If you missed our presentation on Contracts and Moving in, you can watch it here.

Thanks too to our guests from Student.Com, RR Properties, iQ Accommodation and Dexters for joining us and answering your questions in our Q and A. 

Private Housing - Contracts and Moving in

Your questions answered

How long are most typical contracts? Is it common for contracts to last just for the academic year or are they usually for 12 months?

Contract lengths vary, but typically they will be for at least 12 months. Providers that specialise in student accommodation or lets may offer contracts that last only for the academic year, however letting agents and private landlords are less likely to offer this. 

It may be possible to include a break clause in your contract, which would allow you to leave the property early. A typical break clause states that a landlord or tenant can give at least 2 months' notice in writing, to expire at any time after 6 months from the start of this agreement.

This would allow you to give your two-month notice once you have been in the property for 4 months, meaning you could vacate after 6 months at the earliest. However, not all agents or landlords will allow for a break clause and, if enacted, it applies to the whole property, not just individual tenants. 

If you are unsure, book an appointment with the Student Hub to discuss your contract.

What's a fair way to split rent when rooms are different sizes?

My friends have found a house we want to rent, however, the rooms are of different areas (e.g. master bedroom), what is a fair way to split rent between friends? How do you work out the ratio between are and price per week?

We touched upon this topic in our first newsletter. It will need to be discussed between you all what is fair for everyone to pay for the accommodation, and understand that everyone may have a different definition of what's fair.

How you split the rent is up to you, some may do this based on area, or you may choose to spilt based on other criteria. Online rent calculators can help give you an idea of how to split the rent fairly between rooms of differing sizes and amenities.

As well as working out a fair price per room, you'll need a way to decide who gets which room, especially if you all have similar budgets and all covet the same room.  


Can contracts for one property start at separate times?

Me and my friends are planning to rent a flat. However, my friends will only start living in the flat on October and I will start renting on July since my friends will not be in the UK over summer term. Is it possible to have a contract that start in different time (for me in July and my friends in October)?

Unfortunately, it is very unlikely that you will be able to have a contract that starts at different times as properties are typically rented out as a whole property. 

Can I find contracts now that don't start until the Autumn?

If I won't stay in London over the summer, is it possible to start the contract in the Autumn? Or would it be possible to not pay full rent for summer if the contract must be made earlier? 

Contracts will have varying start dates and these can be discussed with the landlord or agent. It is possible to find contracts which start in the September and October. If you sign a contract, you will be liable for the full rent from the contract start date. 

Can we rent out our extra room?

Can we rent out a house with an extra room and then rent that out to someone else or is that illegal? 

No, this would be categorized as subletting, which many agents and landlords would not allow. Landlords are required to know the names of all occupants residing in their property. So you would need to have written consent from the landlord if you were wanting to do this.