Parents and Guarantors FAQs

Information ALL tenants need to know:

  • You are NOT guaranteed to move into your new property during the Summer Retainer period between 1/7 and 9/9. You will be offered a Check-In appointment before the start of term.
  • We will not offer a Check-In appointment if there are any outstanding documents such as IDs and Guarantor Agreements.
  • Automated emails are sent out during the tenancy and some may not apply to you, so you can disregard them.
  • We aim to give 24 hours’ notice for access to your property. This means that when we are doing viewings you will get numerous access notifications. Viewings often get cancelled at short notice and you will not be informed of this.
  • Report ALL repairs and maintenance issues via your account on the Tenant Portal and ensure they are logged correctly with enough detail.
  • We categorise repairs based on their urgency and will get things fixed in priority order. If you need an update on a repair, email us on admin2@accommod8.biz Updates can also be found on the Tenant Portal.
  • For clear and consistent advice about all aspects of your tenancy and living with accommod8, refer to our Tenancy Guide available on the Tenant Portal.
  • Rent is due on 1 October, 1 January, and 1 April and payable through the Tenant Portal using Debit Cards ONLY. Payments do not automatically leave your account – you must log on and make the payment with a Debit Card.
  • The Tenant & Property Information noticeboard in your property provides numbers should you require assistance when the agency is closed including Out of Hours.
  • We supply basic furniture in the bedrooms so that there is some space for items of your own. You must remove all your possessions when you vacate the property. Kettles, Microwaves and Toasters are not provided.
  • We do not fit locks on bedroom doors as we only rent to groups of friends. Internal door locks are not required for the possessions insurance cover we provide free for all tenants.
  • If you wish to be released from your tenancy you must find a replacement or pay the full years rent. You will remain responsible for the rent and all terms of the tenancy if you do not find a replacement. You should notify us of your intention to find a replacement at the earliest opportunity and we will advise you further.

Carry on reading for more detailed answers to the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about our accommodation and tenancy terms and conditions.

The FAQs will also be useful for current tenants although our Tenancy Guide, available on the Tenant Portal, is more comprehensive.

What do we need to do when our group has chosen our property?

In order to reserve a property one member of your group to start with must complete the online application and pay the Reservation Fee of £200. The £200 Reservation Fees will be converted to Security Deposits for the person that paid it once the Tenancy Agreement has been signed by all members of the group. It may be necessary to make payments upfront if an extended time is requested to sign the Tenancy Agreement and finalise everything.

What does my group have to do to complete the tenancy application process?

Your group must all Apply for Tenancy online, pay the deposit and sign the Tenancy Agreement within 7 days of reserving the property. Additional forms and personal documents must also be completed/supplied to fully complete the Tenancy. All documents will be issued by email via DocuSign. Click HERE to Apply for Tenancy.

What is a Security Deposit?

All tenants are required to pay a £200 Security Deposit at the point you complete the application. The deposit covers damage, breakages, rent arrears damage invoices and administration charges if there has been a breach of tenancy. Deposits are returned at the end of the tenancy.

Is my deposit protected?

Yes, accommod8 is a member of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS). We will register your deposit with the TDS and it will be protected and returned at the end of the tenancy in accordance with their rules. Full details of the TDS will be given to you when you sign the Tenancy Agreement.

accommod8 is a member of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS), an approved UK Government Deposit Protection Scheme. We are bound by the strict rules of the TDS in the way we protect, administer and return deposits.

We must:

  • Secure the tenant’s authority on a TDS Agreement.
  • Provide tenants with a copy of the TDS Scheme Guide.
  • Register deposits with the TDS within 28 days of receipt.
  • Provide tenants with a Deposit Registration Certificate.
  • Complete a Check-In with a detailed Inventory and Schedule of Condition of the property and take photographic evidence when tenants move in.
  • Complete a Check-Out and update the Inventory and Schedule of Condition after tenants have vacated, noting any changes and take photographic evidence.
  • Assess the costs of repairing any damage caused during the tenancy.
  • Prepare a Deposit Statement with any items of damage, rent arrears or excessive energy use we propose to deduct from the deposit.
  • Deduct the amount equally between all tenants if on a Joint Tenancy.
  • Issue the Deposit Statement to tenants and seek agreement to return the balance of deposit held.
  • On receipt of the agreement, pay the balance of deposit within 10 working days.

We are not allowed to:

  • Withold any amount without the tenant’s approval.
  • Deduct any amount for damages or other costs without documented evidence.
  • Keep your deposit without full explanation and evidence.

What are my legal obligations on a Joint Tenancy Agreement?

Your group will be asked to sign a Joint Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement (JASTA) to commence from 1 July. The JASTA sets out the conditions of the tenancy and provides that you are jointly and severally liable with your housemates to pay all rent and comply with the terms and conditions in the JASTA.

What are my legal obligations on a Single Tenancy Agreement?

You will be asked to sign an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement (ASTA) to commence on or after 1 July. The ASTA sets out the conditions of the tenancy. Your tenancy provides that you are liable to pay rent and comply with the terms and conditions.

How long is the Tenancy?

The tenancy is for a 52 week period commencing 1 July ending 30 June the following year with 47 weeks of rent being payable during the tenancy including the 10 week Summer Retainer.

What is the Summer Retainer?

Under the terms of Tenancy there is a Summer Retainer payable by all tenants. The Summer Retainer equates to 5 weeks rent although the payment is NOT rent.

The Summer Retainer covers the first 10 weeks of tenancy from 1 July when all our properties are turned around and prepared ready for new groups of tenants to move in.

A Summer Retainer clause has long been common practice with larger providers of private student properties due to the cyclical nature of tenancies and the demand placed on providers to prepare a large number of properties at the same time during the summer.

The Summer Retainer clause allows for tenants to move in and live in the new property from the date it is ready for occupation after preparation. Preparation involves a process of checking the condition after the previous tenant have vacated, carrying out repairs, painting, safety testing and cleaning. The Summer Retainer clause does not guarantee a specific date for occupation.

The Summer Retainer clause is explained at every opportunity to prospective tenants – at the viewing, in the viewing information pack and in the tenant application documents sent to all tenants for completion and signature.

When properties have been fully prepared new tenants are contacted and offered a Check In. From this date, tenants can move in without being charged any additional rent. A Summer Retainer clause is considered the best and fairest way of managing the preparation of properties and the expectations of new tenants.

It also allows those tenants wishing to live in their new properties over the summer without charge from the date of occupation.

We aim to ensure all properties are fully prepared and ready to move in to by 10 September each year when full rent becomes payable.

Can I leave my possessions in the property over the summer?

If you have special circumstances, you can request to leave a small amount of possessions in the property over the summer. However, we strongly discourage this as the security of possessions cannot be guaranteed due to the number of movements involved in the preparation of properties.

If you wish to request to store possessions you must put this request in writing before the end of May and if it is agreed we will arrange a date at the end of June/early July to drop items at the property and request you to sign a disclaimer that you will not hold accommod8 responsible for any lost items. 

How and when can we move in?

We prepare properties for new tenants once the current tenants have vacated. Once your property is ready for occupation we will arrange a Check In. You will also be asked to sign an Inventory and Schedule of Condition as a record of the condition of the property on that day. We may conduct the Check In and issue keys at our agency.

Do I need a Guarantor?

Yes. Each tenant must provide a Guarantor who should complete our Guarantor Agreement. The Guarantor, usually a parent or guardian, agrees to guarantee rent payments and other charges due from the tenant. If a tenant is unable to provide a Guarantor the rent for the whole year is payable before the start of the tenancy and before occupation of the property.

When is rent due during the Tenancy?

Rent payments are due on:

1 October (17 weeks)

1 January (17 weeks)

1 April (13 weeks)

All rent should be paid through your Tenant Portal Account with a Debit Card only – we DO NOT set up Direct Debits. The amount you have to pay depends on your Tenancy Agreement.

Tell me more about rent collection and arrears?

Rent cannot be witheld for any reason unless statutory housing law changes.

It provides clarity and transparency on tenants legal obligations to pay rent due and accommod8’s delegated authority to collect it.

accommod8 is an agent and we work for a variety of private landlords and investors. We have authority from the landlord to collect rent and manage all aspects of the tenancy. We take most decisions on the landlords behalf following our established protocols.

The landlord has statutory responsibility for any legal action against tenants and/or guarantors but will act on accommod8’s advice. All communications must be with accommod8, we do not supply landlords contact details.

The following explains the terms of tenancy and our approach to collecting rent and pursuing rent arrears:

  • As an agent, working for private landlords, we are unable to offer rent rebates during the pandemic.
  • Under the terms of the Tenancy Agreement, three rent payments are due in each tenancy year – 1 October, 1 January and 1 April.
  • If any tenant has not supplied a Guarantor Agreement the full years rent is due on 1 July at the start of each annual tenancy.
  • Rent should be paid on the due date by tenants through the Tenant Portal Account. The amount due is stated on the account.
  • We send rent reminders to all tenants 7 days before the rent is due. If tenants have a genuine problem paying the rent in full on the due date, they must contact us by email BEFORE the due date.
  • We may consider a short payment delay if proof of a late or delayed loan is provided. Payment delays will not extend pass the month it is due.
  • Any request for a payment plan due to exceptional circumstances will be referred to the landlord but in any event will be for a maximum of 3 months from the due date.
  • ALL debtors will receive ALL the following automated correspondence regardless of payment delays or plans being agreed.
  • At 7 days overdue – a rent reminder is sent to the tenant.
  • At 14 days overdue – a rent demand is issued to the tenant and guarantor.
  • After 14 days overdue – tenants will be called for immediate payment. Guarantors will be called for payment if tenants cannot be contacted.
  • At 21 days overdue – a Notice of Intention of Court Action, Court Claim Form (N1) and Court Guidance for Defendants (N1C and N1D) will be issued to the tenant and their guarantor. We will also notify ALL tenants on the Tenancy Agreement and their guarantors of the escalating situation.
  • At 28 days overdue – Court Claim Form (N1) will be completed and forwarded to the landlord to seek legal advice before submitting the claim to the County Court Money Claim Centre. A claim may be made jointly against the tenant and guarantor or other tenants and theit guarantors.
  • Interest will be added to the debt in line with the Bank of England Base Rate.

What about other fees and charges?

Fees applying to all new tenancies:

We may charge a tenant any or all of the following when required: 

– Rent

– A security deposit with a maximum of 5 weeks rent, or 6 weeks on a property with rent over £50,000 per year

– A holding deposit of no more than one weeks’ rent

– Default fee for late payment of rent (after 14 days)

– Reasonable charges for lost keys or security fobs

– Payments associated with contract variation, at £50 or reasonable costs incurred if higher, when requested by the tenant

– Payments associated with early termination of the tenancy, when requested by the tenant

– Payments in respect of bills – utilities, communication services, TV licence, council tax and green deal or other energy efficiency charges

Fees applying to all pre-existing tenancies entered into before 1/6/19.

Amendment to Tenancy – £50

An amendment to tenancy charge is payable if an additional or replacement tenant is added to the tenancy or if the tenant(s) requires any other amendments to the tenancy agreement.

Rent Arrears – Bank of England Interest Rate

If a tenant falls into arrears interest will be charged 3% above the Bank of England base rate. 

Call-Outs – £30 per hour plus costs

A call-out charge will be applied where actions of the tenants result in a member of staff attending the property. For example, if a tenant locks themselves out of the property. Any materials or equipment required to remedy the problem will be charged in addition to the call-out charge.

Contractor/Supplier Administration – 30%

A contractor/supplier administration charge will be applied, in addition to the actual cost, if a contractor is instructed to repair damage or to replace items to remediate a breach of tenancy or works during or at the end of the tenancy to bring a property back to a reasonable condition.

Court Submissions – £100

A court submission charge will be applied to complete and provide a court submission documents to recover rent arrears and other debts. This will be charged in addition to the court fees specified by the HM Courts and Tribunals Service which can be found at www.gov.uk

Replacement Keys – £30 per key

In the event that a tenant loses a secure key(s) during their tenancy, they will be charged for a replacement. Non-standard security items like fobs will be charged at cost plus 30% administration charge.

Periodic Inspection Failure – £30

A periodic inspection failure charge will be applied if a property fails a periodic inspection and requires a re-inspection to ensure tenants have brought the property up to an acceptable standard.

All charges include VAT.

Do we have to pay Council Tax?

Full time students are exempt from paying Council Tax. To live in our accommodation you must be a full time student and may need to provide Council Tax Exemption Certificates and/or Student ID covering the period of tenancy. accommod8 will apply for a full exemption on the property. If Council Tax is chargeable due to a change in student status, it becomes the responsibility of the tenants.

What if we need something fixing?

Just let us know. All repairs and maintenance must be reported through the Tenant Portal. We will give you instructions about our out of hours arrangements when you move in to the property. accommod8 is responsible for all genuine repairs. Our contractors will attend to reported repairs within reasonable timescales dependent on the nature and severity of the repair.

Do I need insurance?

We work in partnership with Endsleigh, the No. 1 student insurance provider, and provide every tenant with £5000 of free possessions insurance. By partnering with Endsleigh, the No.1 student insurance provider, we’ve arranged free contents insurance for all our students staying with us.

It is important all students confirm their cover to ensure you understand what is and isn’t covered. Plus you’ll also be entered into a prize draw, courtesy of Endsleigh!

Visit confirm your cover to see:

– What is and what isn’t covered

– Key exclusions – where cover isn’t provided

– Policy excess – the amount you pay when you make a claim

– How to make a claim

– Personalise cover

We understand students have a limited budget so Endsleigh have launched brand new, unique student insurance options. They have been designed to cover the risks that you may encounter whilst living in student accommodation and away from home.

What about utility bills, broadband and TV Licence?

Your rent is inclusive of all utilities. Water, gas and electricity is subject to defined limits outlined below. We will take opening, periodic and closing meter readings, although you are responsible for monitoring and managing your usage.

A TV Licence and broadband is also provided in all properties subject to terms and conditions and a fair and acceptable usage policy.

What is our energy allowance?

Under the terms of tenancy, you are given an allowance for gas and electricity usage. 

The allowances below are for various types and size of property. We use opening, periodic and end of tenancy meter readings to calculate usage during the tenancy. Tenants should also take meter readings and monitor usage as we do not always communicate this information until the end of tenancy if the allowance has been exceeded.

In financial terms, the energy allowance translates to approximately 20% of the total rent you pay.

Due to the ever increasing cost of energy you must do all you can to minimise energy use including keeping the heating low, turning lights off and not using electric heaters or other high consumption electric appliances.

Electricity meters display usage in Kilowatt/hours (KWh). Gas meters display in either cubic feet or cubic meters. Use the conversion formula below for gas usage in KWh.

Type of PropertyAnnual Gas Allowance KWhAnnual Electricity Allowance KWh
Studio/1 bed apartment (electric only)N/A4,000 KWh
2 bed apartment (Economy 7)N/A5,500 KWh (low rate) 2,500 KWh (normal rate)
2 bed apartment (electric only)N/A5,500 KWh
2 bed apartment10,000 KWh2,500 KWh
3 bed apartment (Economy 7)N/A8,000 KWh (low rate) 3,500 KWh (normal rate)
3 bed apartment (electric only)N/A9,000 KWh
3 bed traditional terrace14,500 KWh3,000 KWh
4 bed traditional terrace15,500 KWh3,500 KWh
4 bed modern modern conversion14,000 KWh3,500 KWh
5 bed traditional terrace16,500 KWh4,000 KWh
5 bed modern conversion14,500 KWh4,000 KWh

6 bed traditional terrace

17,500 KWh4,500 KWh
 6 bed modern conversion15,000 KWh 4,500 KWh 
7 bed traditional terrace18,500 KWh5,000 KWh
7 bed modern conversion16,000 KWh5,000 KWh
7 bed modern conversion (electric only)N/A13,000 KWh
8 bed modern conversion20,000 KWh6,000 KWh

Electricity meters display usage in Kilowatt/hours (KWh). Gas meters display in either cubic feet or cubic meters. Use the conversion formula below for gas usage in KWh.

How to convert your gas meter reading to KWh

1. Take today’s reading and subtract it from the opening reading taken when you Checked In.

2. If the gas meter in your property displays in cubic metres multiply the figure by 11.5 to give the KWh. If the gas meter in your property displays in cubic feet multiply the figure by 32 to give the KWh.

3. Compare the figure with the stated allowance in the table above.

What if things go wrong?

accommod8 is committed to providing a quality service for its tenants and landlords.

One of the ways in which we can continue to improve our service is by listening and responding to the views of our customers and in particular by responding positively to complaints and putting mistakes right. We aim to ensure that:

– Making a complaint is as easy as possible.

– We treat a complaint as a clear expression of dissatisfaction with our service which calls for an immediate response.

– We deal with it promptly, politely and when appropriate, confidentially.

– We respond in the right way with an explanation or an apology where we have got things wrong and information on any action taken.

– We learn from complaints, use them to improve our service and review annually our complaints procedure.

If you wish to make use of Our Formal Complaints Procedure please follow this advice.

Stage 1 – In the first instance, if you are unable to resolve the issue informally, you should set out the details of your complaint, the consequences for you as a result, and the remedy you are seeking and email it to us HERE.

You can expect your complaint to be acknowledged within 3 working days of receipt and you should get a response and an explanation within 10 working days.

Stage 2 – If you are not satisfied with the initial response to the complaint then you should address an email to the Manager and ask for your complaint and the response to be reviewed. You can expect an acknowledgement of your request within 3 working days of receipt and a further response within 10 workings days.

accommod8 aims to resolve all matters as quickly as possible. Inevitably some issues will be more complex and therefore may require longer to be fully investigated. If a matter requires more detailed investigation, you will receive an interim response describing what is being done to deal with the matter, and when a full reply can be expected and from whom.

Stage 3 – If you are still not satisfied with the response from the Manager we advise you to refer the matter to one of following regulatory bodies.

Tenants with property or tenancy issues in Liverpool should contact:

Liverpool Student Homes

www.studentpad.co.uk/liverpool

Tenants with deposit issues should contact:

The Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS)

PO Box 1255

Hemel Hempstead

Herts

HP1 9GN

www.tenancydepositscheme.com

Landlords and Tenants with other property issues should contact:

The Property Ombudsman (TPOS)

Milford House

43-55 Milford Street

Salisbury

Wilts

SP1 2BP

01722 333306

www.tpos.co.uk/mem-compliance/complaint-handling-toolkit

TPOS allows complaints to be made to them for 12 months from date of first complaint.