Frequently Asked Questions

Start of Rental Contract questions:

When does my contract start?

How long is my contract for?
What are the dates for the summer vacation?
What rent do I pay over the summer vacation?
Can I store my belongings in the house over the summer break?
When can I move in?
Where do I collect my key?


General questions:

Can I light candles in the house or my bedroom?

Can I smoke in the house or my bedroom?
Can I put posters on my bedroom walls?
I have lost my key, what should I do?


End of Rental Contract questions:

When does my contract end?

How do I return my key?
I am coming back next year. Should I keep my key?
What happens if I don't return my key on the last day of my contract?
I've finished my course and will be leaving before the end of my contract, do I still have to pay the rent?.

When will my damage deposit be returned?
Will I be charged for damages and cleaning?
Will I get charged if I leave the garden full of weeds and/or rubbish?
Is it OK to leave rubbish outside the house when I leave?

When does my contract start?

The start date for contracts varies slightly from year to year depending on the dates set by the Northampton University. Normally the start date is in the second week of July. Your exact start date will be shown on the front page of your contract.

  

How long is my contract for?

Contracts are for approximately 365 days. The exact duration depends on the academic year dates set by Northampton University. The exact duration of your contract will be printed on the front page of your contract.  

  

What are the dates for the summer vacation?

The start date and end dates for the summer vacation may vary from year to year as they are set by the Northampton University. Normally the start date is around the second week in July. The end date is usually the end of September.  

  

What rent do I pay over the summer vacation?

You pay rent from the start date on your contract. The contract start date for students is normally around early to mid July and varies depending on the dates set by the University.

If you do not want to occupy your accommodation for the first 10 weeks of the summer break then you will be given a 25% rental discount for those 10 weeks. The summer rent for July, August and September can therefore be a significantly smaller amount than the rent paid during term time.

If you want to move into your accommodation before the end of the 10 week discount period then you will be charged full rent from the day you move in. You will not lose the discount for the days before you moved in.

The exact start and end dates of your Summer Discount period will be printed on the front page of your contract.  

  

Can I store my belongings in the house over the summer break?

Yes you can store your belongings in your rented house but first you must sign the disclaimer form that is sent to you with your contract.

Do's and Don'ts: (VERY IMPORTANT)

  1. All your belongings must be put into sealed boxes with your name clearly displayed on the box.

  2. NEVER put any of your belongings in plastic bags as these will be considered as rubbish by the cleaners and thrown away.

  3. You cannot store your belongings in your rented accommodation before your contract starts.

  4. If, on the disclaimer form, you stated that you do not want to store your belongings in the house over the summer break, then it may not be possible to allow you to change your mind as maintenance, decorating etc. may have been scheduled for your room over the summer break.

  5. If you have obtained your room key to allow you to enter your room to store your belongings then you must return your key on the same day that you picked it up otherwise you will be considered to have moved in and you will lose your summer discount. See also What rent do I pay over the summer vacation?

When can I move in?

You can move in on the start date of your contract or any day after the start of your contract. However, if you do not move in until after the first 10 weeks of your contract then you will receive a 25% discount for those 10 weeks. This will make a big difference to the amount of summer rent you pay.

NOTE: You will receive a form with your contract that asks what date you want to move in. If you stated that you do not want to move into the house during the summer discount period then it may not be possible to allow you to change your mind as maintenance, decorating etc. may have been scheduled for your room over the summer break.  

  

Where do I collect my key?

If you are renting a house with a group of friends then your key will normally be left in the lock of your bedroom door so that it is available as soon as you arrive. A member of staff will meet the first arrivals and open the front door for them so that they can collect their key and let their friends in when they arrive. If necessary, let Student Homes Ltd. know when you will be arriving and we can arrange for you to be met at the property. Alternatively, your key can be sent to you by recorded delivery. There will be a £3 postage and packing charge for this.  

  

Can I light candles in the house or my bedroom?

Under no circumstances are you allowed to light candles anywhere in the house or your bedroom. Candles are a serious fire risk and have been the cause of deaths and serious injury. Even a small fire quickly extinguished can cause hundreds or thousands of pounds of damage, all of which you will have to pay for. Most importantly, we don't want any of our tenants to be burnt in a house fire.  

  

Can I smoke in the house or my bedroom?

Legislation, introduced on the 1st July 2007, now makes it illegal to smoke in all public enclosed places. All Student Homes Ltd. properties are STRICTLY NON SMOKING anywhere in the property. Smoking is a serious health hazard and fire risk. Smoking in doors will cause the house to stink and require costly cleaning and redecorating, which you will have to pay for.

If you or your guests smoke outside the house then please dispose of the cigarette ends and do not throw them on the ground as they create an unsightly mess.  

  

Can I put posters on my bedroom walls?

You need to be careful what you put on your walls as you will be charged for repairs if the decoration is damaged.

Do's and Don'ts

  1. NEVER use any kind of tape to fix things to the walls, this will definitely cause damage.

  2. White-tac tends to leave marks, so it's best not to use that. Blu-tac is generally the safest to fix posters and pictures to your walls.

  3. REMEMBER to CAREFULLY remove ALL the blu-tac when your contract ends and you leave. The cleaners will charge you by the hour if they have to remove it.

    

I have lost my key, what should I do?

Your key is an expensive multi-lock key. If you lose your key you must phone the Student Homes Office between 9am and 5:30pm Monday to Friday, after which the office is closed. It will take 48 hours to obtain a replacement key. You will be charged £35 for the replacement key. If after receiving the replacement, you subsequently find the lost key you will get a £25 refund when you return it to the office. There is an additional £10 charge if a member of our staff is required to visit the property to let you in the front door and/or your room because you have lost or misplaced your key.  

  

When does my contract end?

Your contract end date is shown on the front page of your contract.

When all the tenants have vacated the property a comprehensive video inspection will be made by a member of our staff.

See also When will my damage deposit be returned?
  

How do I return my key?

Lost keys are charged at £35.00 each, so it is important that you make sure your key is returned safely to the office of Student Homes Ltd. The address to return keys to is:


Mr Alan Mardell,
Student Homes Ltd.,
8 Woodland Avenue,
Northampton,
NN3 2BY.
 

Returning by Hand: The safest way to return your key is to deliver it in person to the office.

Important: Please put your key in a plain envelope with your name on the front and phone first to let us know you are returning your key in person. (Phone Alan on 0789 409 8482.)
 

Returning by Post: You must tape your key to some card and put it in a jiffy bag, then send it to Student Homes Ltd. BY RECORDED DELIVERY. In the past we have had keys returned in ordinary envelopes, when the envelopes arrived they had been slit or torn open and the keys were missing. The tenants then had to pay for new keys.

NOTE: Do not leave your key in the house when you leave. If someone enters your room and creates a mess after you have gone then it will be your responsibility to pay for the cleaning. If your key is lost by someone else in the house you will be responsible for its replacement. So always make sure the key is returned to Student Homes Ltd.

See also I have lost my key, what should I do?
See also What happens if I don't return my key on the last day of my contract?

  

 I am coming back next year. Should I keep my key?

No, you must always return your key on or before the end of your contract, even if you are returning to the same property after the summer break. If you do not return your key to Student Homes then you will be considered as living in the property from day one of your new contract and you will lose all your summer discount. See also What rent do I pay over the summer vacation?  

  

What happens if I don't return my key on the last day of my contract?

Your contract states that you will be liable to pay rent on a daily basis for every day that you keep your key after the end of your contract. This would be an unnecessary waste of your money so please make sure you return your key on or before the day your contract ends.  

  

I've finished my course and will be leaving before the end of my contract, do I still have to pay the rent?

If your course has ended and do not want to stay in your rented accommodation then you can remove your possessions and return your key. However, your contract is for a fixed period of time and you are obliged to pay the rent for entire duration of your contract. All the terms and conditions of your contract will continue to apply until the end of your contract.

See also When does my contract end? 
See also How do I return my key? 
See also Will I be charged for damages and cleaning?  

  

When will my damage deposit be returned?

Property inspections are normally made at the end of your contract, irrespective of the date you leave the property. As soon as the contracts for ALL the occupants have ended and ALL the tenants have vacated the property, then a comprehensive video property inspection will be performed by a member of our staff. Providing there is no damage requiring lengthy repairs, or extensive cleaning, then we aim to have all damage deposits returned within 14 days from the end of your contract or from the date the last person vacated the property, whichever is the latter. Damage Deposits are returned by cheque to the address you gave as your forwarding address.

Please note: If ALL the tenants in a house leave before the end of their contract(s) and ALL keys are returned to Student Homes, then our staff will give the inspection of that property a higher priority, which in turn will speed the return of those Damage Deposits.  

  

Will I be charged for damages and cleaning?

Each tenant is individually responsible for their own room and jointly responsible for all common areas - including the garden. The house will be professionally cleaned when all the tenants have vacated the property. The cleaners charge by the hour, so rooms left in a dirty condition will cost a lot more to be cleaned. Ovens will always be professionally cleaned. Rubbish left in the house or garden is charged at £15 per bag (standard black bin bag) subject to a minimum of £25.

 

Damage caused by neglect or accident is more frequent than deliberate damage. For example, a microwave that is not cleaned after use will rot inside and will have to be replaced. A comprehensive video is taken of a property before tenants move in and after tenants move out. Consequently any damage during a tenant's occupancy can easily be identified. We hope you look after your rented house and there won't be any damage or charges for repairs.  

  

Will I get charged if I leave the garden full of weeds and/or rubbish?

Yes. The garden is considered as one of the properties common areas and as such all tenants are jointly responsible for maintaining the garden. Charges for garden maintenance will depend on the time it takes to clear rubbish, weeds etc. plus the cost of any materials used such as weed killer. See also Will I be charged for damages and cleaning?  

  

Is it OK to leave rubbish outside the house when I leave?

No. If it is not the designated evening before The Council's weekly rubbish collection service then The Council consider leaving rubbish in the street as fly-tipping. You are only allowed to leave 2 bin bags on the designated evening. Fly-tipping of waste is illegal and constitutes a serious offence for which a person can be prosecuted. The main legislation is the Environmental Protection Act 1990, ss.33, 34 and 59. If you leave rubbish outside the house when you vacate the property then you will be charged £15 per black bin bag for its disposal. See also Will I be charged for damages and cleaning?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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