my town just get a shared house after the first year, same as other young adults.

amillionyears Sun 03-Mar-13 14:39:26

If I were you I would go to your local Citizens Advice Bureau with a full list of all your questions.

Potterer Tue 05-Mar-13 14:01:02

Basically I think you are saying that rather than being in a student let situation where he rents a room he has in effect with his mate rented the whole house?

If this is the case then sadly, if his mate defaults on the rent then they can go after both of them or just one of them, it is called jointly and severally liable (I used to be a student many years ago and I worked in Council Tax where we dealt with 2 people named on Council Tax and the legal implications and all the student let and exemptions for Council tax so saw their tenancy agreements)

Is the house just 2 bedrooms or more? Is there a chance they can sublet or not to help with the cost?

You need to see the tenancy agreement immediately and not only that but you need to wade in and contact the student housing officer.

If this Landlord has student lets but is persuading young and gullible students to take on non-student lets he may well get his knuckles rapped by the student housing officer.

And technically a "student let" is know as a HMO a House of Multi-Occupation ergo if one student leaves, the room can be let to someone else.

The reason for a retainer is obviously it retains it for them but a house full of students is exempt from Council Tax, if the tenancy only ran till June and then the new one starts in September the Landlord is then responsible for the unoccupied period for Council Tax, hence why the tenancy runs for 12 months.

Also technically in a HMO/student let they should only have a tenancy agreement for their room, not a tenancy agreement signed by them all for the house.

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