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Your Guide to Guarantors

salford student estate agents

When searching for your perfect student house, there’ll be many new terms and phrases you’ll hear for the first time. Renting is new territory and with it comes a whole load of new jargon to get your head around. One of them that will crop up all the time is ‘guarantors’. Before you dismiss the idea as no big deal, let us tell you a bit about the role of a guarantor…

What is a Guarantor?

A guarantor is someone who agrees to ensure that the tenant follows the terms of a tenancy and will step in to make up any shortfall if they don’t. This includes, but is not limited to, paying the rent if the tenant doesn’t. In short, if you decide to blow your student loan on an iPhone11 instead of your rent, your guarantor will have to cough up instead. Depending on the agreement, a guarantor’s liability can also include damages to the property.

A guarantor, particularly in the case of students, is often a parent or close relative of the tenant, but can be anyone that is prepared to take on the responsibility. The usual requirement for a guarantor is that they are employed, are a UK resident, have sufficient earnings to cover the tenant’s rent, or are a relative or family friend.

Why do I Need a Guarantor?

There are many different reasons tenants may be asked for a guarantor. Primarily, it’s down to their financial situation. If you have no credit history or a low credit score, are starting a new job, or are on a low salary, you’re paying rent via benefits, or if you’re a student, you’ll be asked to provide a guarantor.

Your new prospective landlord may wish to make the same checks on your guarantor as they will on you as the tenant to ensure they are ‘good for it’ and are able to pay, should they need to. Don’t underestimate the importance of a guarantor or the gravity of what you are asking them to do; you’re asking someone to lay bare their own financial circumstances, as well as be responsible for ensuring you stick to the terms of your lease.

The Process

When asking someone to be a guarantor for you, make sure they understand all that that entails. Provide them with a full copy of your tenancy agreement; don’t assume, or just ask them to sign it. In the worst case scenario, should you fall into rent arrears or cannot pay for any property damages that are your fault, you could be putting your guarantor in financial jeopardy. Be honest with your guarantor about what you’re asking of them and make the time to sit down with them and have a serious conversation about what it all means.

To make the process as easy as possible for all involved, and to build trust with your student landlord or student letting agency, following this sequence of steps will help:

  • Provide a reference for yourself as a tenant
  • Provide details and references for your guarantor
  • Send a draft, UNSIGNED, copy of the full tenancy agreement and the guarantor agreement to your chosen guarantor
  • Ask your guarantor to have their signing of the agreement witnessed, and dated
  • Send the signed agreements back to your landlord/letting agent in a timely manner
  • Sign the tenancy agreement in person, in front of the landlord or agent and ensure they do the same.

The Guarantor Agreement

Ensure the guarantor agreement includes the names of the landlord/letting agent and the tenant (you), as well as the address of the rental property.

It should also contain an explanation of exactly what the guarantor is liable for, as well as a description of the guarantor’s liability. This is especially important for student lettings. In some cases, if there is a guarantor for one individual in a joint tenancy, i.e. a shared house with a single tenancy agreement like that of a student house, then often the guarantor is also liable for the other tenants in the property, as this is a ‘joint and several liability tenancy’. You as the tenant, and your guarantor, should read the deed you are signing carefully, and ensure it is set up so that individual guarantors are liable for individual tenants.

Bolton, Liverpool and Salford Student Estate Agents

If you are unsure about any of the terminology used in your Mistoria tenancy agreement, or guarantor agreement, please make an appointment to come and see us to discuss it. We’d be happy to help you, and any prospective guarantor, to ensure everyone in the process understands their responsibilities when renting a Mistoria property. Please contact us by phoning 0800 500 3015.   

We are members of ARLA and NAEA Propertymark which means we meet higher industry standards than the law demands. Our experts undertake regular training to ensure they are up to date with best practice and complex legislative changes so they can offer you the best advice. We are also backed by a Client Money Protection scheme which guarantees your money is protected.

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‘Hutching Up’ Increasingly Popular Outside London

North West student accommodation

The concept of ‘Hutching up’, which involves people, usually young professionals, living together in smaller accommodation to meet soaring rental costs, is typically associated with the London property market. But according to Mistoria Estate Agents, the trend has now expanded to the rest of the UK, and is prevalent in cities such as Manchester, Salford, Bolton and Liverpool.

What Does Hutching Up Mean?

Across many cities in the UK, flats, houses and HMOs are filled with young people who can only afford to live independently if they share accommodation with affordable rental charges. Mistoria has seen a 17% rise in the number of young professionals in the North West renting rooms in HMOs to save money over the past year.

Tenants in the UK are now paying an average of £959 monthly rent. according to the HomeLet Rental Index for May, representing a 2.7% increase on the same month a year earlier. 

Mish Liyanage, Managing Director, comments: “Many young people struggle to rent on their own and there is certainly a growing trend of flat and house sharing amongst young professionals. Whilst students have been sharing accommodation for many years, more and more recent graduates are finding that they can’t afford to live independently. If they’ve stayed in a good quality HMO as a student, unsurprisingly graduates see no reason to change their living circumstances when faced with a huge hike in rental costs.

“We have seen lots of young professionals take on our student lets – mainly a room in an HMO, with a shared kitchen and sitting room. Our properties are finished to a very high standard and require just £80-£110 a week to rent, bills included. We are even able to offer Deposit Free Renting. For many, not having to set up electric, gas, broadband and TV accounts or pay council tax and find hundreds of pounds for a deposit and for the month’s rent, is a massive bonus. Having the luxury of being able to budget, without having fluctuating monthly bills, has all contributed to the rise of hutching.”

“The quality of HMO accommodation on the market has improved dramatically over the last few years. Young professionals are very discerning and large flat screen TVs, leather furniture, high speed broadband and en-suites are all quite standard now. Landlords can no longer cram as many people in as possible to maximise rental income.  A property with three medium/large rooms finished to a very high spec will easily generate £80-110 per week in rent, compared with four small rooms with a poor spec at just £65-75 per week.”

North West Student Accommodation

If you’re on the hunt for North West student accommodation in Liverpool, Salford or the Bolton and Walkden area for the next academic year, look no further than Mistoria Estate Agents. We can help you and your friends find the property that’s right for you, at the right price. Please get in touch with the team to find out how we can help. Can’t find what you’re looking for? Then try Student Haus or Pick My Pad

We are members of ARLA Propertymark which means we meet higher industry standards than the law demands. Our experts undertake regular training to ensure they are up to date with best practice and complex legislative changes so they can offer you the best advice. We are also backed by a Client Money Protection scheme which guarantees your money is protected.

If you are interested in purchasing an investment property, please visit the Mistoria Group website

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What is Deposit Free Renting?

salford student housing

In partnership with deposit alternative provider, Zero Deposit, Mistoria Estate Agents is now able to offer deposit free renting, making moving into your student house considerably cheaper and easier. 

How Does It Work? 

Zero deposit renting is simple, affordable and easy. Instead of paying your traditional security deposit and one month’s rent, you simply have to pay a one-off non-refundable fee of one week’s rent (a Zero Deposit Guarantee) plus a £26 admin fee. Once you’ve signed the relevant paperwork, you’re all done – it’s now time to move into your new student house and use the money you saved to treat yourself to something nice! 

At the end of your contract, if you owe any rent or you’ve damaged the property, you’ll be expected to pay to cover the costs. The Dispute Service settles all disputes over claims with their impartial arbitration process. If you’ve left your house as you found it when you moved in, you’ll have nothing to pay. 

If you decide to stay in the same house the following year, you’ll only need to pay a small admin fee to Zero Deposit when you renew your contract.   

For absolute peace of mind, you can rest assured that Zero Deposit is FCA regulated. You can find out more about the benefits Zero Deposit renting offers here and download our simple guide to deposit free renting here. 

The Traditional Security Deposit 

SInce April 2007, landlords and agents have had to protect tenant deposits in one of three government-backed tenancy deposit schemes; mydeposits, the TDS (Tenancy Deposit Scheme) and DPS (Deposit Protection Scheme). If you would prefer this traditional method, we can still cater for your needs. No deposits are held by Mistoria Estate Agents. 

Before moving in, you’ll need to pay a deposit to secure your property. Once we’ve received the deposit, we’ll make sure the property won’t be let to anyone else. As we let out the majority of our student properties on a room-by-room basis, every member of your group must pay their own deposit. This keeps you protected if one of your friends suddenly decides to leave the property without paying some of their rent. We’ll then provide you with an inventory of everything in the house and a description of the state of the property. It’s your responsibility to check that you agree with this inventory before signing it.  

At the end of the tenancy, if your house is in the state you found it in, you’ll get your full deposit back. There are a few things for which your landlord can’t deduct from your deposit, including general wear and tear and issues which they were told about but did not act on to resolve. If there are only a few scuffs and marks on the wall, your landlord cannot use your deposit to redecorate the entire room. 

If you’ve caused any damage to the property and haven’t reported it, or you’ve failed to pay rent, you’ll forfeit some or all of your deposit at the end of your contract to cover any costs. If the damage has occurred in a communal area, the cost of repairs will be divided between all tenants; if it’s in a bedroom, only that tenant will have to pay. We will always inform you if we intend to make a deduction. You have the right to appeal our decision, at which point your deposit protection scheme will work to settle any disputes. 

Any Questions?

Mistoria Estate Agents are specialists in Liverpool, Bolton and Salford student housing. If you would like to find out more about our deposit free properties please contact the team on 0800 500 3015. 

We are members of ARLA Propertymark which means we meet higher industry standards than the law demands. Our experts undertake regular training to ensure they are up to date with best practice and complex legislative changes so they can offer you the best advice. We are also backed by a Client Money Protection scheme which guarantees your money is protected.

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Take a Tour Of Mistoria Villa

Following a full renovation and high specification upgrade, we can now unveil our flagship development in Bolton: Mistoria Villa. 

Perfect for students and professionals alike, the luxury accommodation boasts 15 spacious en-suite rooms and studios, complemented by well equipped kitchens and comfortable social spaces. The stunning bedrooms, each with a unique contemporary design and finished to a superb standard, are light and airy and all come fitted with desks, chairs, wardrobes, large, comfortable beds and modern furnishings.

A communal living area has also been added, providing the perfect space to socialise, watch TV or catch up with a book. Whether you want to relax with friends or unwind on your own, Mistoria Villa has it all. 

Situated within the Trinity Gateway Zone, the property offers excellent road and rail transport links, including the A666 to Manchester and beyond and Bolton Trinity Street train station, which is just a five minute walk away. Residents can also benefit from easy access both to the bustling Town Centre, with its wide variety of shopping and leisure opportunities and the academically excellent University of Bolton. 

To make life as easy as possible for you, your rent includes all of your utility bills as well as a fibre optic WiFi connection at no extra cost.

Call the office today to speak to one of our helpful team and arrange a viewing.

Take a tour of the property:

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Your Duties in a Mistoria Student House

mistoria student house

Whether you’re attending lectures, working in the library, playing your favourite sport or meeting up with friends on socials, we know that you’ve got lots going on in your life. We understand that your responsibilities in a Mistoria student house will be the last thing on your mind. That’s why we thought we’d write this blog post, as a friendly reminder of some simple dos and don’ts… 

  1. Try and keep the property clean and tidy at all times. We’ve written a blog post in the past about creating a cleaning rota and the best products to use.  
  2. No food to be left/eaten in bedrooms – we know you do this, but don’t leave evidence of it!
  3. Don’t attach posters to the walls with Blu-Tac as it causes grease marks that are really difficult to get rid of.
  4. Put your rubbish in the correct bins and don’t let it pile up, especially in your garden or yard. This causes an unsightly mess and encourages vermin. 
  5. Keep all rooms vented to prevent condensation and damp. When you’re at home, open windows a little and use extractor fans in the bathroom when you’re showering and the kitchen when you’re cooking. 
  6. When you first moved in, you will have been shown how to top up the boiler, clean out the hoover and clean the filters in your washing machine, all things you may not have known before. With just a bit of maintenance on your part, household items will stay in effective working order.
  7. Smoking is not allowed in any of our properties. Make your Mistoria student house a nice environment for everyone and smoke outside, away from open windows and doors.
  8. Wet wipes and kitchen roll should be disposed of in a bin and not flushed down the toilet, otherwise you run the risk of causing blockages.
  9. Clean your shower regularly, removing hair from the plug and making sure mould doesn’t form. 
  10. Use boiler timers and your thermostat. This will help keep the house at a pleasant temperature and prevent pipes from freezing up in cold weather.
  11. When using the internet, be considerate of other people in your house; streaming films will slow your housemates’ connection speed down and can be really frustrating for anyone trying to work.
  12. Anti-social/irresponsible behaviour will not be tolerated. You each have equal responsibility to make your student house a safe and pleasant place to live for yourselves and your neighbours.

If you don’t follow the guidance above, the Mistoria maintenance team might have to be called out and you may be charged for the work that they do to fix a problem. 

If you have any questions please call your local Mistoria office on 0800 500 3015.

If you’re looking for a Mistoria student house in Salford, Liverpool or Bolton, please get in touch and let us help you find the perfect place to call home for the next academic year.

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How To Protect Your Student House From Burglars

student accommodation for sale salford

According to police research, students are the group most likely to be targeted by burglars in the UK, so it’s really important you make sure you do everything you can to make your property secure. We’ve written this blog post to help you take the necessary precautions to keep you and your belongings safe. 

Locks

Over 1000 student homes in Manchester are burgled every year. Shockingly, 1 in 3 burglaries occur after the students living there fail to lock their doors and windows before leaving the property. It is therefore essential that you make sure your locks are in good working order and that you use them as often as possible. Burglars want easy access to a property, so by making their lives more difficult, you’ll dramatically reduce the chance of a break-in. If you can, you should also lock your bedroom door when you go out. That way, if one of your housemates forgets to lock their window, burglars won’t be able to steal your belongings too. 

Even if you are in the property, you should lock the doors and windows in the rooms which you’re not using. This is especially important if you are out in the garden as you may not hear someone breaking in. In the unlikely event that it’s hot outside, make sure you lock your windows at night. 

If you have any broken locks or if you feel additional locks are required in your property, notify the Mistoria maintenance team immediately and we will come and help. 

In the Garden

If you have gates that lead into your garden, keep them locked. You should also move wheelie bins away from the house so that would-be burglars cannot use them to climb into the property through an accessible window. On bin collection day, move your bins back into your garden or onto your drive; if they are left out on the pavement, your property will look unoccupied and burglars are more likely to strike. 

Keeping Valuables Safe

Another way to prevent burglaries is to make sure your valuables are hidden out of sight. Opportunist thieves may strike if they notice a laptop in the window within easy reach. When you leave your house for the day, you should therefore hide your valuables in drawers. The effect of having your computer stolen will not just be financial though – it will probably have all of your essays and research on it too and losing those could be disastrous for your academic career. 

Furthermore, if you have just purchased a new piece of tech, tear up the box and put it in your recycling bin. Don’t leave it on show next to the bins or in the window, as that will make it obvious to thieves that there is something worth stealing in your property.

Going out

If you plan to have a big night out and everyone in the house will be out, order a taxi to come and pick you up at the end of the road. That way, it won’t be as clear which house is the empty one to anyone who might be watching. The same should be done when you leave your house at the end of the term. 

You should also purchase a light timer so that when you go out it looks like you’re still in. These are fairly inexpensive and can be bought from supermarkets and DIY stores. If it looks like your house is occupied, thieves will be less likely to attempt to burgle the property. 

When you do go home for the holidays, bring all of your valuables with you. The longer a burglary goes unreported, the less likely you’ll be to recover your stolen items; this could be a number of weeks if you’re on holiday. Therefore, take similar precautions to those listed above when you move out over Christmas or Easter; use timers, make sure everything is locked up and make sure the outside of your house is well kept – don’t let rubbish build up in your front garden as unkempt properties often appear less secure. 

Get Insurance

Sometimes, no amount of preparation can stop your house being burgled. That’s why you need to ensure that you purchase contents insurance for your property as soon as you move in. You might think it’s cheaper to take the risk and not pay for insurance, but if your property is burgled, the cost of replacing all of your stolen items can be crippling.

You should also register all of your valuables on the Immobilise website, where you can record the serial number, make and model of your items. If they are recovered by the police, officers will check this online database to try and return your items to you.  

Further Information

If you require more advice or you are concerned about securing your property, get in contact with the team; we’re always happy to help. We’ve also produced advice for landlords on securing their properties, which can be found here. If you are looking for student accommodation for sale, Salford based Mistoria Estate Agents have a range of properties available. 

 

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ARLA Accreditation Success

propertymark protected

We are delighted to announce that, after three months of hard work, five members of our team have achieved ARLA Membership (MARLA) status. Congratulations go to Mish, Tanya, April, Julie and Daniella, who each successfully passed four exams after their extensive Level 3 training programme on both property management and sales. The four units covered; Health and Safety, Security and General Law; Legal Aspects of Letting and Management; Residential Property Letting Practice; and Residential Property Management Practice.  

Why You Should Use an ARLA Propertymark Protected Letting Agent

When you let your property, you want to know that those to whom you entrust the management of the process know what they’re doing and know how to manage the issues which regularly arise. By choosing a company such as Mistoria, who have voluntarily chosen to become regulated by ARLA, you can rest easy knowing that they are committed to raising standards within the industry and providing the best possible service to you. 

ARLA Propertymark Protected agents offer a highly professional service and have the ability to manage your property portfolio with a high degree of skill. We work to higher standards than the law demands to ensure the best possible experience for our landlords. 

But there are also advantages for tenants. By choosing to be regulated by ARLA, Propertymark Protected companies commit themselves to helping the tenancy run smoothly and hassle free. For example, any maintenance issues which may arise will be resolved quickly and efficiently. If you want to avoid a terrible agent who does not care for your needs and who may not follow the law, choose an ARLA Propertymark Protected agent. 

The Propertymark Protected Offering

All agents who are recognised as Propertymark Protected are backed by a Client Money Protection scheme, are members of an independent redress scheme which has been approved by the Government, attend regular training courses to ensure continued professional development, are informed of the law and new legislation to ensure they remain compliant, submit financial records to Propertymark and adhere to a nationally recognised code of practice. As a result, their service is as transparent as possible and all they do is subjected to review by an external body. 

Further Qualifications

Other members of the Mistoria team are now also working their way towards NAEA Membership status. The in-depth training programme requires great effort on their part, but will be worth it in the end!  We’ll let you know how they’re getting on in the new year. In the meantime, if you have any questions, contact us

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Budgeting As A Student

best student accommodation salford

The best day of term for every student is when that all important student loan lands in their bank account. But making that money last can be really tough when you’re trying to juggle the costs of going out, doing the food shopping and buying textbooks. Sow how do you live on a budget during your time at university? We thought we’d write this blog post to provide some guidance.

Create a Budget

Unsurprisingly, the most important part of living on a budget is to come up with a plan of how much you can spend each week. If you’ve never budgeted before, you might find that calculating living costs is quite tough, so talk to whoever pays the bills in your household.

To work out how much money is available to you and to prevent yourself going into your overdraft, divide the amount of money in your bank account after your student loan has dropped and your parents have added some funds (though we know that not everyone’s parents can do this) and divide it by the number of weeks in the term. If you’re prone to overspending on nights out, it might be a good idea to open another bank account where you keep most of your money and just transfer over the amount you need each week.

When you make your plan, be aware that the most important thing you need to budget for is your food bill and your rent. If you’re in a Mistoria house, you can rest assured knowing that the rent you pay includes bills, so you don’t have to spend time worrying about any extra costs. You then need to think about how much you’ll spend on nights out and other social events with friends. Remember that if you go to a university in a big city like Liverpool or Manchester, the price of a night out will be higher than you’re used to. 

If your costs for the first term are higher than anticipated (and they probably will be, what with buying textbooks, joining societies and buying bits and pieces to make your house more like a home) you’ll need to make allowances for that in the following term and cut back somewhere. 

Eating Cheaply

A great way to save money is to shop for food as cheaply as you can. Certain shops like Aldi are well known for having really low prices, but if you prefer to shop elsewhere, look for own brand products as they’re usually considerably cheaper than the brands you know. You should also look at the price per gram shown on shop labels. You’ll often find that something that initially looks like the cheaper option is misleading and that another choice will actually save you money. 

Meal Planning 

When you go food shopping, you should have a weekly meal plan in place and stick to it. If you know exactly what you want, you won’t be tempted to buy any extra stuff you don’t need. When it comes to actually preparing your meals, buy and cook in bulk. Try and prepare four meals worth of food in one go and freeze what you don’t eat. That way, you’ll create less waste and save money at the same time. 

Track What You Buy

When you’ve got money in your bank account, it can be hard not to spend it on impulse purchases. Before buying something though, ask yourself whether you really need it, or whether that brand new t-shirt will just end up at the back of the cupboard with all the others you bought and thought you’d wear. When you do buy something, it’s a good idea to track your spending. You could even go as far as making an Excel spreadsheet to do this. You can then see where you’ve spent your money and if you you realise you’ve been spending a bit too much, you can see where to cut back.           

Get a Student Discount Card

For some great savings, you should definitely get a TOTUM card. You can use it to get more than 200 discounts at some of your favourite  brands, both in-store and online. You can get one for just £32 for three years. 

Travelling by train in the UK can be cripplingly expensive, so it’s just as well you can get a 16-25 Railcard, which gives you a third off rail travel. Whilst you can buy one for £70 for three years, you can also get one for free if you open a student bank account with Santander.  

Renting a House with Mistoria 

Did you know that you can live in a high quality student home without breaking the bank? If you’re on the hunt for some of the best student accommodation in Salford come and see what Mistoria Estate Agents has to offer. Speak to a member of our team to discuss your needs.

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What You Need To Do Before Going Home For Christmas

student houses salford

It’s not long now before you’ll be going home for the Christmas holidays, but before you head off, there’s a few things you need to do. Luckily, we’ve put together this checklist to help. 

Book Your Travel

We all know how expensive British train travel is, so if you haven’t booked your tickets yet, you need to do so as soon as possible. To save money, be flexible with the date you want to travel and book outside of peak times. If there’s the option, try and get a reserved seat. Remember that everyone will be going home at the same time and you really don’t want to be left standing up for the whole journey home! You should also try to get hold of a 16-25 railcard, especially if you’re planning to travel the length and breadth of the country regularly, as you’ll get a third off the price of your journey. You can also look online to find the best split route tickets. With a little bit of work, you’ll find that a journey made in two parts is often cheaper than a direct trip, even if you follow the same route. Don’t fancy parting with all that money? If there’s no rush to get home, consider taking a National Express coach instead.   

Finish Your Work

You probably won’t have time to get absolutely all your work finished by the end of term, but you should still have a good crack at it. At home, you might not have access to a library as good as your University’s and you don’t want to end up getting stuck unable to do any research for that all-important essay. If you get a good chunk of work out of the way, you won’t have it hanging over you and you’ll be able to spend more time relaxing and eating way too many mince pies!

On a similar note, return all the library books to that you don’t need over the holidays. You don’t want to come back to university in January realising you’ve ended up racking hundreds of pounds worth of fines because you couldn’t be bothered making the trek over to the library.  

Host a House Christmas

There’s nothing better than getting all your friends over for a big Christmas party. Get everyone to cook together (that way you’ll be able to disguise how bad of a chef you are), have a go at Secret Santa and play some Christmas games… or just get drunk. If you put up Christmas lights, make sure you don’t overload the plug sockets.

Tidy Your Room

Tidying your room might be the last thing you want to do when you’re full of festive cheer, but you’ll thank yourself when you come back in January. If you don’t clear up, you might come back to find that mice have moved into the house, or that the pizza you drunkenly ordered and forgot about has gone mouldy. Take the opportunity to recycle everything you can and if you’ve discovered that you have far too many clothes that you don’t plan to wear ever again consider donating them to the local charity shop.

Only Pack The Essentials

Remember that you’ll only be heading home for a weeks weeks maximum, so you won’t need to bring your whole wardrobe back with you. Just make sure you have enough for the time you’ll be home and maybe pack some special outfits for Christmas parties. You’ll thank yourself later when you’re getting on the train and see everyone else that’s packed too much struggling to drag their suitcases across the platform. 

You should bring home any valuables you have though. Burglars target student properties when they’re vacant over the holidays, so make sure there’s nothing there for them to take.  

Do Your Christmas Shopping 

If you’ve not started Christmas shopping yet, what are you waiting for?! If you’re in a city like Manchester or Liverpool with their huge shopping districts, there’s plenty of choice and something for every budget. Go out with your friends and make a day of it, and use the opportunity to discover some new areas of the city. If the hustle and bustle of high street Christmas shopping isn’t for you, get your online orders in now – you don’t want to end up ordering a load of fantastic presents only for them not to turn up by Christmas because you’ve left it too late. Get them delivered to your home address so that you don’t have to lug them through the train station or ram them into your already stuffed suitcase. 

Take Down Your Christmas Decorations

When you get back in January, you’ll probably end up getting hit with the post-holiday blues and seeing Christmas decorations up will make the feelings so much worse. Take them down before you head home and most importantly, unplug any lights you’ve put up, to prevent a fire while you’re away. 

Lock Up

Right before you and your friends leave your property, make sure you lock all the doors and windows in your house. If your bedroom doors have locks, make use of these too. That way, if someone does break in, they’ll only be able to access the communal areas of the property. You should also unplug all the electrical devices in your house that don’t need to be on so you don’t end up getting hit with a massive utility bill when you get back from the holidays. You should also set your heating to 7-10 degrees. This will ensure that your pipes don’t freeze while you’re away and should also stop condensation forming and causing damp. 

Look For a House For Next Year

If you’ve not found a house for next year, it’s probably a good time to start looking. Get a group of friends together and begin to have a look at what’s available. If you’d like some advice about renting student houses, Salford, Liverpool and Bolton based Mistoria Estate Agents are here to help. Speak to a member of the team now. 

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Do I Need a TV Licence?

salford student lets

We often get asked whether students need a TV licence for their house and it seems like there’s a lot of misinformation out there. We’ve written this blog post to break down when you need one and when you can do without. 

What is the TV Licence?

You’ll need a TV licence if you want to watch live TV, or watch or download TV programmes using iPlayer. The fee is used to pay for every aspect of the BBC’s service offering, from TV programming to podcasts and weather forecasts. Even if you spend your time watching the likes of ITV and Channel 4, you still probably use a BBC service; in a recent survey, 92% of respondents said they used at least one BBC service a week.   

If you never watch live TV and never use iPlayer, you do not need to pay the licence fee. If that’s the case, you need to let TV Licencing know. You can do that here

However, if you do need the licence but don’t pay, you could be fined more than £1000 if an enforcement officer visits your house. This includes confirming that you have a licence when asked on the iPlayer app, even if you do not.

How Much Does It Cost?

The TV licence fee this year is £154.50. That may seem high, but it’s actually reasonable given the amount of quality TV you get for your money. The cost rises with inflation each year. Sadly, there’s no discount if you’re a student, but if you’re in a shared student house, signed under a joint tenancy agreement, you only need one licence. You can then save money by equally dividing the cost of the licence between you and your friends.

If you only need the licence during term time, you may be entitled to a partial refund. You’ll have to apply for this on the TV Licencing website and provide proof of your term dates. You’ll be able to get a refund if there’s still at least a full month left on your licence. 

How Do I Pay?

The easiest way to pay your licence fee is as a one-off payment online via debit or credit card. You can also pay in installments, via cheque, by post, or via PayPoint services at most supermarkets and corner shops.  

Do I Have To Pay?

We’ve got some great news! As part of our ‘bills inclusive’ package, the TV licence is provided free of charge by Mistoria! 

We provide high quality Liverpool, Bolton and Salford student lets. Speak to our friendly team now to secure a house for next year.