Tenancy
FAQs - Tenancy

Durham has a large number of students. We are one of (if not the) the largest private student in Durham with our Head Office in the heart of the City in the Market Place. We will therefore have lots of students arriving at our office and collecting keys from us at the same time, so queues are inevitable.

If you do not need to collect your keys on the 1st then it may be advisable to collect them later in the week when the waiting time will be reduced. If you do need to collect keys on the 1st, please note that the keys to the property will not normally be available any earlier than 2pm.
We have brought in many new procedures in order to try to reduce your waiting time. We will issue all sets of keys on presentation of identification, providing the contractual terms have been met.

When you collect the keys, you will receive a ‘Moving in Pack’ which will detail what you need to do at the beginning of your Tenancy.

We send our maintainance team to visit your Property following the return of all of the keys from the previous Tenants to record the condition and any damage caused to the property.

You will also be issued with an Inventory and Schedule of Condition which is a detailed list of all items and their condition throughout the Property. You should check that all items listed on the inventory are present and are in the condition described on the inventory, record any damages and return the inventory to us within 7 days. We will use this inventory when you vacate your home at the end of the tenancy, so it is important to make sure it is returned to us.

Rent is payable calendar monthly in advance starting on the first day of the Tenancy. If you wish to pay in quarterly, or annually please ask us for terms.

Rent is payable by Standing Order Mandate. A Standing Order is a preauthorised payment under which an account holder authorises a Bank to pay a fixed amount such as a rent payment directly to a Landlord, for example, monthly. Your rent will be collected automatically once this has been set up.

Anyone can pay rent on your behalf. However, the legal responsibility lies with you.

Although the majority of our lets are to students, we are a private company with no association to the Student Loans Company. The rent is payable as per the terms of your signed Tenancy Agreement.

Take a note of the meter readings and serial numbers and contact the utility provider to register the gas, electric and water in your name. We will also require a copy of this information. Please ask us if you require assistance. If you opt for our All Inclusive package then this is all taken care of for you.

It may be possible for you to decorate certain rooms in houses. It is critical that you get written permission from us first. There will be obvious conditions such as ensuring that the decoration is done in a good workman like manner and that paint is not splashed around on carpets or other furniture. We do however strive to ensure that all of our properties are in good decorative order and carry out an extensive redecoration programme during University holidays.

We have a full time maintainence team for general repairs and reliable sub-contractors for any other problems. All contact details are provided in the Tenant Handbook which is available in every property. To report any maintenance problems with your property:

• Contact us and give us as much information as possible regarding the problem. We will then allocate the job on a priority basis.

• We will inform you of when a contractor will be attending your property. They have a set of your keys so you do not need to be present at the time, if it is not convenient. No-one will enter your Property without your permission except in the case of an emergency.

This is the tenant’s responsibility and you should make sure all light bulbs are working when you leave the property.

It is the tenant’s responsibility to tend to the garden or yard. This includes maintaining the grass, hedges, weeding and generally keeping the garden tidy. If you do not maintain the garden or yard to a satisfactory level then we will instruct contractors and will charge you for this service.

We understand the need for privacy however locks on internal doors create a whole series of issues so unfortunately we cannot allow this. If a lock is put on a door then it will be removed and the tenant will be charged for the removal and any damage to the doors.

Tenants are requested at all times to have respect and consideration for all residents within their property and their neighbours per the DSU Livers Out Guide. They are requested to refrain from playing loud music and the use of abusive language/behaviour. We will speak to them but if the problem continues, you can also seek advice from Durham County Council's Environmental Health Dept.

On an Assured Short hold Tenancy Agreement, you're legally bound until the end of your tenancy period. We can however consider ending your tenancy if you have a replacement. This individual will need to meet all of our criteria and be able to provide full guarantor details prior to the process being complete. There is an admin fee of £115 chargeable to the outgoing tenant. If you need any further information on this process please contact us.

If you are experiencing difficulties paying your rent don’t ignore the problem and hope it will go away. The sooner you let us know of any extenuating circumstances the quicker we can try and work with you. Please refer to your tenancy agreement for details on charges that could be applied. We don't like charging you fees, and we're sure that you also don't like the embarrassment (and cost) of not paying your rent on time. Please contact your Property Consultant to discuss the situation.

Unfortunately not as the rent and deposit are quite separate. The final installment of rent is payable in full by direct debit as per the terms of the contract.

No. If the bills are in the names of the tenants, it is the tenant’s responsibility to ensure the final utility bills are settled in full. Again, this is not relevant if you opt for our All Inclusive package.

You should return the keys to our office no later than 12 noon on the last day of your tenancy. If the keys aren’t returned, the new tenants will not be able to move in, so it is of major importance to return all keys within the allowed timescale. If a housemate is leaving early then please collect their keys before they depart. If your keys are not returned, you may be charged for the locks to be changed, or you may even have to pay to house the new tenants in a hotel until all keys have been returned – a hassle and expense that can be avoided with planning.

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