Moving away from home to study is an exciting but sometimes apprehensive time in your life.
An important part of this process is finding somewhere to live.
The majority of landlords will ask you to sign a contract or agreement. A tenancy agreement is a legal agreement in writing that sets out the rights and responsibilities of both landlord and tenant. It will contain details such as length of agreement, the rent payable, and what is and is not allowed in the time of your stay.
If you are sharing a house then you may be asked to sign a joint tenancy or separate tenancy. Remember that if you sign a joint tenancy then you will be responsible for each other’s debts, damages and rent. If you have your own contract then, if there are any discrepancies, any dispute is between you and your landlord and should not involve your house mates.
Rent must be agreed before the contract is signed since this is a binding agreement.
You should establish the length of the notice required if you want to leave the accommodation as this applies to both parties of the agreement.
You cannot give notice during the period of the contract if no such clause has been added to the contract. If you leave before the end of the fixed term then you (or your house mates) remain liable for the remaining rent.
Ask to take the contract away so that you can study it and be sure you understand it fully.
Remember to get a copy of your contract.
It is a good idea to check on the fire precautions and find out what appliances and fire escapes are available when you are looking around potential accommodation to book.
Be aware of where fire alarms are located and fire equipment is kept
Plan and practise an escape route with your house mates
Blackpool and The Fylde College would strongly advise that you have appropriate insurance in place.
Make sure that you are covered over vacation periods, if necessary.
Most full time students will be exempt from paying Council Tax. You will be asked to produce a certificate giving evidence of your student status. This certificate is obtainable from your Student Administration Office/ Reception after you have enrolled on your course.
Students are covered by the same licensing requirements as the rest of the population. A license will be needed by a student living in halls, a bed-sit or a flat. If you live in a shared house one license is needed per house as long as you have a joint tenancy agreement. If you have separate agreements with the landlord you will need separate licenses.
There are a number of ways you can pay, including monthly, quarterly or yearly by direct debt.
For more information visit www.tvlicensing.co.uk
or telephone call T 0300 555 0286.
You will normally be required to pay a deposit to the landlord as security in case you damage the property or furnishings. It can also be used to cover unpaid bills, rent or missing items. Most landlords will ask for a sum equivalent to four weeks’ or one calendar month’s rent. The deposit should be refunded normally within 28 days after you have vacated the property, provided there are no problems with the condition of the house.
Tips to help get your deposit back at end of tenancy:
Ensure that you have a written statement from the landlord explaining what is covered by the deposit. If the landlord gives a verbal explanation, write to him/her confirming the details
Ensure that you have a receipt for any deposit paid
Ensure that you have a full inventory of furniture. Get the landlord to sign it
Take reasonable care of the house and furniture during the tenancy
Towards the end of your tenancy write to the landlord inviting him/her to inspect the property
Settle all bills
When you leave return all keys to the landlord and make a written request for the return of your deposit. Keep a copy of the letter.
TENANCY DEPOSIT PROTECTION
All deposits taken by landlords and letting agents for Assured Shorthold Tenancies in England and Wales, must be protected by a tenancy deposit protection scheme in accordance with the law.
More information about tenancy deposit protection.
Do make sure your payments are kept up to date as per your agreement with the landlord. The landlord must give you a receipt for each payment.
If an inventory is provided check it carefully and sign it only when you agree with it. You should then be given a copy.
Please discuss arrangements for visitors with the landlord before signing any contract.
12. YOUR RIGHTS
Your landlord is responsible for:
Keeping in repair the structure and exterior of the property, including drains, gutters and external pipes
Keeping in repair and proper working order the installations for the supply of water, gas, electricity and sanitation (including basins, sinks, baths, sanitary conveniences and for heating rooms and heating water)
Providing a rent book (where the rent is paid weekly)
Providing you with the landlord’s or agent’s full name and address
Providing you with a copy of the valid current Gas Safety Certificate
Allowing you to “peacefully enjoy” your accommodation, unless there is an emergency
Landlords should give prior warning of least 24 hours to the tenant when they wish to enter the property to carry out legitimate maintenance checks and/or repairs
You are responsible for:
Not damaging the property. If you do, you and your guests are responsible for the repairs
Refuse collection. Remember to put the wheelie bin out and bring it back in again as it is illegal to leave it on the street
Securing the property when you go away - lock all doors and windows!
Being reasonable about noise and parties. Weekends are better and let your neighbours know in advance
Reporting all repairs needed to the landlord (preferably in writing). The landlord’s responsibility to repair begins only when they are aware of any disrepair
Students moving to the Fleetwood area must register with a local doctor as soon as possible (and not when you become ill). The College has two G.P. Practices nearby which you may wish to contact to see if you are able to register with them. These are:
For students at Fleetwood Nautical Campus:
Mountview Practice, Dock St, Fleetwood, FY7 6HP
T 01253 951 999 (General enquiry line)
Broadway Medical Centre, Broadway, Fleetwood, FY7 8GU
T 01253 957 500 (General enquiry line)
Other Medical Services
NHS Direct – A non-emergency telephone service where medical concerns can be discussed. 111 from any landline or mobile phone free of charge.
NHS Same Day Health Centre – Fleetwood Health and Wellbeing Centre, Dock Street, Fleetwood, FY7 6HP This is available to all patients suffering with a minor
injury or minor illness. They operate by an appointment system, and ask patients to dial the 111 service to ensure that they are attending the correct service and to be allocated an appointment. The Centre is open from 8:00am - 10:00pm seven days a week
T 0300 123 1144
Services include: Outpatients, X-Ray Suite, Sexual Health Services, Community Nursing, Pharmacy, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, Children’s Services, Podiatry, Physiotherapy.
Emergency Dental Treatment - T 01253 774 350 Ideal Dental Care, 188 Dock Street, Fleetwood, FY7 6LT
Monday to Wednesday 8:45am – 5:00pm
Thursday 8:00am – 5:00pm
Friday 8:00am –1:00pm
If you have a dental emergency outside of the normal working hours – please call The Lancashire Dental Service on 0300 1234 010
Accident and Emergency cases are dealt with A+E unit Blackpool Victoria Hospital, Whinney Heys Road, Blackpool. T 01253 300 000.
IN AN EMERGENCY DIAL 999 FOR POLICE, FIRE AND/OR AMBULANCE SERVICES
This information is intended to provide some useful advice to assist students who have not experienced living in rented accommodation. Please note that this is not intended to be a comprehensive guide and should not be taken as such. If you have any questions, do contact the Careers Team who may be able to advise you further.
Whilst the College maintains a list of suitable accommodation it is YOUR responsibility to ensure that your chosen accommodation suits your own particular requirements.
Please also note that Blackpool and The Fylde College has no responsibility or influence over your individual agreement, contract or the terms and conditions of any such agreement and we strongly suggest that you take appropriate legal advice to ascertain that any contract/agreement etc. is acceptable to you and that you understand the terms and conditions of the contract being offered.
Blackpool and The Fylde College provides this information as a service to students. The College, although able to offer advice, cannot in any way take responsibility for ensuring that the accommodation meets any relevant statutory requirements.
Please remember you are entitled to the ‘quiet enjoyment’ of your accommodation, but in return you are expected to respect your neighbours’ rights to ‘quiet enjoyment’.