Author Topic: Student accommodation - letting agency...  (Read 2710 times)

Student accommodation - letting agency...
« on: November 24, 2017, 01:04:43 pm »
Daughter is in the process of arranging accomodn for her 2nd year, and has sent through a guarantor agreement to sign for their student accomodation (through letting agency).  Anyone been though all this?  Things to looks out for?  It looks like guarantor agreemt is mainly to act as guarantor for her rent, but also another term 'indemnify the landlord against all losses as a result of failure of tenant to comply etc...'  Also, if their rooms don't have locks, what kind of contents/damage insurance is best?
"an inordinate fondness for beetles"

Re: Student accommodation - letting agency...
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2017, 01:23:54 pm »
Daughter is in the process of arranging accomodn for her 2nd year, and has sent through a guarantor agreement to sign for their student accomodation (through letting agency).  Anyone been though all this?  Things to looks out for?  It looks like guarantor agreemt is mainly to act as guarantor for her rent, but also another term 'indemnify the landlord against all losses as a result of failure of tenant to comply etc...'  Also, if their rooms don't have locks, what kind of contents/damage insurance is best?

Also be aware that she may be deemed responsible for communal damage in shared areas

Re: Student accommodation - letting agency...
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2017, 01:37:07 pm »
I've been through it multiple times, I'm still guarantor for my daughter and son-in-law.

The main thing is to impress on your daughter that damage to furniture, fittings, carpet and paintwork has consequences. Obviously I don't know your daughter, but with some (like my step-daughter), they can be careless (thinks of the glass full of PVA glue that was spilt on floor upstairs). Incidents (like a glass full of PVA being tipped on carpet) can have a large financial consequence.

She, and you, are liable.
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Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: Student accommodation - letting agency...
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2017, 01:43:55 pm »
Also be aware that she may be deemed responsible for communal damage in shared areas

And indeed, thinking back to my time as a student, fictitious damage in shared areas.


Not that you really get a choice with such things.  You've got to live somewhere.
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Jaded

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  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Student accommodation - letting agency...
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2017, 02:05:29 pm »
Get her to take condition photos of the place when she moves in, and let the agency know. Also ask for things to be fixed - even if they don’t, there’s a record when she moved in if something being broken etc
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Re: Student accommodation - letting agency...
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2017, 04:28:26 pm »
Thanks.

I guess if another house mate damages something and doesn't own up, everyone has to pay a share.
"an inordinate fondness for beetles"

Gattopardo

  • Lord of the sith
  • Overseaing the building of the death star
Re: Student accommodation - letting agency...
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2017, 04:35:41 pm »
Get insurance, speak to your household insurers.  Do endsliegh still do student insurance?

Usually means that if the Landlord can't get money from tenant they come to you.  Also if they default on the rent.

Edit: They will probably do a credit check on you.

Re: Student accommodation - letting agency...
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2017, 07:21:59 pm »
It looks like guarantor agreemt is mainly to act as guarantor for her rent, but also another term 'indemnify the landlord against all losses as a result of failure of tenant to comply etc...

Make sure that this is an individual tenancy agreement and not a joint one as you would be liable for the rent of the other people in the house as well. Not sure how common they are though as a joint tenancy is better for the landlord.

Even if the other students have their own guarantor, in a joint tenancy agreement this does not stop you from being chased for their unpaid rent.

Another thing I wasn't happy with when my oldest son was at university and looking to share a house with 4 others was that the landlord only required 3 guarantors for the 5 tenants. That would have meant in my mind that there were two people there who could potentially leave without any consequences for them - it would be easier for the landlord to chase the guarantors for the money than the students with little or no money.

Fortunately this idea of his fell through. Subsequently when my younger son shared whilst he was at university I was relieved that he was able to have an individual tenacy agreement in place.

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2015/jan/20/student-housing-what-you-need-to-know-as-a-guarantor







Gattopardo

  • Lord of the sith
  • Overseaing the building of the death star
Re: Student accommodation - letting agency...
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2017, 09:26:23 pm »
It will be a joint one as if it is individual it would be classed as a HMO (House in multiple occupation) and need lots of modifications.

Re: Student accommodation - letting agency...
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2017, 09:38:29 pm »
It must be a joint tenancy, and apparently fewer than the five of them need to be present to sign the agreement....  It looks like we'd be a guarantor (out of unknown number of others) for the whole rent for the year.  May be this is normal, and not usually a problem.  I don't understand if less guarantors are needed than number of bedrooms - which parents get to be guarantors?  Perhaps it's important for all the students to sign the agreement at the same time?
"an inordinate fondness for beetles"

Aunt Maud

  • Le Flâneur.
Re: Student accommodation - letting agency...
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2017, 10:47:57 pm »
If you do a photographic condition report before she moves in, share it with the agency and if possible get them to sign it.

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Student accommodation - letting agency...
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2017, 11:54:26 pm »
When we acted as guarantor for daughter we had the liable for everyone’s debts bit. We asked a lawyer who said it was pretty standard. 
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Re: Student accommodation - letting agency...
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2017, 10:23:53 am »
It must be a joint tenancy, and apparently fewer than the five of them need to be present to sign the agreement....  It looks like we'd be a guarantor (out of unknown number of others) for the whole rent for the year.  May be this is normal, and not usually a problem.  I don't understand if less guarantors are needed than number of bedrooms - which parents get to be guarantors?  Perhaps it's important for all the students to sign the agreement at the same time?

It doesn't matter about the students all signing at the same time the crucial bit is that you are one of the guarantors.

In my older sons case a couple of the other parents weren't able to be guarantors for legal reasons which meant that unless I agreed to be a guarantor - effectively for their children (who my son and I had never met, as they were friends of one of the other students) then the whole thing would fall through.

This was a big issue for me and just didn't seem to be a good thing to do - the total rent for the property was £2500 per month so the consequences of it all going pear shaped were not insignificant.

Joint tenancies may be the norm (it's only great for the landlord not for you) but I felt that I was being forced in to doing something that opened me up to a whole load of risk that I had no control or influence over. I'm sure the vast majority of these house shares go on without any problems though.



Re: Student accommodation - letting agency...
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2017, 01:39:48 pm »
Thanks.   How is a 'house of multiple occupancy' different exactly?  In a friend's son's house the rooms are lockable and it seems that all the parents are guarantors.  I don't really mind being a guarantor as long as the liability load is well spread.
"an inordinate fondness for beetles"

Re: Student accommodation - letting agency...
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2017, 01:59:30 pm »
Found this:

Quote
The guarantor option is usually where a tenant does not meet one or more of the following requirements:

1   Has not lived at the present address for more than 6 months
2   Has not worked for the present employer for more than 6 months
3   Is a student
4   Is below the age of 21
5   Has a low or non-existent credit score
6   Has an income which is below a safe affordability score – usually the rent should be no more than one-third of income.

So by my calculation on a total rent of £2500 pcm, a sole guarantor would need to earn £7500 pcm!
"an inordinate fondness for beetles"

Re: Student accommodation - letting agency...
« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2017, 02:28:23 pm »
No, that's what the tenant(s) have to earn. The guarantor just needs to cover the cost of a default.
Quote from: tiermat
that's not science, it's semantics.

Re: Student accommodation - letting agency...
« Reply #16 on: November 25, 2017, 03:14:49 pm »
ah yes. 

What are the most likely liability scenarios?  Perhaps a fellow student leaving, and their share of the rent payment being missed until someone new was found.  Assuming that student who left didn't have a guarantor, I guess(?)
"an inordinate fondness for beetles"

Re: Student accommodation - letting agency...
« Reply #17 on: November 25, 2017, 05:52:45 pm »
Thanks.   How is a 'house of multiple occupancy' different exactly?  In a friend's son's house the rooms are lockable and it seems that all the parents are guarantors.  I don't really mind being a guarantor as long as the liability load is well spread.

The citizens advice website has some good info.

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/housing/renting-a-home/student-housing/students-in-private-rented-accommodation/student-housing-sharing-accommodation/

taken from the above regarding typical tenancy arrangements.

•each student in the property has their own tenancy agreement because they each have exclusive possession of one specific room while sharing other facilities such as the kitchen. In this case, each student has a sole tenancy

When my younger son shared a house in his 2nd year all the bedrooms were lockable so they had exclusive possession of one room as described above. Each person had their own room key and it was a sole tenancy as described above. Therefore I was guarantor for him only and it was of no consequence to me or him if one of the other students defaulted on their rent.

ah yes. 

What are the most likely liability scenarios?  Perhaps a fellow student leaving, and their share of the rent payment being missed until someone new was found.  Assuming that student who left didn't have a guarantor, I guess(?)

That pretty much sums it up. Let's say 2 out of the 5 leave after a month - the onus will be on the tenants left and guarantors to find new tenants as the landlord won't be bothered - he's going to get his money no matter what.

Is this going to happen or will you be faced with making up the shortfall for the next 11 months?

Remember in a joint tenancy the landlord can decide who he chases for the unpaid rent. It's possible that even though the student who left had a guarantor a situation may arise (may be their guarantor had lost their job recently) where he decides that it will be easier to get his money from you.

https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/advice/my-housemate-has-stopped-paying-their-rent-do-i-have-to-pay

Re: Student accommodation - letting agency...
« Reply #18 on: November 26, 2017, 10:00:14 am »
Thanks.  Is it a case of the larger the number of students in a joint tenancy - the more risk to individual guarantors?  If say the joint tenancy was for 8 students in a large house, would that be major alarm bells time?  I've now spoken to two friends, and both of their children had HMOs.   

Agent requires students to sign at meeting one plus admin fee, then a week to provide guarantor and cheque, or lose part of admin fee.  But it looks like if any student fails to provide a guarantor - all that happens is they lose some admin fee, but the tenants who signed and any guarantors, final number unkown, end up being liable.

edit.  in general terms, does anyone know if in a joint tenancy, according to specific terms, the liability of a guarantor can ever be only for their own son/daughter and not the whole house.    e.g. frinstance is the individual tenant's part share of the total £ is specified.
"an inordinate fondness for beetles"

Re: Student accommodation - letting agency...
« Reply #19 on: November 26, 2017, 05:31:05 pm »
Thanks.  Is it a case of the larger the number of students in a joint tenancy - the more risk to individual guarantors?  If say the joint tenancy was for 8 students in a large house, would that be major alarm bells time?

I'm not sure it's major alarm bells time but I guess the chances of someone dropping out at some stage increases. If and it might be a big if, all tenants left then did the right thing (assuming they couldn't find a new tenant) and spread the cost of the unpaid rent equally between them, then you could argue that this is better as each would pay a smaller share. It could get messy though and end up with one guarantor footing the bill. If you look on some of the Landlord forums you'll see comments about Guarantors who were clueless about their responsibilities when they signed up and were shocked when they get asked (and then legally forced) to foot the bill for another students rent so their might be some issue here if anyone like that is involved.

Agent requires students to sign at meeting one plus admin fee, then a week to provide guarantor and cheque, or lose part of admin fee.  But it looks like if any student fails to provide a guarantor - all that happens is they lose some admin fee, but the tenants who signed and any guarantors, final number unkown, end up being liable.

This is similar to what happened in my elder son's case - for all my worry though about what the other potential tenants would do, ironically it was my own son who dropped out at the last minute but before he'd even paid the admin fee. This left 4 people having I believe already signed up to rent a 5 person house (there was no meeting it was all email and scanned documents and I think he was the last one who needed to sign up). At the time they asked him to pay what would of been his share of the rent or find another tenant. I had some sympathy for them as I felt that he had let them down but he was in no position to help with either and he had no legal requirement to do so.

 
edit.  in general terms, does anyone know if in a joint tenancy, according to specific terms, the liability of a guarantor can ever be only for their own son/daughter and not the whole house.    e.g. frinstance is the individual tenant's part share of the total £ is specified.

It's possible I guess (by the way I'm no expert on these matters) but I don't know why a landlord would opt for this with a joint tenancy. The reason he wants a joint tenancy is that the whole rent is legally covered by each and everyone of the tenants and guarantors - more people to get his money from. Restricting the amount to an individuals share of the rent would surely be like a sole tenancy arrangement?

I'm guessing you may me under pressure to proceed if your daughter has set her heart on sharing with a particular group of friends.

Other options as you known are HMOs, but are there any private student halls in the area as well. This is the one in Derby where my youngest spent his 3rd year.

http://freshstudentliving.co.uk/property/darley-bank/

Total peace of mind financially with this - you pay a deposit and get it back at the end of the year as long as the room is free of damage and rent payments completed.

Re: Student accommodation - letting agency...
« Reply #20 on: November 27, 2017, 04:25:04 pm »
Thanks for this wajcgac.

Quote
I'm guessing you may me under pressure to proceed if your daughter has set her heart on sharing with a particular group of friends.

Yep  ;)
"an inordinate fondness for beetles"

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Student accommodation - letting agency...
« Reply #21 on: November 27, 2017, 04:35:16 pm »
Interesting. I'm in the same position (son has just signed for a house share with six friends for next year) and thought I'd considered most of the potential problems already but a few things have come up here that I hadn't thought of...

Re: Student accommodation - letting agency...
« Reply #22 on: December 10, 2018, 02:43:03 pm »
Thread resurrection...

Not even half way through the current tenancy, and already having to think about signing as guarantor for next academic year...   :-\

The new agreement is explicitly 'joint & several', how do the agents manage the guarantors requirement, in the absence of anything but the need for tenant/s to have a guarantor.   It's unlikely I guess, but is there any way of knowing if you are about to become the sole guarantor, due to other parents not replying?   OOI how does the 'two week cooling off' period work with joint & several' agreements, my guess is that, having signed, all tenants would have to pull out, for the remainers not to be liable... 
edit. How would an agent choose, a particular guarantor, to go after if it came to reclaiming rent arrears?  Random?  Pick one and then move through the list, depending on legal resistance?

"an inordinate fondness for beetles"

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Student accommodation - letting agency...
« Reply #23 on: December 10, 2018, 02:54:35 pm »
Pick the one most likely to pay.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Gattopardo

  • Lord of the sith
  • Overseaing the building of the death star
Re: Student accommodation - letting agency...
« Reply #24 on: December 10, 2018, 02:58:05 pm »
Does the property confirm to houses in multiple occupation?