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Daughter at Uni looking for house for her second year help!
35

fatbottomgirl67 · 06/02/2020 18:48

Daughter is looking for a house for second year with friends. Found one they like and are having a second viewing tomorrow. All bills, wifi and tv are included, Half rent july and Aug, Are there any questions they should be asking? Student showed them round and said landlord is a good one. Is there anything we are missing?
Tia

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Serin · 06/02/2020 19:18

Ask if they will have sole use of the house. DS's landlord moved in sn extra tenant into a loft room a few weeks into their tenancy. Luckily he was a nice lad and it worked out ok, but might not have done.
Also if they really want it, sign quickly, houses with good landlords dony hang around for long.

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TeaAndALemonTart · 06/02/2020 19:25

If you're on Facebook there's loads of help on What I Wish I Knew about university's page


www.facebook.com/groups/488235648182391/?ref=share

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BubblesBuddy · 06/02/2020 21:38

I think student recommendation is a big bonus. You should check up on the deposit scheme. They need to take the whole house and not leave a room unoccupied. My DD never had bills included so that’s possibly not a bad deal. Remember students are exempt from council tax.

She needs to ask about whether the landlord fixes things quickly. Is it via the agent or the landlords staff? Does it look well maintained? What is the kitchen and bathroom(s) like? What’s in the kitchen? Are all the bedrooms similar sized? Are they all usable? Not one the size of a cupboard or in the basement with no windows! Is it in a decent location? Is the garden usable?

Do you have to act as guarantor? Are they jointly liable for the rent? Im assuming DD knows her friends are not flaky and are not dropping out. And they will make decent flat mates? If it all looks ok, it probably is.

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BubblesBuddy · 06/02/2020 21:41

A good yardstick when DCs view a house is to say to themselves: “would my parents happily live here?” If it’s honestly felt yes, then go ahead. If it’s a “they would be horrified”, then it’s a no!

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74NewStreet · 06/02/2020 21:43

It’s student accommodation, Bubbles...

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Andrews21 · 06/02/2020 21:51

I'd say the basics- has it got heating? Are there any leaks? Is it furnished? Is there storage? Is there a desk? Is there enough room in the communal fridge? Do they have a washing machine? Are the bigger rooms more expensive? How far away is it from campus and what are the transport links like?

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BackforGood · 06/02/2020 22:10

I think student recommendation is a big bonus.

It is no advantage to the students who are currently leaving there to lie, so that is a real plus.

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AvocadoAdvocate · 06/02/2020 22:25

Make sure they have individual tenancy contracts not a joint tenancy. If they have a joint contract and one of them leaves the others will be liable to make up the rent. My daughter was in a house share of 4 and 2 decided to leave. Thankfully they didn't have a joint contract.

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fatbottomgirl67 · 07/02/2020 07:22

Thanks everyone. Really useful. I've seen the photos and it looks nice, if not a little messy. It has a well equipt kitchen, 2 fridge freezers, 2 bathrooms , 5 double bedrooms. All in all it looks 1000% better than the prison cell she's living in in halls!

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VanCleefArpels · 07/02/2020 07:37

Does it smell damp, or are the current tenants using plug in smelly things to disguise a smell?

You need to see the tenancy agreement and understand your guarantor responsibilities. Are you liable only for your child’s rent or are you jointly and severally liable for ALL tenabts’ rent? What if any information does the landlord require of you as guarantor? We’ve had two different approaches: first landlord only required a signature on a form with no examination of whether we’d actually be good for the money. Second required copy bank statements, passport, letter from employer confirming salary etc. We felt this was unnecessarily intrusive so ended up paying the rent up front meaning we did not have to stand guarantor for anyone.

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BubblesBuddy · 07/02/2020 12:33

74NewStreet: I know it’s student accommodation!!! The op said the students currently there had no issues with it - that more or less makes it a recommendation from them. Believe me, if it had leaks, poor maintenance and the heating didn’t work, the student showing them round would have said!

From what you say it sounds just right. The big angst is always maintenance. So double check on that. It’s clearly equipped for the number of students and I assume it’s in a location that works for them. Hope second viewing goes well. Very many decent flats don’t have second viewings! They are snapped up on first viewing.

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Phphion · 07/02/2020 13:24

If all bills are included, I would ask whether the landlord can control the thermostat, when they have heating and hot water, etc.

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Eve · 07/02/2020 13:27

Security - locks on windows, decent locks on doors.

Student houses are prime target for burglary - DS had his laptop stolen while he was upstairs in bed.

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BrieAndChilli · 07/02/2020 13:36

where is the heating thermostat?
My colleagues sons rented a house and the thermostat was in another tenants bedroom so a right faff as couldnt turn the heating on/off when they wanted

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VioletCharlotte · 07/02/2020 13:55

One question to ask is about rent payment and whether they can pay in instalments in line with their maintenance loan payments. Apparently many student landlords are happy to accept this, as a lot of students don't have the funds available to pay the rent for July-Sept.

Check whether the amount the landlord will pay for gas and electric is capped as this is quite common.

If you're going to be a guarantor, check the wording of the agreement to make sure you're only standing as guarantor for your child. It's quite common for you to be asked to guarantee the full rent!

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BubblesBuddy · 07/02/2020 14:17

It is important they are all students to get the council tax exemption. I would not recommend sharing with tenants the students don’t know. Although I don’t think the DD is doing that here.

There are always “odd” houses that have been converted for student occupancy and are a bit quirky. It’s always safer to have good locks but many student houses simply don’t. Not leaving expensive kit lying around is a tough lesson to learn. Bedrooms must have storage so when a lap top isn’t in use, hide it away. Students cannot expect locks on windows.

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BubblesBuddy · 07/02/2020 14:19

Often rent is due when loan is due. You might have to sub the summer months.

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fatbottomgirl67 · 08/02/2020 08:41

Thanks all. She's been back. Security very good, all need own guarantor( brilliant) so all going to sign today.
Thanks for all the advice. It's a bit of a mine field when you've never done it before

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BubblesBuddy · 08/02/2020 16:24

Sounds good.

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MrKlaw · 10/02/2020 12:04

DS looking at this too. Contract seems ok and deposit is held in an official scheme (will still get him to take photos of communal areas and his room). They do mention having a single naked person to handle the deposit which seems ok

The contract does reference a guarantor as optional and that’s the only issue I’d have - its one guarantor for the entire house and I’m not guaranteeing 3 strangers. As longs as the landlord is ok without guarantor then the rest of the contract seems ok

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Kuponut · 10/02/2020 12:48

Please please please get her to make sure it's got a gas safety certificate. We had carbon monoxide poisoning when I was a first-time undergraduate and were incredibly lucky to live to tell the tale so it's one time I turn into a complete and utter nagging pain in the arse with all the younger students on my course signing their 2nd year house rental contracts over!

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JKScot4 · 10/02/2020 12:53

Are the 5 rooms being let to your DD and friends? If not I’d be wary if it’s sharing with strangers. Ensure Gas Safety cert is up to date, smoke/carbon monoxide detectors.

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TalaxuArmiuna · 10/02/2020 12:54

Check carefully what you are signing up for as a guarantor. The fact that they ask for a guarantor for each student is not enough. In some cases effectively you as a parent have to guarantee to pay your child's flatmate's rent if they default because their own guarantor is poorer than you and you are the easiest target for the debt collectors. If the tenants are jointly and severally liable then so are you.

Some landlords will waive the requirement for being a guarantor if you pay the year's rent up front. Can you do this? It is much less risky.

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BubblesBuddy · 10/02/2020 13:18

The OP says DD is looking with friends. This is normal for university students. Not all landlords ask for guarantors for the whole house. Sometimes it’s your DCs rent only, which is reasonable. The Agent should have the necessary safety checks and I would want carbon monoxide and smoke alarms. However they are easily purchased.

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BubblesBuddy · 10/02/2020 13:20

Most students pay rent when they get their loans through. Few would pay up front for s year. What’s the advantage of that? You will lose the rent if student leaves and if you are guarantor - so don’t pay up front.

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