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Question

Tenancy Agreements (England) | Types of Tenancies (England) | Utilities (England)

Student Lets

13 May 2017 | 2 comments

Hello all.
I am just about to rent out a house in Preston as a student let. Slightly complicated in that I have never let to students before and one of them is my daughter. And another is her boyfriend.

So I just wanted to gather consensus from all of you that have experience with students.

Do you:
A) Usually make it a 1 year tenancy with no variations?
B) Usually make it a 1 year tenancy but with a rent discount on the last 2 months when they usually go home for the summer and are unlikely to be there?
C) Usually make it a 10 month (or similar) term but charge a retainer if they want the property for the next year?
D) Do something else entirely?

Also:
1) Do you let as bills inclusive or exclusive? If inclusive what utilities do you generally include? And how much do you reckon these average a week?
2) Do as a joint tenancy or on a per room basis?
3) Insist on a Guarantor?
4) Bill them termly, monthly, weekly or ad-hoc?

My thinking (and tell me if you think I am going wrong here) is that I will rent for a period of 1 year but let them have a discounted rent for the last couple of months provided they are not going to be living in the property over the summer hols, with rents being inclusive on bills and dependent on the room (the better rooms pay more than the smaller ones). I would like to bill them in 3 instalments (hopefully just after they have received their maintenance loans) although that may complicate the summer arrangements.

Would you do it differently? Many thanks in advance.

Answer

2 Comments

  1. guildy

    There are no right or wrong ways to do this (within reason) and most of what you ask will depend on how the market in your specific area operates. However, we make the following comments:

    • we’re not generally keen on charging rent for a period when they are not allowed to be in the property. Therefore, 10 months (or whatever the student term length is) would be preferable. You can have a separate arrangement for any retainer as long as it’s not rent
    • generally you’re better off with a single joint and several tenancy where possible. However, the market does not sometimes allow this and the students will only accept a room by room basis
    • some student landlords make the rent payable monthly in the tenancy but may receive rent termly (or monthly). Others make the actual rent termly. Again, try to find what is common in your area. Our Tenancy Builder does not cater for termly at this moment but we have a replacement front page where you can make the rent termly if you prefer – just complete the replacement page and replace it with the one produced by the builder
    • you should always insist on a guarantor. The ideal is one for the whole tenancy (if single joint and several tenancy) but in reality, student guarantors prefer to only guarantee the individual person. In that case, you can just have multiple guarantors for the single tenancy (our builder has instructions for this). If you do room by room, you can simply get a guarantor for each tenancy
    • generally students would expect all bills to be included. We’re afraid it’s impossible to say how much this will be. You will need to estimate at first and ensure your rent is high enough. The following year you should have a better idea
    • where you have 3 or more occupiers and all are not related to one another, you will have a HMO. Please read this guidance in particular. Also pay particular attention to the fire safety guide in the same series of articles. Generally, there is less to do for fire if it’s a single tenancy compared with room by room tenancies.
  2. asjeff

    Thanks guildy. Much appreciated.

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