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Student Lets - joint tenancy advice


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I am trying to let out to students on a single joint AST (as then I am not liable for council tax) but due to late timing am having some problems securing a group of students who wish to rent together and wondered if anyone with experience of student lets can offer any advice?

I also do not know whether to so any referencing? Or just take a guarantor from each and details of previous addresses/landlords? As some seem reluctant to pursue after they know there is a fee for referencing? How much would you charge students for reference and or set-up costs?

Currently, the rent does not include bills but I have noticed other landlords including rent. And even internet access. I am considering whether I should offer an option of just utility bills included and increase the rent by about £10 -£15 for each of the 3 persons. Or offer internet access alone bearing in mind the cheapest wireless option suitable for student unlimited downloads seems to be £16 a month with £30 set up.

At the moment until I get a group of 3 students who wish to let together I’m having to consider individual students and try to align them up to single start date or take them in one by one and when the last one comes then start the joint AST? Also sometimes I get non-students interested so am wondering what the situation regarding CT will be of 2 are students and 1 is non-student on a joint tenancy? would that single non-student be liabale for CT or me? I am losing a lot of time so wondering what the best option is? I do get a lot of enquiries for whole house let i.e. for just a couple of people or a family but then I wouldn’t get as much rent as per room letting to students on a single AST. If anyone has any advice or opinion on the subject would be grateful, thanks.

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I cant help you on the rent issues I'm afraid, thats very much down to local market conditions, but so far as the council tax position is concerned, students (and one or two other categories of occupant) are exempt from council tax, but as soon as someone who is not exempt moves into the flat, then council tax becomes payable. If there is only one non student in occupation, the single person discount (usually 25%) will be applicable.

As for who is responsible for paying it, this depends on your tenancy agreement. If you make the occupants responsible, then they must pay it, even if they are students. You probably wont be very popular, though, if a group of students suddenly become liable becuase you have moved a non student in, so one way round this is for you to estimate what your bill will be and for you to pay it, charging an appropriate rent to cover this.

Good luck with the timing thing.

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Hi CH1

Referencing of students is hard and sometimes irrelevant as they have not been working long enough or independant from parental money in order to get a credit rating of any type. Costs for referencing differ - usually about £60 if you are not a member of some organisation that does it for a lot less.

I go for the guarantor every time and try to meet guarantor/parent on site so they take it seriously and you know who you are dealing with.

As for including bills - again difficult with rising fuel prices and they may leave lights on all time etc. Take a look at prices charged by other landlords in the area and ring some up posing as a prospective tenant - that can be a real eye opener!

Good Luck, Mortitia

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