Are the Student Developments in Coventry a Good Thing or Bad Thing?

At Quarters Student Accommodation we obviously love the student population in Coventry – they keep the city alive and bring business and jobs to the region. But are all the student accommodation developments necessary when there are plenty of perfectly good rental opportunities around in smaller, classic houses?

Would you prefer to be in a prefabricated student accommodation in coventry, or simply in a homely environment renting your own home / accommodation? We think providing high quality accommodation should be a priority either way, and are committed to providing high quality homely accommodation in Coventry.

Take a look at some of the developments currently being planned by clicking the link below and have your say by commenting!

Link to Coventry Telegraphs Take on Student Developments

Is the scrapping of letting agents fees good, or bad?

Landlords rather than tenants will soon be liable for the costs of letting their rental property, so what implications does this have?

In his first Autumn Statement under May’s government, Philip Hammond announced, “We’ve seen these fees spiral despite attempts to regulate them.” He went on to say that, “Landlords appoint letting agents and landlords should meet their fees.” This has caused a bit of stir for various reasons and the debate will continue long after the legislation is implemented, but what are the implications of this for tenants?

The good points for tenants

For a long time, tenants have been ripped off by some letting agents charging them astronomical fees for what amounts to very little in return. Some letting agents charge tenants up to £300 for a reference – At Quarters Student Accommodation we have always believed in fair pricing for our referencing and credit checks, and therefore as a tenant you’ll only ever be charged £50 for an application for a property, whether you’re a group of 6 or an individual. This includes everything you need from a credit and right to rent checks, to drawing up the tenancy and checking in / out. So the good news is that prospective tenants of many agencies may be much better off and not having to fork out hundreds of pounds just for the privilege of putting a roof over their head.

Bad Points

Of course, letting agents will have to subsidize any lost income they lose from this move, and will probably result in the costs being moved to the landlord, who lets face it, also isn’t going to like it. We imagine its likely that the landlords will push up their rent to cushion the impact of any fee increase from agents.

If rents are increased this may help short term renters such as students as they wont have to pay for a reference check upfront, however the landlord will. In essence any change in costs to initially renting a property will be deferred into the rent, so any fees expected upfront now, will soon be payed over the course of the rental term.

What do you think?

With rents on the rise in the UK do you think this is a good move or a bad move from the government? Should it be a tenants responsibility to pay the fees to prove their eligibility to rent a property? Should the government create a department solely for the referencing the agents require with flat rates? Or should the government simply introduce application fee caps? Leave your comments below!!

Erasmus Students

Thinking of joining either Coventry University Erasmus or Warwick University Erasmus exchange program? We have the perfect place for you to stay in our newly refurbished Coventry student accommodation with en-suite rooms throughout! See our properties or Facebook page for more info!:

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Check out this post on all you need to know about before your Erasmus experience!!

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Call us on 02475070507!

January 2017 Erasmus Students!

January 2017 Erasmus Students! We have the perfect opportunity to help you make the most of your time in the UK with en-suite rooms available in a high quality house share- available from January 2017!

The house is located in CV1 3EP – Regent Street – 5 minute walk to the train station – 10 minute walk to Coventry University and has good bus and walking links with Warwick University. The house is also located close (but not too close!) to the lively Spon end and Earlsdon areas – infamous for having great nightlife!

The property consists of double sized en-suite bedrooms, fully furnished with double beds, wardrobes, chests of draws, bedside tables and desks. Rooms include USB charging points as well as traditional plugs.

There is a large communal double kitchen / diner on the ground floor (35 meters squared!) with brand new ovens and two sets of hob rings for use as well as all white goods included (fridges/freezers, washing machine and dishwasher) as well as individual locking cupboards for secure storage. The house also has a secure bike storage area to the rear and limited off street parking.

The house will be available from January 2017. The cost of this amazing house is £125pppw with all bills included, inclusive of high speed internet access provided to each room (not wifi). Application fees are only a £50.00 flat rate for each room!

Contact us today on 02475070507

Facebook; Quarters Student Accommodation

Email: mail@student-quarters.com

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Students Contents Insurance – Are you covered?

If you are preparing to go to university, or are already there, insurance is probably the last thing on your mind. But did you know that young people are three times more likely to be victims of burglary and that one in three university students are victims of crime each year? The figures highlight the importance of student contents insurance for your possessions. Criminals know that student properties will contain computers (generally one per room) as well as high end gadgets and phones!

Students in rented accommodation often think their contents are covered by their landlord, or even by their parents’ home insurance. Some insurers will add students to their parents’ contents policy, but it is not automatic and it might be restricted. It can also work out cheaper for students to take out their own cover.  Remember that if you share accommodation with other students, you should each take out your own contents policy.

You might think you can do without student contents cover because you don’t own any valuable possessions, but you should think again. Could you afford to replace your laptop, mobile phone or iPod if it was stolen? Research suggests that the average student now has belongings worth more than £4000!

Coventry and Warwick Landlords

During a recent conversation with a local Coventry landlord Quarters student accommodation did a cost comparison against the most popular student letting agent in the city.

The calculation shows that switching to Quarters Student Accommodation could potentially save you £900 on average each year! That’s a 7.5% increase on your yearly profits, simply by switching!

If your propertys already full for the year you can still switch your property management for the remainder of the year and save money due to our 4% management offer to landlords for the first 3 months! See the comparison run below to check the numbers!!

 

Comparison 3 bed house with a 10 month contract for £1200pcm

Fully Managed Service:

Quarters: 8% of rent collected. No VAT   £96.00 pcm

Competitor: 10% of rent collected + VAT £144.00pcm

Yearly Savings: £624.00 (includes 3 month 4%management offer)

 

Letting Fees:

Quarters: 50% of the first month’s rent – No VAT £600.00

Competitor: 50% of the first month’s rent +VAT £720.00

Yearly Savings:  £120.00

 

Full photographic inventory      

Quarters: Free – Included in the management package

Yearly Savings: £96.00

 

Management of the Deposit     

Quarters: Free – Included in the management package

Competitor: £45.00

Yearly Savings: £45.00

Total Yearly Savings by switching to Quarters Student Accommodation: £900.00

 

 

Do you understand your tenancy agreement?

What happens if you can’t pay the rent?
Don’t ignore rent arrears. You could be evicted and lose your tenancy deposit. Your landlord could get a court order to make you pay, and you could have to pay court costs too. If you have rent arrears, or have broken the terms of your tenancy agreement, your landlord can apply to the courts to have you evicted. You may have to pay court costs for this. If you have an assured shorthold tenancy, you are unlikely to win the right to stay in your home. It’s important to speak to your landlord as soon as possible if you fall behind with your rent. This gives you the chance to explain why you haven’t been able to pay and could help your case if your landlord decides to take legal action to evict you.

How can your landlord recover money that’s owed?

Whether or not you are evicted, your landlord will want to find a way to get the money you owe. There are two things your landlord can do. The first is to talk to you and come to a private arrangement about how you’ll catch up with your rent payments. The second is to take legal action against you. Your landlord could apply to the court for a money judgment. This is also known as a county court judgment or CCJ. It sets out how much you owe and how you should pay it back. You’ll have 14 days to respond to the claim. If you lose, you may have to pay court costs. Having a CCJ against you affects your ability to take out loans and get credit. It could also make it more difficult for you to rent privately in the future, especially through a letting agent.

Do you understand your contract?

A fixed contract means a fixed commitment. You are usually asked to sign a contract that commits you for a minimum of six months or a year. If you leave before the tenancy ends you still have to pay the rent. Some contracts include a ‘break clause’ which gives you the option of giving notice to leave before the end of the fixed term, otherwise you need to negotiate with your landlord if you want to leave early. Your landlord can’t take court action to evict you within the fixed term unless you have broken the terms of the tenancy agreement, for example, by having rent arrears. Your landlord will find it harder to evict you if you are an assured shorthold tenant and they have failed to protect your deposit in a tenancy deposit scheme, so always make sure your deposit has been protected.

What happens if you split up with your partner?

If you both sign a joint tenancy, you each have the right to live in the home, even if you break up. Taking on a joint tenancy means you are both responsible for paying the rent but if one of you leaves, the landlord can ask either one or both of you for the money. Whoever is left behind risks being evicted if the rent isn’t paid. If you’re intent on renting a shared property and taking a room with your partner we would recommend you each rent a room in the same shared accommodation. If anything is to happen over the term of the contract then you have somewhere to move to, if not then you’ll have lots of storage space or a study room to retreat to!

Sharing with friends or fellow students?

If you sign a joint tenancy agreement with housemates you’re all responsible for paying all of the rent. So if one of you can’t pay, the rest of you will have to find the extra money, or risk being evicted. You are all also responsible for paying gas, water, and electricity bills. If one person leaves a shared house early, yours and their responsibilities don’t end. The landlord still expects all the rent to be paid. The landlord has a legal right to pursue any one of the sharers for the whole rent payment, including the person who has left. If the whole rent isn’t paid, everyone left in the property could be evicted. It’s best to talk about the situation if anyone wants to leave. If some of you don’t want to move out, you can try to negotiate a new agreement with the landlord. Or you may be able to find someone to take on the share of the person who wants to leave, although the landlord would have to agree to this. Once you have all committed to a fixed-term tenancy agreement, one of you can’t end it on your own. A fixed-term tenancy can only be ended early if all the joint tenants agree. And your landlord must also agree the tenancy can end early (unless there is a ‘break’ clause in your tenancy agreement that allows it). Ending joint tenancies can be complicated.

What does it mean for your guarantor if things go wrong?

You may need a guarantor if you are a student renting for the first time, or you can’t prove that you can pay the rent. The guarantor has to sign a document agreeing to pay the rent if you do not. This document is legally binding and your guarantor should check what they are agreeing to cover, as it may be more than just your rent. For example, if you’re in a shared place, your guarantor may risk being held liable for your housemates’ unpaid rent. Make sure the people you’re looking to rent with are committed to staying for the full term of the agreement!

Why Landlords Should Choose Quarters Student Accommodation

As Coventry University Alumni, both the directors Gavin and Robert felt that during their time at university, we had paid good money for substandard accommodation and substandard letting practices. We decided to put things right and we now own and manage several of our own properties and treat all of our landlords properties with pride. We don’t believe in ripping off either students or landlords with outlandish application fees or management fees.
We offer a simple, honest service, for competitive rates.

We have students from both Coventry and Warwick University contacting us on a daily basis looking for rental accommodation- unfortunately we’re sold out! Our database of local landlords indicates you have a rental property in Coventry and we would love to help you make the most of your investment by helping you achieve 100% occupancy in the coming academic year!
As a small, virtual letting agent we believe we can give your investment the attention it deserves and are able to focus on getting all of our landlords 100% occupancy each year. We Let and manage a wide variety of properties in Coventry and Warwickshire exclusively to students – from bedsits to fully licensed HMO’s. Being a virtual agency we are able to offer very reasonable rates for both landlords and students and have the lowest student application fees in Coventry, making us very popular with the student population!
We’re always looking for high quality properties to advertise, so if you’ve not achieved your 100% rental potential this year or simply need some advice on your property then give us a call on 02475070507 today! If you decide to sign up to our fully managed scheme and present this letter to your agent you’ll receive 3 months half price property management – that’s only a 4% management fee! *(Offer Valid until 31 October 2016 – offer valid on the landlord’s first rental property only).

HMO’s – Houses in multiple occupation

Student Accommodation in Coventry often comprise of shared houses or flats. Many of these properties are houses in multiple occupation (HMO’s). If you live in an HMO, your landlord has extra legal responsibilities and may need a licence for the property.

There is a complex legal definition setting out what an HMO is. However, in general terms, it is a building where more than one household lives and shares facilities.

A single household is where members of the same family live together, including unmarried couples. For example, if you lived with a friend and a couple that is three households.

Students living in the following types of accommodation are likely to be living in HMOs:
A house or flat which is let to three or more people who form two or more households and who share a kitchen, bathroom or toilet
A house converted into bedsits or other forms of non self-contained accommodation, which is let to three or more people who form two or more households.

For a property to be an HMO, it has to be used only or mainly as residential accommodation. It also has to be the occupiers’ only or main home, but this includes any students undertaking a full-time course of further or higher education.

Buildings that are not HMOs

Certain buildings occupied by students, such as halls of residence, may be excepted from the definition of an HMO. Halls that are controlled and managed by an educational establishment which has signed up to an approved code of practice cannot be HMOs.

What does it mean to live in an HMO?

If you live in an HMO your landlord has to meet extra responsibilities which are in addition to their repair responsibilities. These are on:

fire and general safety – mainly the provision of properly working smoke and/or heat detectors with alarms and a safe means of escape in case of fire
water supply and drainage – these cannot be unreasonably interrupted and must be kept clean and in good repair
gas and electricity – appliances and installations must be safe, which includes arranging an annual gas safety check and having electrical installations checked at least every five years
communal areas – such as staircases, halls, corridors and entrances, must be kept in good decorative repair, clean and reasonably free from obstructions
waste disposal – there must be enough bins for rubbish and adequate means of disposing of rubbish
living accommodation – the living accommodation and any furniture supplied must be clean and in good repair.

What if your landlord isn’t meeting these standards?

If your landlord isn’t meeting these standards you could try and speak to them about it. If they don’t do anything, you could contact the local authority. It can carry out an inspection and can take enforcement action if the property:

poses a risk to your health and safety
is poorly managed
is unsuitable for the number of people who live there
should be licensed but is not.

Before deciding what to do you should check what type of tenancy you have. Many students in private rented accommodation have assured shorthold tenancies and as long as your landlord follows the proper legal process, you can be evicted quite easily.

Licensing of HMOs

Some HMOs need a licence. Licences are granted by the local authority which also has a duty to keep a register of all HMO licences in its area. The local authority can help you if you want to know if an HMO is licensed.

Which HMOs need a licence?

All larger HMOs must be licensed and this is called mandatory licensing. A HMO needs a licence if it has:

three storeys or more, and
is occupied by five or more people who form two or more households.

There is also additional licensing. This is where a local authority extends licensing to other types of HMO in its area. You can check with your local authority to see if any such conditions apply to where you live.

Before granting a licence the local authority must be satisfied that the property is suitable for a certain maximum number of people to live there, the person holding the licence and the person managing the HMO are fit and proper persons, and, the property is managed properly.

What happens if your landlord doesn’t have a licence?

If your landlord doesn’t have a licence, hasn’t applied for one or has not been temporarily exempted from licensing, then:

they can be prosecuted and fined up to £20,000
they cannot serve a section 21 notice (under the Housing Act 1988), which is the start of a legal process to evict an assured shorthold tenant
you may be able to reclaim up to twelve months’ worth of rent that you paid during the time that the HMO wasn’t licensed. This is called a rent repayment order and an application should be made to the First-tier Tribunal in England or a Residential Property Tribunal in Wales.

We hope you find this blog useful! If you’re in doubt or need some advice dont hesitate to give us a call on 02475070507 or drop us an email to mail@student-quarters.com  or visit our contact us page here