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Lowdown On Tenancy Agreements In The UK
Postgraduate students come across different tenancy agreements around the UK and you need to know your rights and responsibilities before you sign on the dotted line for your postgraduate accommodation.
Deposits in all parts of the UK are put into deposit protection schemes so that your landlord cannot refuse to return your deposit without good reason. You are also protected from harassment and unfair discrimination or eviction across the UK.
Tenancy agreements can be rather confusing so you do need to take the time to read them through properly. The tenancy agreements with specific student accommodation providers Fresh are very clear and easy to understand.
Here's the lowdown on tenancy agreements in the four corners of the UK.
England & Wales
Full-time postgraduate students will mostly find themselves renting with an Assured Shorthold Tenancies which can be for a fixed period of time or periodic when they rent a whole property. You might also come across Excluded Tenancies or Licences which are applicable to lodgers sharing a bathroom with their landlord. Tenancies in England and Wales are either written down or are a spoken contract. For your own peace of mind it's best to only rent from a landlord who is offering you a written contract. Some tenancy agreements might include a Break Clause which sets the minimum period, usually six months, that the landlord expects you to live in the property and the landlord cannot ask you to leave before the time period is over.
The tenancy should explain deposit amounts, how much your rent is, when you should pay your rent and when it will be reviewed. It might also contain information on if you are able to sub-let and who is responsible for minor repairs. Fresh has a comprehensive tenancy agreement for their student accommodation in England and Wales that protects their tenants and sets the standards of behaviour for their fellow students as well.
In Scotland, all tenancy agreements must be in writing and you will find two types of tenancy an Assured Tenancy and a Short Assured Tenancy. An Assured Tenancy means that you have the property for as long as you wish to live there and there are very few reasons why a landlord can ask you to leave. Postgraduate students are much more likely to rent with Short Assured Tenancies. These give you the right to remain in the property for at least six months when the landlord cannot ask you to leave. After that, you or your landlord must give one months notice to quit. If you rent a room and share facilities with your landlord, then you have a Common Law Tenancy that has fewer rights than other tenancies. Fresh provides students with fixed-term rents that assure you that you have your room or flat for the full length of your course.
In Scotland, tenancy agreements must include the name of the landlord and tenant, the amount of rent, property address and length of the lease. With a Short Assured Tenancy, the landlord is usually responsible for the repair of the house. If they are, then they are required by the Private Rented Housing Panel for the condition of the house to be of a certain standard.
In Northern Ireland, postgraduate students renting rooms in halls of residence or in a room with a family are known as licensees and have few rights. For all other tenancies, you must be given a rent book that lets you know how much rent to pay and when it's due. Unless it's specified then all tenancies are for at least six months and all tenants, other than licensees, must be given 28 days notice to quit. If your tenancy agreement doesn't say who is responsible for repairs, then it means that the tenant and landlord are jointly responsible. Fresh looks after all of the repairs and bills for their accommodation in Northern Ireland giving you peace of mind when you are renting privately.
Fresh is one of many potential private accommodation options for international postgraduate students. Other private student accommodation options are available and Postgrad.com advises you to research all your options thoroughly before making such a commitment. Postgrad.com accepts no responsibility for your choice of student accommodation and does not endorse or support Fresh. Fresh Student Living Ltd is registered in England and Wales under company number 07268209. The VAT number is 142920528.Find out more about Fresh