Housing

Housing & Accommodation 

Your Students’ Union is committed to helping you have the best experience in your student accommodation while you’re studying here at UCLan.

Our Advice Centre provides advice and support about any housing issues you might face.

This page includes some guidance on common issues around housing as well as some top tips to make sure you are informed and have the best experience possible. If you have any issues with your accommodation and need some advice, don’t hesitate to contact us at suadvice@uclan.ac.uk.

 

Need advice? Contact one of our Advisors! 

 

1. STOP WAIT LOOK! Don’t sign for a house too early. Wait until March to sign for accommodation for the next academic year and make sure to view different places so you get the right deal. There is a lot of housing stock in Preston and prices may even go down the longer you wait!

 

2. Make sure all tenants (the people you’re planning to live with) view the property before you sign a contract.

 

3. Use ourhelpful checklistto make sure you don’t miss anything when you view the property.

 

4. Read the contract before signing- once it’s signed, you are legally responsible to pay the rent for the agreed timeframe.

 

5.Don’t sign more than one contract- again; you would be responsible to pay the rent for the properties.

 

6. Use Studentpad to find the right property for you! This is a search engine provided by the University.

 

7. Go with a registered or accredited property wherever possible. These are likely to meet higher standards and have clear procedures if things go wrong.

 

8. Once you’ve found a place, take advantage of a free contract check from our Advice Centre

 

The Advice Centre is here to help you with your tenancy (the contract you will sign to rent the property), should you need it. We can help you understand the terms of your tenancy and ensure that your landlord is meeting their obligations.

 

Also, before you sign for a property, you can access our free contract checking service by bringing in the contract to the Advice Centre.

 

It is also important to remember your responsibilities, including:

 

Many contracts are for a fixed term of 6 or 12 months, unless there’s a “break clause” allowing you to end the agreement early. This means that once you have signed the agreement you and any guarantor you have are liable for the rent for the whole period of the agreement. The landlord does not have a legal obligation to release you from the contract if you no longer want to live there or even if you cease being a student.

 

Contracts can be joint or individual. If it’s joint, you could be jointly liable for all your housemates rent if they fail to pay on time.

 

Paying your rent on time, if you don’t you could lose your home.

 

Keep the property in a presentable condition and carry out minor work such as changing fuses and light bulbs where needed.

 

Be considerate to the neighbours, most tenancy agreements/contracts allow landlords to evict tenants for anti-social behaviour.

 

Don’t sublet the property to others.

 

All landlords and letting agents must now protect security deposits by registering them either into one of three government-approved schemes:

 

The Deoposit Protecton Service Telephone: 0844 4727 000

 

The Tenancy Deposit Scheme Telephone: 0845 226 7837

 

My Deposits Telephone: 0333 321 9401

 

Deposit protection schemes provide a free dispute resolution service and will help ensure the landlord or letting agent does not withhold your deposit unfairly, avoiding the need to take court action to get your money back. Remember if your deposit isn’t protected, they are breaking the law and you may be entitled to compensation.

 

How to ensure you get your deposit back:

 

When you move in, check through the inventory thoroughly. You have an opportunity to point out any existing damage or concerns you have so you won’t be charged later.

 

Take photos at the time of moving in and out of the property. Including any wear and tear, markings or damage.

 

Check your deposit has been paid into a protected scheme

 

Maintain the property while living there and clean it before you leave. Property left in an unreasonable state is the single biggest reason why tenants do not receive all their deposit back.

 

The Tenants Fees Act restricts the fees that Landlords can charge, so if the Landlord is asking for any additional fees, contact the Advice Centre who can check if this is one of the allowable fees.

 

All landlords/letting agents are legally required to repair your property and maintain it to a safe standard. Landlords who do not also live in the property have a legal responsibility to maintain certain repairs, including:

 

The structure and exterior of the building e.g. roof, guttering, walls, external windows and doors.

 

Heating and hot water systems.

 

Pipes, drains, sinks, baths, toilets and other sanitary fittings.

 

Electrical wiring.

 

Gas appliances including pipes, flues and ventilation.

 

What do you need to do about disrepair?

You should report all disrepair in writing to your landlord/letting agent, promptly. You could be charged if you don’t report the damage.

Take all reasonable steps to ensure you and your guests do not damage the property.

Undertake minor day-to-day maintenance, for example unblocking sinks and replacing light bulbs.

Keep the property clean, including the cooker, fridge and freezer, toilet and bath/shower area.

Protect the property during spells of absence.

In the winter ensure that the property is appropriately heated to prevent pipes from freezing.

Keep the garden and bin areas clean and tidy. All rubbish should be carefully bagged and put in the rubbish bins provided.

 

I have reported disrepair, but received no response

Send a follow-up letter or email stating that repairs are still outstanding. Depending on the nature of the disrepair, give the landlord or letting agent between 24 hours and 36 hours to respond.

If they fail to respond seek advice and guidance on further actions you could take by contacting our Advice Centre, suadvice@uclan.ac.uk

 

Important! Do not simply stop paying rent or move out of the property because the landlord or letting agent could take legal action against your for rent arrears.