Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some commonly asked questions.  Click or tap on the question to reveal the answer to each question.

If you don’t find a question and its answer that would be helpful to you, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us on 01227 656210 or use our contact form here.

Getting Started

How do we go about booking a house?

Once you have decided to book a house with us, you will need to pay a small non-refundable reservation fee of £30 per person. Once this payment is made, we shall hold the house for you for 5 working days, to allow you time to prepare for signing the tenancy agreement. The reservation fee is not an extra charge, but is part of the letting fee. However, if after 5 working days the tenancy paperwork has not been completed, the house will be re-marketed.

Do I need to provide a guarantor?

Each tenant will be asked to nominate a guarantor. This person, normally a parent/s or relative over the age of 25 years and living in the UK, becomes party to the contract and will commit to guarantee your obligations under the tenancy agreement. For international students at the University of Kent, the university will usually act as your guarantor.

How do we collect the keys for the house?

When you have decided on the date you are returning to Canterbury or Gillingham, please contact us and give at least 48 hours of your intended move-in date. We shall then meet you at the house to hand over keys and explain some of the features of the house and the operation of the boiler and other appliances. If your housemates want their house keys to be left with the first person to move in, that can be done.

Alternatively you can collect the keys from us at our offices at 73 St. Dunstans Street, Canterbury, CT2 8BN, (which are near to Canterbury West railway station).

Once we’ve moved in, if we’ve got questions about bills and operating appliances around the house, what do we do?

Once you have had a chance to settle into the house, please contact us to arrange a house meeting. This is an opportunity for you to ask any questions you may have about living at the house, e.g. rubbish/recycling collection, council tax, utility bills, operation of the appliances. We ask for this meeting within the first 2 or 3 weeks of you moving into the house, so that you can get settled in before term starts.

Rent

How should we pay our rent?

Rent is paid by direct debit. You will be provided with a direct debit mandate to complete at the same time as the tenancy contract is given to you to sign and after that you need do nothing except ensure the money is in your bank account; the rent will be collected automatically on the due dates.

When is the first rent payment due?

The first payment is due at the start of your tenancy, normally 1st July.

When should we pay the rent?

Rent is payable in advance. However, you can choose whether this is paid monthly or quarterly in advance for the summer period, but thereafter it is paid termly in advance.

Are utility bills included in the rent?

Bills for gas, electricity, water supply and sewerage are not included in the rent. However, we shall set up these utility accounts on your behalf in the names of all the tenants before you move into the house so you do not need to worry about sorting out utility providers.

Bills

Once we’ve moved in, if we’ve got questions about bills and operating appliances around the house, what do we do?

Once you have had a chance to settle into the house, please contact us to arrange a house meeting. This is an opportunity for you to ask any questions you may have about living at the house, e.g. rubbish/recycling collection, council tax, utility bills, operation of the appliances. We ask for this meeting within the first 2 or 3 weeks of you moving into the house, so that you can get settled in before term starts.

Are utility bills included in the rent?

Bills for gas, electricity, water supply and sewerage are not included in the rent. However, we shall set up these utility accounts on your behalf in the names of all the tenants before you move into the house so you do not need to worry about sorting out utility providers.

How much will the utility bills be each week?

Obviously this depends in particular on how much gas and electricity you use for providing hot water, heating the house and for cooking. However, if you manage your heating by having it on a timed operation when you need it, rather than leaving it on all the time, and turn off lights when not required, you should expect to pay about £10 to £12 per person each week, based on 2012 prices.

Other Fees

Is a deposit payable for the house?

For most student houses, no deposit is required. However, when a deposit is payable it is transferred to one of the government approved scheme to hold for the duration of your tenancy. You will be given full details of the scheme and be able to access your account on line.

Do I need to pay a letting fee?

There is a non-refundable letting fee payable of £250 per person. This fee covers the costs involved in setting up and managing your tenancy, such as house viewings, production of the tenancy contract and the guarantor contract, reference checking and setting up the direct debit payment instruction for rent payments; it also covers setting up your accounts with the utility companies for gas, electric, water and sewerage, and liaising with the local council to claim your student council tax exemption; in addition, it includes the production of a ‘Condition & Inventory Report’ for your house, house check-in and subsequent house meeting with us once you have all moved in; further, it covers the maintenance of the gardens throughout the tenancy and your personal contents insurance policy with Endleigh Insurance.

Do we have to pay council tax whilst living at the house?

If you are all students, you should be exempt from paying Council Tax. You may have to produce a copy of your Student Enrolment Certificate to Canterbury City Council to prove your studentship. For most students this process can now be completed online. Please ask your course tutor for details of how to obtain your Student Enrolment Certificate.

What happens if I want to leave the house before the tenancy agreement ends?

Since the tenancy agreement is for a fixed term of one year, you will be obliged to pay your rent for the full year. However, if you can find a replacement tenant who is acceptable to your housemates, you can be released from the contract once a new tenancy agreement has been signed to include your replacement. You will incur a charge of £100 for this change.

Insurance

Will our belongings be insured whilst in the house?

When you take a tenancy at one of our houses, we will provide you with a standard contents insurance policy with Endsleigh Insurance. This is a cost free benefit to you. Since this is your personal insurance policy, you may subsequently tailor it directly with Endsleigh Insurance to ensure it meets all your requirements whilst living in our house.

Tenancy Agreement

How long does the tenancy agreement last?

The tenancy agreement is a fixed term agreement for a period of one year. Most agreements start around mid-June or on the 1st of July and end in June the following year.

What happens if I want to leave the house before the tenancy agreement ends?

Since the tenancy agreement is for a fixed term of one year, you will be obliged to pay your rent for the full year. However, if you can find a replacement tenant who is acceptable to your housemates, you can be released from the contract once a new tenancy agreement has been signed to include your replacement. You will incur a charge of £100 for this change.

What does the term ‘joint and several’ mean in the tenancy agreement?

This term binds each tenant into the tenancy agreement and its terms collectively with the group and individually. This means for example if one tenant fails to pay rent, the other tenants can become liable for that unpaid rent.

Misc

How do we collect the keys for the house?

When you have decided on the date you are returning to Canterbury or Gillingham, please contact us and give at least 48 hours of your intended move-in date. We shall then meet you at the house to hand over keys and explain some of the features of the house and the operation of the boiler and other appliances. If your housemates want their house keys to be left with the first person to move in, that can be done.

Alternatively you can collect the keys from us at our offices at 73 St. Dunstans Street, Canterbury, CT2 8BN, (which are near to Canterbury West railway station).

Is the house furnished?

All of our houses are furnished. As a minimum, each bedroom will have a bed and desk plus wardrobe and chest of drawers; in the lounge a lounge suite and usually a dining table and chairs. The kitchen will be equipped with white goods, including microwave. You will find more details on the inventory list on this site.

How can we arrange for broadband at the house?

You may wish to use a comparison website to investigate the market for the best deal for you. Take into consideration line rental as well as broadband costs, maximum line speeds and download restrictions. Take note of the contract period as many deals are for 18 months. On average it will take about 6 weeks to set up an account and activate the service, so best to do this well before you move into the house.

Are we allowed to smoke in the house?

No. You are not permitted to smoke anywhere in the house.

Are we allowed to keep pets in the house?

No, you are not permitted to keep pets in the house.

What do we do if something goes wrong whilst we are living at the house?

In the event of any problems, you should contact us straightaway. We have a team of people who are skilled to deal with most problems that can arise. Similarly, if an appliance such as the washing machine develops a fault, this will either be repaired or replaced promptly to minimise any inconvenience.

Is an inventory report provided for the house when we move in?

In most cases a Condition and Inventory Report will be given to you when you move in. This is an opportunity for you to agree with the stated condition of the house and with the items of inventory provided. You have two weeks from collecting house keys to check this report and return it to us.

Can I leave my belongings at the house over the summer holiday?

You may leave your belongings in the house after the tenancy start date. Unless you are living at the house, you will be asked to leave these packed-up and marked-up with your name in one room, so that cleaners and others trades people with work to do over the summer holiday period can work freely around the house.

If you need to leave your belongings somewhere before the tenancy starts, we can recommend suitable storage facilities nearby.