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The Ethics of Renting

Helping you understand your commitments and responsibilities.

At Joint, we want to give you the best experience possible and this starts right now. We want to make sure you have all the information and resources to do so.

So before you join us, we have compiled the below information for you, highlighting some of the key commitments and considerations so you can make an informed decision before moving into the PRS (private rented sector).

That said, you must fully read the AST (assured shorthold tenancy) contract and guarantor agreements before you make a decision.

This information does not replace any part of your contracts.

Once you have signed your tenancy agreement it is legally binding for the full term of the tenancy, which is usually 12 months.

So it’s really important that you have all the information you need, because sometimes thing don’t go to plan…

Considering dropping out of university?

  • Before making a final decision, you must consider that leaving university early, will not mean your tenancy agreement ends
  • You are bound by the terms of the tenancy agreement until the end date. This is usual for all private rental sector properties
  • You are still responsible for the upkeep of your house and payment of rent for the full term of the agreement
  • If you have a guarantor, they are also bound by the terms of their guarantor agreement for the full term of the tenancy agreement
  • If you are no longer a student, you then become liable for the council tax payments as you are no longer exempt 

All these things should be considered before making a final decision to leave university.

I have dropped out of university, what can I do about my accommodation?

  • In order to be released from your tenancy agreement, you will need to find a replacement tenant.
  • Finding a replacement to take your room can be very challenging, as the student letting period is short, generally most students are settled by the time their university course commences. 
  • There will only be a small number of students who start late or decide that they want to change their accommodation during the academic year, for this reason it can be very challenging to re-let your room. 
  • Tenant wellbeing is paramount so Joint Living only let student accommodation to other full time students – also who must fulfil the same vetting criteria you did.
  • Subletting is not an option at Joint Living. We need to know who is living in our property to ensure the safety and wellbeing of other tenants.
  • If you find a replacement tenant and you refer them to Joint Living, we do not charge you for referencing or contractual changes.

Once a replacement tenant has passed referencing and signed a change of tenant contract addendum, provided you have left the accommodation in good order and returned your key to us, your deposit will be returned to you. Then, you and your guarantor will be released from the terms of your agreements.

Resources to find a replacement tenant:

  • University forums/notice boards
  • Student Union Forums
  • Student Facebook groups

Ways Joint Living will try to help you:

  • We will post your room on our websites “Available now page”
  • We will post your room on Housing Hands Student finder page

Guarantors

What does it mean to be a guarantor?

  • A guarantor is someone who agrees to pay a tenant’s rent if the tenant cannot do so for any reason
  • Joint Living will expect payment from a tenants guarantor if rent payment becomes 21 days overdue
  • If a tenant cannot pay their rent for any reason a guarantor must have the financial means to pay the rent in full on the tenants behalf
  • If the tenant and guarantor are unable to pay the rent for any reason, they are at risk of legal action being taken against them by the landlord
  • If legal action is taken the guarantor may incur legal costs and also be expected to pay interest owed as detailed in the Tenancy Agreement
  • Becoming a guarantor is a significant financial commitment. There are other ways of supporting a student if being a guarantor is not the right decision for you

What to consider before becoming a guarantor

A potential guarantor should read the Tenancy Agreement & Guarantor Agreement in full before making their decision.

A person considering becoming a guarantor must consider their own financial position very carefully before making a final decision

Ask yourself:

  • Do I have monthly expendable income for the period of the tenancy agreement that, as a minimum, matches the monthly rent?
  • Do I have savings or investments that, as a minimum, cover the total rent for the period of the tenancy agreement?
  • What other financial commitments and risks will I have during the period of the tenancy agreement?
  • Am I willing to pay the rent on behalf of the tenant if requested to do so?

Alternatives to a Personal Guarantor

Some students may not have access to an individual who is able or prepared to take on the role of guarantor, at Joint Living we have other options available should a student wish to rent with us.

Housing Hand

Housing Hand is a commercial business that will act as a guarantor for a student tenant provided they are over 18 years of age. There is a cost associated with the service, typically around 8% of annual rent however, Housing Hand partners with many universities which can reduce the cost to around 5%.

Housing Hand will represent International students – non UK residents with an international student visa.

Advance Rent Payments

Advance rent payments are an alternative to having a guarantor. A UK resident student can pay the final 5 months rent in advance before moving into the property. For an international student, a full 12 months rent is required.

When choosing a guarantor or alternative it is really important to make the right choice based on individual circumstances, ensuring a person has the opportunity to attend a university without jeopardising financial stability.

Joint Living wishes your university life to be an amazing and positive experience but if something unexpected happens, we want you to be in the best possible position to deal with any challenges.