Guide for student tenants

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  • Applying for a tenancy
  • How do I book a viewing?

    You can book viewings in the following ways:

    1. Through the topproperty-services.com website. We list every single house on the website and properties are removed as soon as they are let, leading to an up to date list of houses. You can book either through the diary system, automatically entering the appointment, or by asking us for more information. We will then book you into a slot convenient to you.

    2. Via phoning us and booking in a viewing.

    Note: We always prefer appointments to be booked in online. You can add in the properties you most like, and at a time convenient to you. All available slots are shown, so you know someone will be available for that time. Once you book that slot, no-one else can.
  • How do I apply?

    Its easy!

    You can apply for a tenancy in the Apply for a Tenancy area of our website.

    The process is a basic process of submit tenancy details (including house you are applying for!) and making payment. This is all available on the Apply for a Tenancy area linked above.

  • What do you charge?

    We make an application fee charge of £80 (including VAT) per student tenant. This covers all processing of your application.

    There is also a payment of £200 per tenant for your tenancy deposit. In certain circumstances you may be asked to pay a slightly higher deposit of £300. This is often in the case of overseas tenants who cannot obtain a UK based guarantor.

    If you are reserving for an additional student year there is a refundable £50 reservation fee per tenant - this is refunded as soon as the paperwork for your renewal is completed. Application fees for renewal still apply but are discounted to £50 inc VAT.

    Please note that deposits are part refundable if the application is cancelled by you within 28 days of applying, but are non refundable if the application is not completed within 28 days and we or you cancel the application.
  • Do I need a guarantor?

    For student tenancies we always require guarantors.

    We are aware that in certain circumstances you may be unable to obtain one - this is for example overseas students. In this cases we may ask for six or more months rent upfront. However please speak to us and we will see what is most suitable for your circumstances.

    Guarantors need to be based in the UK (eg working or living in the UK) and meet income criteria. This is all detailed on your tenancy application pack.
  • What is the criteria for guarantors?

    For student houses we require a guarantor who is:

    • Resident in the United Kingdom
    • in employment
    • is a homeowner
    • and has a minimum gross annual income of £14000 (subject to rent level being guaranteed).

    The guarantor is someone who is willing to pay your rent if you are unable to. They should seek legal advice before entering into any guarantee
  • I've applied. What happens next?

    Once you have applied online and made your deposit and application fee payment we will draw up the guarantor and contract paperwork.

    The guarantor paperwork will be passed to you to enable you to get it completed by your guarantor.

    We will then credit check the guarantors and perform our checks to ensure they meet our criteria.

    Once that is done we will ask you to come to our office and sign the tenancy. In certain situations - for example if you are overseas - we will send the contracts out for electronic signing.
  • My rent isn't right on the contract!

    If your rent doesn't seem to work out on the contract, it's normally because you are working the monthly rent out based on a four week month.

    For example, £75 per week looks like it should be £300 per month (based on four weeks a month), but its actually closer to £325 per month.

    To work out the rent, multiply the weekly rent by 52 (weeks), then divide by 12 (months). Or, for a quicker way to do it, multiply the weekly rent by 4.333.

    If we have made a mistake please let us know so we can amend the contract.
  • Do you charge half rent over summer?

    We charge a retainer which is equivalent to 50% of a normal full rent, for the months of July and August. Your first rental payment which will include this retainer will be due on the 1st July. If you do move in during the July/August period (circumstances allowing) full rent will be due from the date you move in.
  • What documents do I need to give you?

    For all student tenancies we require the following: Tenants: Proof of ID (driving license, passport, etc) Guarantor: Proof of ID (driving license, passport, etc) Proof of residence Proof of salary/benefits to cover affordability in case of default in rent payments Additionally, from 1st February 2016 we are legally required to prove you have a right to reside in the UK, either as a permanent right (most UK and EU nationals) or a limited right to reside. Full details are available on the government guidance here and here
  • Moving in to my house
  • When can I move in?

    Providing all paperwork has been returned for all members of your group, and contracts have been signed, we can schedule a move in date.

    Typically move ins are scheduled for the 1st September. However if you have a specific need to move in early (eg, if you are staying in Liverpool or your course doesn't follow the usual dates), this can be arranged.

    We would need to know as early as possible if this is the case. We generally check all houses out on the 1st July each year, so we will need to book in any maintenance work, cleaning etc for this date if you need to move in early. Some disruption is likely if you wish to move in on these dates, however this is unavoidable and we will keep any disruption to a minimum where possible.
  • Can I store my belongings in the property over summer?

    You can store your items in the property over the summer months. However please bear in mind that work may be done in the property over the summer months so items are stored at your risk - we strongly recommend you obtain insurance for your belongings.
  • Moving out of my house
  • What is the last date I can move out by?

    The last date you can move out is the 30th June.

    We often have groups moving in or moving belongings in on the 1st July, so need to know for sure that we will have the house back by this date.

    . We always issue a "Section 21" notice in April that notifies you of the move out date - this is to protect the landlords position and is nothing to worry about - it just informs you that the tenancy will end on the June 30th and you need to vacate on that day at the latest.
  • What else do I need to do?

    Before moving out you must return the property to it's move-in condition. There will be an allowance for fair wear and tear, however the property must be cleaned to the same standard it was when you moved in.
  • Getting my deposit back
  • How do I get my deposit back?

    As part of our checkout process at the end of the tenancy we perform a closing inspection/checkout on the property.

    This includes any defects in the property for the landlords attention, as well as any areas where damage has occurred. We will note if it appears to be beyond normal wear and tear.

    The landlord will consider the report, and decide if any charges need to be made. For bills inclusive contracts the landlord will also look at energy consumption to ensure you have not exceeded your inclusive allowance.

    We will then seek your agreement for any charges to be deducted from the deposit.

    If agreement cannot be reached the deposit scheme used (either the custodial DPS or the insurance backed my|deposits) will have a dispute service that can be used, subject to both parties agreement.
  • General questions
  • Are you accredited with the university?

    We are registered with Liverpool Student Homes.

    All properties under management are registered with Liverpool Student Homes. In the rare cases where a house is not it is usually because it is a new property under refurbishment and we are awaiting the property being signed off and certified for gas and electrical safety. This is generally only done at the end of refurbishment.

    We are happy to provide copies or gas and electrical certificates, as well as Energy Performance Certificates.
  • Are you registered with any official bodies?

    We are registered with TPO - The Property Ombudsman. This is a code of conduct that we have to follow. Thus gives you redress in cases where you feel you have to raise a complaint.

    We are also registered with Liverpool Student Homes as well as corporate members of the Residential Landlords Association.

    We treat our role as managing agents very seriously and continuously progress our staff with Continual Professional Development training and the owner of Topproperty Servides is a member of Liverpool Councils Landlord Advisiory Panel, helping Liverpool Council in raising the standards in private rented accommodation.
  • Is my deposit protected?

    Under the Housing Act 2004 all deposits paid for Assurred Shorthold Tenancy are required to be protected under a tenancy deposit scheme. At time of creation of the new legislation there were three deposit schemes. There are now a number more.

    We are members of the Deposit Protection Scheme. You can visit the DPS website here. Some properties have different deposit protection - my|deposits, which is also a prescribed deposit scheme.

    Your deposit will always be registered in one of these two schemes.

    As part of your application you will be given information about the use of the deposit. This is legally required and called "Prescribed Information".
  • How do I report repairs?

    We have an out of hours contact number for emergencies. We will give you this number when you sign the contract.

    Routine repairs are best reported via the online tenant area here. If you are unable to report repairs online please call us.

    We have a team of dedicated contractors who work on our properties full time. They can attend any maintenance issues as required once issues have been raised.