This covers the most F.A.Q. but if you have anything else you would like to ask me about my properties or if you need more general information about student accommodation in Plymouth just drop me a quick e-mail or give me a call.
All deposits are £250/tenant regardless of the size of room or house. In the case of 1 bedroom flats the deposit will increase to one months rent. Deposits are protected using the government approved scheme at www.mydeposits.co.uk or www.depositprotection.com
Having once been a student who had his deposit withheld for no good reason by a less than scrupulous lettings agent I can assure you I am only ever interested in what is fair and reasonable. I’m happiest when you get your deposit back in full… fact.
I find the best and fairest way of making inventories is by making a digital video of the property when the first tenant moves in. This accurately records the condition and contents of each room. It’s simple, easy to do and it saves any possible disagreements about interpretation of the word ‘good’ or ‘clean’ in a written inventory at the end of the tenancy. It is what it is, if there was a stain on a carpet or a hole in the door we’ll all know if it was there are the beginning of the tenancy just by looking at the video clip!
NO bills are included within the rents BUT PLEASE READ ON…. CONTRARY TO POPULAR BELIEF THIS IS A GOOD THING, let me explain:
If you are reasonable and not wasteful you will benefit.
Most landlords/agents who include bills add between a £10 and £15 premium/week to your rents to cover the costs. The key points they fail to tell you are that…
- This allowance is capped so if you spend more than that there will be a clause in the contract that you are liable for any overspend.
- If you spend less than that per week you don’t get any money refunded! So it is win:win for the landlord or agent.
As tenants you aren’t rewarded for being careful and not wasteful with your utilities which I don’t think is fair.
In my experience and talking to my tenants we estimate that bills for my properties come to about £6-£10/week per person. N.B. This is based upon reasonable usage… living very comfortably but without being wasteful. The properties are well insulated, double glazed with modern gas central heating and digital thermostats to help you maximise efficiency and all the utilities are metered so you will only ever pay for what you use.
So to illustrate the point if another landlord charges you £12/wk to include bills but you’re only spending £6 in reality that means you are paying £312/year more than you have to. That’s a significant hidden charge.
With my system you get rewarded for saving and you don’t get penalised for overspending.
If you are sceptical or worried about it I will happily put you in touch with the current/previous tenants of your property so you can get an unbiased opinion, ‘straight from the horses mouth.’
Importantly, don’t be worried if you haven’t had to deal with utility companies before… I do all the leg work for you and if there are any problems I am there to help. I take the initial meter readings (in your presence,) I contact the suppliers to update their records and put the bills into all your names. You pay the bills as you choose (normally online these days.) At the end of the tenancy I take meter readings and close the accounts with the suppliers. EASY!
As you are probably aware ‘full-time’ students are exempt from paying Council Tax. There are sometimes situations however where tenants are working or are on placement. I have no problem with this but in this instance the tenant(s) are responsible for paying the Council Tax. If there is only one person in the household liable for council tax they are eligible for a 25% reduction.