Information correct as of April 2021. You are advised to contact the Students’ Union Advice Service for advice specific to your circumstances before taking any action. If you find any broken links please let us know as links may change without us being notified.
Tenancy agreements offered by landlords and letting agents for student accommodation are legally binding contracts and can be difficult to understand.
Make sure you read the contract in full and preferably take a copy away with you. Landlords and letting agents should allow you at least 24 hours to have the contract checked before signing.
Make sure you have a copy of all the contract terms. Even verbal arrangements form part of the contract. If you sign a tenancy agreement with other people (a joint and several contract), all the rights, obligations, and costs that arise from the tenancy apply to everyone named on the agreement, until the tenancy ends.
Make sure that all parties to the contract are signing simultaneously or at least before the contract is agreed. If any party backs out without signing, those named on the contract may be liable for the full costs including for those who drop out before signing!
When you sign on the dotted line you are agreeing to the full terms of this legal contract. Make sure you understand what you are signing up to and if in doubt get it checked before you sign. The Students’ Union Advice Service offers a free contract checking service.
These should be included. You will need these if you want to make contact during the tenancy or report concerns.
Confirm that the deposit will be registered with a government approved Tenancy Deposit Scheme. Check the contract includes details of the Scheme in case you need to raise a dispute at the end of the contract.
Check that your guarantor’s responsibility is limited to the amount of your rent liability and not for the whole cost of the contract.
If you are paying the bills, check which bills the tenants are responsible for. Check for any bills that are included with the contract.
Make sure the internet provision is suitable for the number of people that will be living in the property especially if you will all need to use it to work online.
If the rent includes the utility costs check that it includes all bills. Check that there are no hidden upper limits on usage. If there are, check the tariff.
Check which your letting agent is a member of. Agents are required to be members and tenants have a right to pursue complaints through this scheme in the event of a dispute.
Ensure that you are given an inventory detailing the condition of the property and its fixtures and fittings. If you are not, produce your own at the start of the tenancy. Report any damage or disrepair in writing to the landlord/letting agent. Take photos as evidence and send these to the landlord/letting agent alongside the inventory.