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Accommodation, is this standard? (Unite company)

(66 Posts)
skyblue11 Thu 14-Nov-13 21:03:43

As this is all new to us seeking advice, we are looking at Unite for DD they are private landlords and the accommodation is brand new in Huddersfield. They need a £250 deposit (which I don't think I'll ever see again according to friends!) and then after signing the contract and returning after a 2 week cooling period you are the liable for the whole year unless they don't get the grade then there are other T & C's.
Also they need £500 rent upfront in August before she moves in and before the student loan kicks in, scary stuff is this the norm?

JellicleCat Thu 14-Nov-13 22:37:01

Upfront rent is the norm, and comes as rather a shock if you don't know about it. Haven't heard about a deposit though.

FlouncingIsles Thu 14-Nov-13 22:50:04

Avoid Unite at all costs. I had some horrific exoeriences as a student with them 5 years ago.

As a first year I was stuck in a flat with 3rd years hmm
NOTHING worked
The state of my 'brand new apartment' was horrific (think stained carpets and a knackered kitchen)
Heating system died and they refused to repair it
I gave up and moved out in Feb but despite finding a replacement tenant, was still charged remainder of my rent
The bastards kept my deposit angry angry angry

rightsaidfrederick Thu 14-Nov-13 23:29:29

Unite are notoriously bad. Run, run, run away as fast as you can.

The first option should always (unless there are some very exceptional circumstances) be uni owned halls, but failing that find a less bad company...

skyblue11 Fri 15-Nov-13 08:55:37

Oh dear, and they looked great, they have just been built.
Recommended provider is 20 minutes away out in the sticks and an old mental asylum gave me the creeps. No owned accommodation, what to do?

senua Fri 15-Nov-13 09:09:23

Um, what's wrong with being 20 minutes away?
Both DC lived out, not on campus, and as long as the Halls complex is big enough - so you get enough critical mass to create a studenty vibe - then it is fine.

MrsBright Fri 15-Nov-13 09:24:36

Avoid most of these privately run 'Halls' - they are usually badly run, noisy, and fraught with problems over rent/deposits/complaints etc. They market them well and make them sound like luxury hotels but the reality is usually an enormous let down.

Go for the Uni's own Halls every time. Yes, they are usually more expensie but this is worth it if the alernative is a miserable student trying to sort out dramas with 'Unite' or whatever miles away from home in the first few weeks of a Uni term.

PS. Good place to look for rooms in existing flatshares etc - this is especially useful for last minute Unis decisions like Clearing/Insurance/Adjustment when all decent Halls accom will already have gone -

intitgrand Fri 15-Nov-13 09:33:56

DS is in a Unite flat in Leeds
The accommodation is immaculate , although he had a problem with the shower to begin with but that was fixed straight away.He just had to pay £200 deposit which is supposed to come off the final months rent -and will do because (thanks to this thread)y he will cancel the DD and pay be cheque.
The first rental payment was not due until after the student loan came in

AgathaF Fri 15-Nov-13 09:39:58

Our DS was in a Unite flat last year. They're not great. However, we did get our deposit back without any problems. Upfront rent is standard. Not sure about being liable for the whole year if they don't get the grades. Could you leave booking the accommodation until spring next year when the grades are a bit clearer?

I think it's better for them to go into halls (even those run by Unite) for the first year rather than private rented. At least they are with other first year students, and there is so much for them to adjust to in the first year, that them going into purpose built student accommodation, with other first years, in reasonably secure premises is just one less thing to be worrying about.

Onesleeptillwembley Fri 15-Nov-13 09:44:38

Dil works as a bobby in Huddersfield. Avoid the unite places. That's all I can say.

MrsBright Fri 15-Nov-13 10:09:46

There is no point in booking accomodation until you have decided a Firm/Insurance which you shouldnt do (even if you have all Offers) until at least March to guard against 'change of mind' stuff ups.

AgathaF Fri 15-Nov-13 10:16:21

Onesleep can you say why?

I agree MrsBright.

skyblue11 Fri 15-Nov-13 12:49:22

One sleep you can't say that and not back it up what am I suppossed to think?
BTW it' s 20 min away 5 miles by bus, not ideal after a night out.
I feel sick now...

chemenger Fri 15-Nov-13 14:14:53

Is there a reason why you want to organise this so early? I don't think applications for accommodation even open here until late spring, and the closing date is mid August. Is your DD absolutely sure she wants to go there? We haven't started on post-offer visits yet and many applicants change their minds about university and course choice once they have done a few of those.

MrsBranestawm Fri 15-Nov-13 14:28:09

Agree with Chemenger. Quite normal to fix up accommodation after the A2 results in August. If most students will be in the "recommended" place, then that's where your DD should be too, IMHO, because that'll be where the student vibe (as mentioned by a pp upthread) is. What's wrong with a converted asylum? Probably has lovely grounds and big rooms.

rightsaidfrederick Fri 15-Nov-13 15:04:57

Go for the uni halls - that's where all the freshers are, so she will have the social life that she presumably wants. Private halls tend to be full of internationals, postgrads and so on, and thus deathly quiet.

I lived about 20 minutes away from uni in first year and it was absolutely fine.

mumeeee Fri 15-Nov-13 15:54:09

I agree with others it is to early to book accomadation. DD3 didn't have to confirm hers until August. It is normal to ask for a deposit even uni halls to this.

creamteas Fri 15-Nov-13 16:15:29

If they are not a university recommend provider, it is probably for a very good reason.....

PeterParkerSays Fri 15-Nov-13 16:22:50

What course is your DD doing? If she's a February starter, now is a reasonable time to arrange her accommodation.

rightsaidfrederick Fri 15-Nov-13 16:43:53

I've just had a look at Storthes Hall (which I presume is what you're referring to) and it looks quite nice to me.

Blatherskite Fri 15-Nov-13 16:50:54

My Ex lived in the old mental asylum halls at Huddersfield. They were lovely. Bright, large rooms with en suites (much bigger than my shared room at another uni), a bar and shops on site. There was a really nice atmosphere too as all the freshers were together. He made loads of friends and was really happy living there. AFAIR, most the the buildings were new, it was just a few on site that used to be the asylum buildings.

Disclaimer - He and I were at Uni 96-99, things may have changed!

mumblechum1 Fri 15-Nov-13 17:25:01

DS is in a Unite Halls in Liverpool and loves it. He hasn't mentioned any problems at all. When he moved in he was sent an itinerary pointing out that there was a stain on the living room carpet and the freezer drawer was bust, which was fair enough.

His only problem is that his room's too hot and can't seem to turn the heater off.

I did pay a £250 deposit at the beginning, no idea whether that will ever reappear hmm

mumblechum1 Fri 15-Nov-13 17:27:19

btw he's in the Unite one because his Uni doesn't own any accommodation.

OP, just go and have a look at it. It's only for a year and although there may be stained carpets and leaky taps your dd will be far too busy having a fantastic time to worry about that sort of stuff!

skyblue11 Fri 15-Nov-13 17:48:13

Well, we looked at Storthes, apparently last year they were snowed in and the one very overpriced on site shop was cleared in less than 12 hours. The rooms weren't that big and the bus situation isn't ideal, there a bit out in the sticks. To confirm it a 25 min bus ride away not walking distance.
Unite on the other hand like the snow hill site was central, and had a central social courtyard and a common room, seemed better equipped, no buses and load of supermarket around.
They are just trying to sell the new flats at the saw mill site, you can pick your room and who you want to be with i.e all female 50/50 etc. The uni doesn't own any accommodation Storthes is through digs company so they're all as bad i reckon. It's all a bit new so we don't know what to do.Just feel pressured to get her what she needs and relax about it. She has had 2/4 offers through and Hudds is her first choice so when they phoned about the accom we just thought this is the norm. She really liked the unite accom room size and space. Unsure what to do now.

MrsBranestawm Fri 15-Nov-13 17:53:28

OP, who phoned about the accommodation?

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