Student housing agreement - is this right?

(24 Posts)
AugustRose Fri 02-Dec-16 11:30:21

DS is sorting out accommodation for next year, I have received the agreement as his guarantor. However, it states that the agreement it for 12 months from 1st July, there is no access to the house for the first 8 weeks but he still has to pay half the rent!! The first payment (£855) is due on 1st July with the next payment on 30th September.

He should have received his loan by the second payment but the first payment means everything in the summer term/summer break will be very tight. I have spoken to him and he assures me that all of the letting agents do it this way, his girlfriend's agreement with another agent is the same.

Is this how it has worked for your DC? This is our first time looking at student accommodation so I don't know what is the norm. Thanks

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SharkBaitOohHaha Fri 02-Dec-16 11:34:46

Never heard of that happening to be honest. I certainly wouldn't be signing up to that confused

Does his student union offer contract-checking services? They should be able to give the agreement a once-over and help in any adjustments.

PeteSwotatoes Fri 02-Dec-16 11:41:07

I have this arrangement with my accommodation with the option to pay full rent if I want to live in it throughout July.

MollyHuaCha Fri 02-Dec-16 11:42:09

Sounds like landlord cashing in on a local housing shortage for students. Outrageous.

RockyRoadster Fri 02-Dec-16 11:51:14

Had this in Manchester, the half rent over summer is a retainer.

oldestmumaintheworld Fri 02-Dec-16 12:18:32

This is fairly normal for student houses. If you are not happy then speak to student union housing officer.

AugustRose Fri 02-Dec-16 16:13:27

Thank you for the replies, it did seem odd to me but if it happens elsewhere then it makes me feel better about it. He's just going to have to budget very well to make the initial payments.

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BackforGood Fri 02-Dec-16 16:33:51

Yes, sadly normal.
tbf, if they didn't charge you 1/2 rent for the 3 months you don't use it in the Summer, they'd only make the rent for the other 9 months higher to cover the difference.
They look at it as 'yearly income'

DollyPlastic Fri 02-Dec-16 18:44:12

Yes, normal, the fuckers.

rightsaidfrederickII Fri 02-Dec-16 22:59:14

Half rent over the summer is normal, as a retainer. Full rent with no access is taking the piss though angry

RedHelenB Sat 03-Dec-16 08:55:38

Do they have to have guarantors? I would struggle to be one tbh.

InfiniteSheldon Sat 03-Dec-16 08:59:02

Why are they fuckers? The rent will either be higher to cover the whole year or a summer retainer you can't have an unpaid/void period every year for three months!

AtiaoftheJulii Sat 03-Dec-16 09:01:57

My dc both have 12 month contracts, full rent, full access. You might not want access over the summer, but then again you might find it handy. I'd be wondering what the landlord is doing with the house for those 8 weeks - offering short lets to make more money would be my guess, which would piss me off.

Serin Sat 03-Dec-16 09:04:14

Welcome to the world of student housing.

Sadly seems to be the norm in Wales.

DD's (nice enough) landlord has sold their house this year, the new landlord has put the rent up from £95 a week to £130 a week.

poisonedbypen Sat 03-Dec-16 09:04:40

We pay the full amount for the 12 months, I thought that was normal.

Ciutadella Sat 03-Dec-16 09:10:03

Yes redhelen, there was an interesting thread about it a while ago. In some places it is very difficult to find a private student rental without a parental guarantor. A couple of posters said they had refused and the ll dropped it - but i think in those cases some of the other students' parents had signed. You often guarantee all the liabilities, not just your own dc's - so if another student sharer doesn't pay the rent.....
it is a significant financial risk really, though i don't know how often dparents have ever been called on under a guarantee.

RedHelenB Sat 03-Dec-16 09:27:45

I suppose i ll have to trust dd chooses her housemates wisely!

AugustRose Sat 03-Dec-16 11:18:35

I'm a bit worried about being a guarantor as we are a low income family but I have to trust DS to look after his part and make sure he complains if others aren't.

He is taking a room in a house rather than a house with a group of friends so in the T&Cs it does state that I am only guaranteeing his part, not the whole house.

Serin that's awful, has she moved or is she going to continue, it would be a struggle to find that extra money. I have told DS he will need to start looking for a part time jobs after Easter to make up any shortfall.

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bojorojo Sat 03-Dec-16 22:18:28

Personally, I think choosing your flat mates is wiser. You know each other and hopefully, trust each other. My DD would have hated sharing a house with randoms she did not know and it would have lessened her university experience. We were only guarantors for her. Other parents were guarantors for their students. That seemed fair.

We paid a full year from 1st July. Access was possible but the landlord redecorated and did maintenance over the summer so it was perfect for the start of term. Yes, it is expensive to rent from 1 July. Another alternative is to wait until later and see what is available for October 1st, but in some university cities it will be next to nothing. Don't expect the student accommodation office at the university to be helpful if he is not in a student let and not with a landlord they have checked out and goes through their books.

Evalina Mon 05-Dec-16 11:33:10

A lot of student house contracts are 'joint and several', ie each tenant is jointly liable with the others for the whole rent. So for example if one tenant leaves and ceases to pay the rent, the others have to cover it (usually by renting out the room if they can).

With guarantors, you're guaranteeing your DC's liability - ie again potentially for the whole house. You'd hope that in the event of a student defaulting that the LL would pursue that student's guarantor - but if that's too difficult (eg live abroad, don't have the money etc), then they can just pick any guarantor and demand they pay.

I worked out last year that we were being asked to guarantee rent of almost £40k for DD's 6 bedroom student house.

We negotiated with the LL for a change in the terms of the Guarantor agreement - to a 'fair share' of any shortfall/damage - based on the assumption that the other tenants had paid their fair share (whether or not they had). We did the same with older DD's student house as well.

It is hassle, but if more people did it, then LLs would change the default terms rather than have to negotiate each time. I think a lot of people assume that they are only guaranteeing their DC's rent - but if the contract is Joint and Several, then your DC is committed to the whole lot, and so be implication guarantors are too.

circular Mon 05-Dec-16 13:10:31

DD in 2nd year, has 12 month (from 1st July) agreement, paid in full, full access.
No deposit, but landlord holds last months rent in advance, which was payable when they signed up last Dec/Jan.
6 in property on joint agreement, but guarantor agreement stipulates only a 6th share of rent/damages.
Given first refusal and already renewed for 3rd year.
Compared to a lot, they are finding the agents/landlords very fair, seem to have a big queue waiting for their properties.

kittykittykitty5 Thu 29-Dec-16 12:54:40

Landlords make money out of the students "holding fees" as they are non-returnable if they decide not to go ahead if the parents don't agree with the wording of the tenancy agreement.

So, if you are a greedy landlord and between January and July you can get numerous "holding fees" paid to you purely for having a crap tenancy agreement you have downloaded from the internet.

Then in about May time, when you realise that your property is still empty you then change your mind and agree to change the tenancy as you want the house full in September.

So, they are not just making rent on the property from the students. The holding fees are income as well.

I am not being cynical this is basically what is happening at every university. We need to get vocal and active about this and do something.

raspberryrippleicecream Fri 30-Dec-16 00:19:28

It isn't happening at every university. My DS1 seems very lucky. He has secured 2nd year accommodation, sharing with 2 friends. It is a student union run agency. No up front fees or guarantors. Nothing to pay until next September. It is a 42 week contract.

As far as I can gather all properties rented through the uni are like this.

scaryteacher Mon 09-Jan-17 17:41:56

Ds has a room in a house; tenancy agreement is between him and the l/l for his room. We pay 50% of monthly amount in July, then 100% August to May inclusive. L/l is accredited with the university and the local authority.

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