FAQs and Useful Tenant Information
Frequently Asked Questions for Students
How much is the deposit?
As a standard we require £350 deposit depending on the property plus at least one guarantor. For overseas students who do not have a UK guarantor, we do have other options available.
What is a guarantor?
A guarantor is somebody, usually a family member or guardian, who will sign to guarantee your rent in the event you can’t pay it. Most people use their parents as guarantors.
If you are an international student and do not have any family or other people who could be your guarantor, you can use Housing Hand service. The company acts as your guarantor for a fee, which is different for every student/ house. Therefore, the best way to know the price of Housing Hand is to get a free quote.
Without a guarantor you must pay a full year's rent in advance or discuss it with our property managers and they can help you to find a solution!
What’s included in our rent?
The all-inclusive contracts covers the utilities, i.e., gas, electricity, water, broadband, contents insurance and a TV Licence. Some of our properties (mostly 2 bedroom houses) do not include bills.
What about caps on our gas and electricity?
On all-inclusive properties, we provide a gas and electricity allowance of between £8 and £12 per person per week (this depends on the size of the house). This is a generous cap and is more than adequate to enable you to live comfortably - so please use the facilities sensibly, e.g. no central heating excessively when it’s not needed! We’ll keep an eye on your usage and let you know if you’re close to exceeding the limit.
Is it possible to have individual agreements?
No, sorry - Our tenancies are group tenancies unless specified otherwise as we do sometimes have properties that will be able to be rented room by room. However, from approximately May of each year, we consider individual room lets for houses that have not been taken for the following academic year.
How long is the agreement?
Between 48 and 52 week agreements dependent on the property.
When do we have to start paying rent?
The first payment is due no later than the contract commencement date. The remainder of the rental payment dates and amounts depend on the rental payment plan you choose.
What are the options for paying rent?
Termly - 3 installments. This is to coincide with your student loan payments. We accept full payment of rent at the start of the year if someone does not have a UK based guarantor.
When can we move in?
We can generally be flexible with tenancy start dates, however it depends when the previous tenants move out and how much cleaning and maintenance work needs to be done.
Can we have pets at the property?
Sorry, but we do have a strict no pets policy!
Can two people share one room?
Generally, no - the rooms within the house are for single occupancy (even though the majority of the rooms have double beds!). However, you can rent most of the studios and flats as a couple.
What if I only want to rent one room and am not part of a group?
This is completely fine. Although many Landlords in Lancaster will only rent to groups of students, we have plenty of houses that we can rent room by room, not just to groups. Ideally you should view our listed Student Rooms on the website. Or check out our wide variety of studios.
What do we do about rent payments if we don't have our student finance before the tenancy starts?
This is not unusual. Let us know and we can usually take a small amount of rent when you move in and you can pay the balance for the term once you receive your funding.
What area should I rent for best access to Lancaster University buses?
All our properties are located in great areas with easy access to both Lancaster University and the University of Cumbria. Whether you choose to rent in the city centre, Bowerham or surrounding areas you are at most only a short bus journey from either of the universities. All our houses are located in very popular student areas.
How often do buses travel to the University from Lancaster?
Buses are extremely regular to and from the University, with separate service dedicated just for Lancaster University ( number 100) and the services numbers 2, 4, 40, 41 also lead to the Lancaster Uni. If you are looking to go to Cumbria Uni, it'sonly 10-15 min walk from the city centre or , alternatively, take a bus number 100 or 4 to get there. You can expect to only have to wait for a bus every 15-20 minutes. A full timetable can be viewed here.
When should I begin looking for my accommodation for the following year?
We recommend beginning your property search around November/December for finding accommodation for the following September. This period is the tradition in Lancaster and there will be a flurry of students looking for accommodation during this period. Choosing during this period will give you a greater choice of properties and therefore you are more likely to end up situated in an area of your choice.
What is the process for me to rent a house or room?
Just pick the house that you are interested in from the great selection on our website (Houses and Rooms) and give us a call and we will help you through the process. Alternatively you can tell us what you are looking for and we can give you some options which we can take you to see. We usually ask for a £350 deposit (fully refundable at the end of the tenancy) and a guarantor from each tenant. If you do not want to pay a deposit, you can opt in for a brand new alternative - NoPosit (£150 non-refundable fee).
A guarantor is normally a family member who signs the tenancy agreement as well to say they will pay the rent if you are not able to. If you don't have a guarantor, don't worry, not everyone can provide a guarantor and we can still help.
Can I live in the property over summer?
Yes - As long as no major works are planned, this is usually fine and we can give you a short-term summer period tenancy agreement.
What do I do if rent is due whilst I am away on holiday?
Rents can be paid through online banking so this usually does not present a problem. If you run into any problems please contact us and we can usually agree a solution with you.
Will my student finance cover my rent?
The maintenance loan is designed to cover accommodation and other living costs, however everyone has unique circumstances. Some students work part time alongside their studies in order to benefit from a little extra money.
Can students claim housing benefit?
Most full time students cannot claim housing benefit, although part time students usually can. The exceptions for full time students who can claim housing benefit are ones who:
- Are a single parent
- Have a partner who is also a student and one or both are responsible for a child
- Are already getting income support, income-based jobseeker’s or income-based support allowance
- Live in supported accommodation and are on universal credit
- Has a disability that qualifies for disability premium
- Receives a disabled student’s allowance for deafness
Will my student loan affect how much I receive from student housing benefit?
Yes, both your student loan and any additional earnings will be taken into account when your allowance is calculated.
Are students entitled to Tax Credits?
Tax Credits are very complicated and there are many variables depending on your situation. Therefore, we recommend you go to this site and determine your entitlements depending on your situation.
How much does it cost to live off-campus in student housing?
Living off campus can be a lot cheaper than living in halls at your university - on campus you can expect to pay upwards of £100 per week! By choosing a house off-campus you can save potentially hundreds of pounds each per year.
Where can I find people to rent student housing with?
Some good places to find other people to form a group with are: SpareRoom.co.uk and AccommodationForStudents.com, where you can post your profile and look for housemates. There are also numerous groups that are set up by students for students on social media sites such as Facebook where you can advertise that you are looking for others to share with.
What sort of rent can I expect to pay?
We charge a very competitive rent, starting from just £80 per person per week and this includes all utilities plus broadband internet and a TV license, so there are no bills for you to worry about! All of our houses are of a high standard and are professionally managed by our friendly team.
Are there any additional fees after signing a tenancy?
The Tenants Fee Act 2019 came into effect 1 June, making it now illegal to charge any additional fees to tenants when they take on a new property, or renew a contract. This means that the only thing you pay as a tenant is rent and deposit.
However there are 2 fees that could apply to you.
Change of tenancy fee - £50 per tenancy change. (If you no longer want to live in the house & already signed the contract)
Out of hours locked out fee - £60 per call-out, payable to Castlegate Security Service. (If you lost your keys or locked yourself out before 9:00 am, after 17:30 pm (16:00 on Saturdays) or on Sundays. )
Your contents covered
From 1st July 2018, we will be working in partnership with Endsleigh, the No. 1 student insurance provider, to provide some cover for the contents inside your room. You don’t need to do anything to activate this cover, but it is important for you to check and ensure that you fully understand the protection provided and whether it is sufficient for your needs. Your policy number is HH1639.
Visit Check Your Cover to:
• Check your level of cover
• Review key exclusions and limitations
• Check your policy excess
• Learn how to make a claim
• Extend and personalise your cover to protect laptops, phones and other valuables against all risks
Endsleigh knows that life can grind to a halt without your possessions, so it is worth spending a few minutes to establish whether the things that matter to you most are protected both inside and outside your room. They are the only insurance provider recommended by NUS and have been shaping their products and services around their customers’ needs for over 50 years.
Developing products built for students, Endsleigh understands that protecting and replacing gadgets quickly is hugely important to students; that’s why they will replace any lost, stolen or unrepairable gadgets within 24 hours of your claim being approved. Their cover can protect gadgets, watches, bikes and musical instruments under one policy—giving you the flexibility to build your cover to protect the things that matter to you most.
To find out more, visit Check Your Cover.
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