Why use a letting agent?
We feel it is better to use an agent as you have a proper impartial point of contact. If you have any issues or queries you always have someone on the end of a phone or you can pop in discuss things with us. For many students, this will be the first time that they will have moved out of home and it is just reassuring (sometimes more for the parents!!) that there is someone on hand to assist with any day to day matters. It is amazing the questions we get asked, whether it is `how do I turn on the heating` or `why isn’t the dishwasher working’. We are always here to help and give the best advice we can to ensure your college/university experience is a memorable one, for the right reasons!
When do I need to start looking?
The University will usually release its accommodation during January so most of the student letting agents will be looking to open their books for viewings during December, January and February. There will always be rooms available up until the start of the term in September as there will be new properties coming onto the market and obviously not all rooms will be taken during the winter booking session. If you are very particular about location and size of the house/flat you require we would suggest looking earlier rather than later in order to have the widest choice.
How much should I be expecting to pay?
This will vary from agent to agent depending on whether the property includes or excludes bills. You can look to pay on average £75 to £100 per week including all bills such as your gas, electricity and water. Obviously these prices will vary depending on the size of the room you are looking to take and the location of the property. These figures are based on a room in a shared house with communal facilities.
How big are your properties?
Unity Lets has a wide selection of student accommodation available. Within shared houses, these range from 1 to 13 bedrooms and it is really a case of personal choice as to what sort of property you would like to live in.
What would be supplied in each property?
Unity Lets supply a bed, wardrobe, chest of drawers, desk and chair for the bedroom if you are going into a shared house. Within the communal areas there should be the relevant white goods within the kitchen i.e. fridge, washing machine and cooker and the smaller items there should be a toaster, microwave, kettle etc. Usually it is suggested that you bring your own crockery, cutlery and personal items. There will be a sofa, dining table (if applicable) and any other necessary furniture items as required. Some larger properties come supplied with a large flat screen TV but some smaller properties do not come with a TV. Obviously each property will vary according to size so it is worth checking what is included when viewing.
Where should I be looking?
Most student properties through Unity Lets are located within a mile or so radius from the University of Plymouth and College of Art. Most properties are on main bus routes so access to Marjons and other colleges are within easy reach. We will be happy to guide you depending on your requirements.
Is there usually any parking?
Some may but very few properties will provide you with off street parking. However for some properties you can apply for a parking permit through the Council. You will need to call the council first to check if this is possible.
How do I book a viewing?
All of our properties are re-listed each November. Once you know the type of property you are looking for you can either call the office on 01752 223354 or email us at email@example.com to book your viewing. Initially in November our houses will be let to groups rather than individuals. Once the bulk of the groups have booked then the properties will be opened up to individuals wishing to go into a shared house. We can of course advise you of timescales nearer the time should you require any further information.
If I like a property/room – what is the next stage?
You would need to pay advanced rent to reserve the property. This would cover all the costs of setting up your tenancy. We would ask you to fill in the initial application form, supply guarantor details and then we would invite you in to go through the tenancy agreement ensuring you understand the legal implications and then you would sign the tenancy.
What is a guarantor and why do I need one?
As most students do not earn enough to cover the rent and cost of living, you will need to have someone who is willing to pay your rent on your behalf should for some reason you not be able to do so. We recommend that this is usually a parent/guardian and that this person needs to be working in the UK and more importantly, in a financial position to cover the rent.
Do I need to have a UK-based guarantor?
You only need to provide a UK-based guarantor if you wish to pay your rent in installments. You do not need to provide a guarantor if you are paying the full annual rent in advance.
Do I need to pay council tax?
Not if you are a full-time student following a full-time course. You will qualify for an exemption to council tax meaning that you will not have a bill to pay.
How does no deposit, no bills and no fees work?
No deposit – it is that simple! We do not charge a deposit, preferring to work with our tenants and support you through your studies and create a positive relationship of mutual respect.
No bills – bills are included in your rent on all of our properties subject to reasonable use. We even include free high speed Wi Fi internet and communal cleaning service which includes cleaning the oven!
No fees – if you book a room you pay an advance rent payment which can simply be deducted at the beginning of your second term in February!
Can I pay my advance rent payment over the phone?
Yes of course, you can pay your advance rent in the office by card or cash, by phone or if you prefer by using online banking!
Is my advance rent payment refundable?
No. Your advanced rent payment is your commitment to us that you will take your room.
Why do I need to pay my advanced rent?
You need to pay an advance rent payment of £300 to secure your accommodation reservation. This is credited back to you at the beginning of the second term.
Can I extend my contract length?
The base contract is for 48 weeks but can normally be extended. We will try and be as flexible as possible.
Will I have to move out at Christmas and Easter?
Assured shorthold tenancy agreements are generally signed for the period September to August. This means that you do not have to move out at any point during the contract. The room is your home and we are very happy for you to enjoy it.
Can I move in before my tenancy start date?
You are given a tenancy start date but this may, under some circumstances be brought forward. Terms and conditions apply.
Can I pull out of my contract?
Your tenancy agreement binds you and us legally to the period it covers. Make sure you review it carefully before signing.
Can I shorten the contract length?
Tenancy agreements will be for the agreed length. If you vacate your room early you will still need to pay for the rent during this period and be responsible for the condition of the room and in some circumstances, the property.
What happens to my contract if I leave university?
The contract is for a set period and cannot be terminated or shortened. Also, if you lose your student status you will be liable for council tax for the period remaining on your contract.
Can I pay the first installment or annual rent in advance by bank transfer?
All payments can be completed by bank transfer, online or in bank! You can also pay by telephone or in the office.
Do I have to pay for water, gas and/or electricity?
Unity Lets offer students an all-inclusive rent, your water, gas, electricity and internet are included in your rent. We also provide a free cleaning service of the communal areas which includes an oven clean. We do have a fair usage policy per person per week to cover utility usage. This is included in your rent. If you do exceed this figure we will let you know in advance.
Can I smoke in my room?
No. For the wellbeing and safety of all our residents, smoking is not allowed anywhere inside the property. The fire alarm system is very sensitive and will also pick up if anyone smokes and can tell where the smoking is taking place. However, there are external areas where you can smoke if you choose to.
We realise that these are just a few of the most common questions. If you feel that there is anything we can add to help other students please feel free to email us – after all the website is for you!