- Will we be informed if we are near our weekly £10 allowance for gas, electric and water or will we just be charged?
Yes we will always warn you if you are nearing your usage allowance and suggest ways in which you can save energy and reduce your costs.
- Do i have to comply with the Right to Rent Legislation?
Yes you do need to comply. The Home Office imposed new legislation on Landlords in February 2016 called ‘Right to Rent’. Please download your copy here.
Unfortunately you will not be able to commence your tenancy with us until we have seen the originals and received a copy of the necessary documents. Please be aware that this legislation also means that only you can collect your key.
- Is there anywhere I can park my car?
Some of our properties qualify for residential parking permits which can be purchased from Plymouth City council for £30.00. Please follow the link
to see which areas qualify and how the application process works. For those properties that do not qualify, we own two private, off road car parks where you can purchase an allocated space at £350.00 for the duration of your tenancy. These car parks are located at 25 Addison Road and Bedford Terrace behind two of our larger blocks of student properties. You can reserve a parking space at no cost and the balance will need to be paid with your first terms rent.
- If I go on a placement during term time, do I still have to pay rent?
- Can I store my belongings over the summer?
Only if you are staying in the same room in the same property. We charge a £50.00 fee to enable you to leave some of your possessions in your large, built in wardrobe. You will be leaving this at your own risk and we strongly advise that you do not leave valuables. Most people purchase a padlock and chain to secure the wardrobe doors closed. This arrangement will need to be made in agreement with ourselves and the payment will need to be made before the end of your current contract.
- Do I need a TV licence?
Yes you do! Because you have individual contracts (for which there are many benefits for you) like in the Halls of Residence- each bedroom is treated almost as separate units. Because of this if you have a TV in your bedroom you will need to buy individual TV licences. Most students have a TV in the communal area and split the cost. Please note that in quite a few of our properties we provide a flat screen TV and pay for the licence in the communal area where the TV sits. You will see this listed on our website. If unsure please ask.Please be aware that even if we provide a TV in the communal area and pay for the licence, if you want a TV in your bedroom you STILL need to purchase a separate licence.
- Is the internet included?
All of our shared houses for the 2017/18 have internet included in the rental amount (but not the apartments). In the three larger properties (15 bedrooms), we have also hardwired the internet connections to each study bedroom so that you don’t experience connection issues through wifi failure, common in other large student properties.
- Can I bring my own furniture?
Yes as long as you take it back again when you leave!
- What is provided in the properties?
Every bedroom has a double bed and a mattress protector, a large (usually built in) wardrobe, a desk and a chair. In the kitchen we provide an oven, hob, fridge, freezer, washing machine and tumble dryer (or washer dryer in some smaller properties), dishwashers (in some properties only), vacuum cleaner, bin, broom, brush and dustpan and mop and bucket.In the lounge/ dining area we provide a sofa, coffee table and/ or dining table and chairs.
- What agreements do I need to sign?
You will need to complete and sign a booking form when you pay your reservation fee and you will also need to sign your contract when it is emailed to you.
- Do I need a guarantor and do you do credit checks?
No and no!
- Do I have to pay Council tax?
If you are a student in full time education (21 hours or more a week) then you are exempt from council tax. You will need to ensure that this exemption is recognised by Plymouth City Council and should check with them that your status is correct. Your contractual agreement with us passes the onus of any council tax issue to you. If you cease to qualify for the student exemption (if you are no longer a full-time student) you will become personally liable for the whole amount of any council tax bill and this will fall on the whole property, not just your room, so in a 15 bedroom property this will amount to a lot of money. For more information about council tax for students follow this link to the Government website www.direct.gov.uk.
- How long will my contract be for?
It is a 48 week contract for all our properties.
- Can I move out of my student accommodation before the end of my tenancy?
You can move out whenever you like, but you still have to pay the rent until the end of your tenancy! You are legally bound until the end of your tenancy. If for some reason you have to leave early we will be happy to help you try and re-let your room, but you will have to pay the rent up to the day a new tenant moves in. We also make a small charge to cover our costs in preparing the tenancy agreement for the new tenant, checking the inventory and other essential administration that is caused by your early departure.
- My partner and I want to share a room, is this allowed?
We have a few rooms where we are happy for couples to share which we can tell you about on request but as a rule, no. We do have one and two bedroom apartments which are perfect for couples sharing.
- Are pets allowed in your student accommodation?
You are allowed pets as long as the are not ‘a nuisance to the landlord, other residence and/ or owners or occupiers of adjoining properties’.
- Do you charge administration fees?
No, we do not charge administration fees or inventory fees. We do however offer a ‘Payment Plan’ option for £35 for those reliant on their loan to pay their rent. We are not letting agents and only rent out student houses that we own.
- How much notice do you need if we want to view some of your student accommodation?
We need a minimum 24 hours to inform current tenants of any viewings. In the times just before and after Christmas we are very busy and may need a couple of days notice as we book up quickly.
- How many properties can we view at one time?
All our properties are very close to each other so we can usually walk quickly between them. We prefer not to show more than 4 in one viewing (depending on their size).
- What happens if something in the property stops working?
Because we own all properties directly, we have a mutual interest in ensuring any maintenance issues are dealt with quickly and effectively. Any issue can be reported to the office in working hours, or on our emergency number out of hours. Our Maintenance Manager will attend to the issues or will call in one of our contractors with whom we have built up a great working relationship with over the years. Because we also run a building company www.sunnybankshomes.co.uk we have a team of directly employed, skilled staff on hand to ensure all repairs are addressed promptly. Our quick response on maintenance issues is one of the elements that sets us aside from agents who have to go through a third party to authorise any repairs. Please do speak to our current tenants when you view any of our properties if you would like confirmation of this.
- When and how does the rent have to be paid?
Your rent will need to be paid termly. For 2017/18 the dates will be: Term 1 – 24th August 2017 (20 weeks) (this is the start date of your tenancy and before you receive your loan). Term 2 – 11th January 2018 (14 weeks), Term 3 – 19th April 2018 (14 weeks). The last date of your contract is the 26th July 2018. We prefer your rent to be paid by a card payment over the phone. If you have any concerns regarding payment of rent please speak to us well in advance.
- Can I paint my room?
- Can I rent student accommodation from you for more than one year?
- Does your student accommodation have fire detection systems?
We use a company called Firewatch
to check and maintain all our fire protection systems in all our properties. They carry out 6 monthly and annual maintenance checks and services in all properties where required. Firewatch are a long established and extremely well respected company covering all of the south west. All of our student accommodation complies with the standards required by Plymouth City Council and Plymouth University. At the very least every student property has mains powered and interconnected smoke detectors on each floor and a heat detector in the kitchen. Some properties have full fire alarm systems where required. All properties have a fire blanket in the kitchen and fire extinguishers on every floor. Where appropriate in each property we also have an emergency light system lighting your escape route. Finally we conduct annual risk assessments of all properties as required by law.
- How do I book a house?
You can book a viewing by calling 01752 849232 or emailing us at [email protected]