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Frequently Asked Questions... & Our Answers

Q. Do I have to fill in any forms?
A. Yes, we have an application form which all tenants must fill out.

Q. What do I have to pay to reserve a property?
A. Birmingham City Student Homes do not charge administration or agency fees. You will however have to pay the dilapidations deposit (bond) to reserve a property. This is refundable at the end of your tenancy providing there are no dilapidations.

Q. Am I committed to pay rent for a fixed term?
A. Yes, depending on the length of the tenancy you sign, you are legally required to pay the rent until the contract ends.

Q. What does ‘jointly and severally’ liable mean?
A. Where there is more than one tenant signing an agreement, all tenants are ‘jointly and severally’ liable. This means that each tenant can be held responsible for the agreement and paying of rent and not just a share of it. Be sure about the people that you agree to share with as if they fail to pay the rent, you can also be held liable.

Q. Who will maintain/manage the property after I/we have moved in?
A. It will either be the landlord or Birmingham City Student Homes. If it is the landlord then you will need to contact him directly if there are any repairs required. If it is Birmingham City Student Homes, then once you have contacted us, we will advise the landlord and arrange the necessary maintenance etc.

Q. Who will pay for the Utilities, Services and TV Licence?
A. Normally most bills will be the responsibility of the tenant unless stated otherwise. There will be no Council Tax charge where full time students ONLY occupy a house. There are specific rules governing who is classed as a full-time student and tenants are advised to check this before choosing who to live with.

Q. Do students pay Council Tax?
No. It is very important that you complete a council tax exemption form which you can do online. You will need your exemtion certificate from your faculty. Failure to complete this form will result in the council invoicing you for full caouncil tax payment.

Q. Will my belongings be covered by the Landlord’s insurance?
A. No, tenants must take out insurance for their own belongings.

Q. What happen if I sign up for a property with some friends, but decide not to move?
A. Once you sign the tenancy agreement, you are legally committed to the term of the agreement. So it is vital that you are absolutely sure that you want to move into the property. If you do decide not to move in, then you would need to find a suitable replacement tenant to take your place. Keep us informed of all developments.

Q. I’m struggling to pay my rent. What should I do?
A. You must discuss your difficulty with us. We can normally find an amicable solution for you. If you would like independent advice on finance or any difficulties you can also contact the Students’ Union Advice Ctr

Q. How safe is my area?
A. www.police.uk will give crime stats for individual postcodes which allow you to obtain comparisons for various areas.

Q. If I am travelling home late at night, how late does public transport run until?
A. Please refer to our ‘useful information’ for contact details for buses, trains and taxis.

Q. I have a spare room. How do I find a new housemate?
A. Refer to the Students’ Union’s Advice Page where you’ll find useful websites and services to help you find a housemate.

Q. I am looking for a spare room in an existing student house to rent. Where can I look?
A. Refer to the Students’ Union’s Advice Page where you’ll find useful websites and services to help you find a spare room.

Q. What happens if I drop out of University?
A. Because you have signed a binding agreement with your tenancy agreement, you are still obligated to the terms of the agreement and are still liable for the rent payment. The most practical way forward is for you to find a suitable replacement tenant. There are a number of ways to do this including the Students’ Union’s Roommate Finder service. Please note that you need to keep your rent payments up to date until a suitable replacement tenant is found.

Q. How do I make a complaint?
A. Click here for a step by step guide on how to make a complaint.

Q. Is there a general Property Handbook available?
A. Yes, there is. here is a copy of it.