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Student Accommodation FAQs

So, you’re looking for your first student house and everything is a little bit overwhelming.  There’s so much to consider and loads of new jargon to wrap your head around.  What’s a deposit?  What’s a holding fee?  Do I need to pay them both?  And what’s this NLA I’ve been hearing so much about?  Don’t panic!  Sit back, relax, and check out Mistoria’s Student Accommodation FAQs…

  • What is a guarantor and why do I need one? 
  • A guarantor is a third party (usually a parent or legal guardian) who guarantees that your rent will be paid.  Your guarantor will need to sign a form to confirm that, should you fail to pay the rent, they will pay the landlord on your behalf.  Basically, they act as a safety net, since most students cannot be 100% trusted with their funds!
  • What is a deposit and will I get it back?
  • Your deposit is there to ensure that you take care of your property.  Most landlords will ask for approximately a month’s rent as a deposit, and given that the property is not damaged, you will get this money back at the end of your tenancy.  Bear this in mind during your stay and work together to keep the property in a reasonable condition – it’s a lot of money to lose for one person’s careless behaviour. Also remember that your landlord is obligated by law to place your deposit in a tenancy deposit protection (TDP) scheme. Always ask your landlord which scheme they’re using in order to make sure your money is safe.
  • What is a holding fee?
  • A holding fee guarantees that the property is yours if you want it – the landlord will stop holding viewings and it gives you some extra time between viewing the property and signing the contracts to get things in order.  However, holding fee policy differs from landlord to landlord.  Some do not accept a holding fee, while others will require one.  Some will take the holding fee amount out of your deposit, and others will consider it an additional payment.  Make sure you know where your prospective landlord stands on holding fees, especially if you’ve found a house you love.
  • Who pays the bills?
  • While some properties come with bills included, usually it is up to the students to pay.  Make sure each of you keep some money aside for bills every month, and work out a system to split the cost.  To keep your bills as low as possible, check out the efficiency rating of every house you view – the more efficient the property, the lower your bills will be.
  • What about internet or TV?
  • Again, this differs from property to property.  Remember that internet is essential for uni work, so if it’s not included, make arrangements ASAP to avoid any problems at the start of term.  Discuss with your flatmates whether or not you need a TV.  On the one hand it can encourage the group to be more sociable, but remember that a TV will require a TV license – another additional cost.
  • What’s the NLA?
  • When looking for student accommodation, you may have come across the phrase “NLA registered”, meaning that the landlord is registered with the National Landlords Assosiation and therefore more reputable.  If possible, it is always recommended that students choose an NLA registered landlord to ensure that they are protected.