All students starting the first year of a course are provided with accommodation via the BU Accommodation Service. After your first year it is your responsibility to find and secure your accommodation. If you intend to move in with other students then its a good idea to ensure you agree on price, location and facilities before starting your search. It’s important to know how much rent and bills you can afford on a monthly basis. You can use our budget sheet to give you an idea of what you can afford, or contact us to discuss your options. You may also need to budget for administration fees, a security deposit and a holding deposit.
Once you have figured out what you can afford it’s a good idea to check out which location would suit you best. Being able to walk to Uni saves you bus fare, however getting to town for a night out or going to the beach for the day could mean having to get a bus or even a taxi.
Most student properties in Bournemouth and Poole are assured shorthold tenancy's (more on this below) which are joint and for a fixed term. However, you can find some accommodation where you have you own, individual contract.
SUBU Advice only endorses Lettings BU - the University's official letting service. Private landlords who have registered their property with Lettings BU have signed up to a Code of Conduct, ensuring their property is to a satisfactory standard. These are reviewed annually to guarantee quality. Lettings BU also charge a considerably lower admin fee than many external providers (£99 covers all administration charges and your personal possessions insurance).
If there are no properties available via BU then you will need to contact private letting agents to ascertain what stock they have available, and if it meets your requirements. This is a site where students can review their housing experience, including house condition, landlord, speed at which problems were resolved, local area, garden, neighbors etc. It's an excellent tool to help you find the most suitable property for you. Students who go into new properties having done proper preparation are far less likely to experience problems or lose money later on.
We have a list of suggested letting agents in the local area to help get you started: SUBU Advice Letting Agents list
Tenant Fee Ban 2019
Since 1st June 2019 it has been illegal to charge fees for referencing, administration, credit and immigration checks for new tenancies. This ban applies to assured shorthold tenancies, student tenancies and licence to occupy (e.g. lodger agreements).
However, you can still be charged for:
- Late payment of rent if you rent late by 14 days or more
- Lost keys/fobs
- Terminating your tenancy early
- Changing or assigning the tenancy to someone else (£50 maximum unless it can be proved it cost more)
- Renewing a tenancy signed before the 1st June 2019 and fee stated in the contract
Holding deposit: can be a maximum of 1 weeks rent per property
Security/tenancy deposit: can be a maximum of 5 weeks rent per property
Rent in advance: usually one month in advance
Utility bills: Average £40 pcm, each. Look out for all-inclusive if you are worried about the responsibility of keeping up with bills.
You can learn more about the costs of renting on the Shelter website or .gov website.
No deposit option
This is permitted as long as the tenant can choose between the no deposit option and paying a security/tenancy of deposit. It’s important you understand the options available so get in touch and seek advice before deciding which route you wish to take.
Do I need a guarantor?
It is most likely that you will need a guarantor. This is someone who signs to agree they will cover the rent and cost of any damages if you fail to do so. The guarantor needs to be resident in the UK so if you are an international student you may be required to pay all the rent up front, or pay a larger deposit. Don't have a guarantor? Contact us for advice.
Ots important that you view more than one property and view each house at least twice at differen times of the day. When viewing each house you should ensure the property meets all your requirements and there are no signs of damp or mould.
Health and safety in private rentals
Private rented accommodation should meet the minimum standards of the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS). Properties must meet all the requirements explained in the Housing Act (2004), Environmental Protection Act (1990), Landlord and Tenant Act (1995) and the Planning and Building Control legislation. A Gas Safe registered contractor must check all gas appliances annually. All gas installations must meet the requirements of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. All electrical installations should meet the requirements of BS7671: 1992 (British Standards for low voltage electrical appliances). Work should be carried out by a registered contractor. If you are renting a property that is already furnished, the arrangement must meet the requirements explained in the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988.
Whilst most full time students are eligible for Council Tax exemption when you are a final year you may be left with charges. You exemption certificate, issued to you when you enrolled in your first year, may end on the last day of the academic year in your final year and therefore any period of time between that date and your tenancy ending you may be liable to pay Council Tax. If you have lost your exemption certificate then you can order a new one via askBU.
If you live with someone who does not qualify for Council Tax Exemption (non student, some part-time students) then they will be required to pay the Council Tax bill.
For more on exemptions have a look here.