TERMS AND CONDITIONS
Please read all the following terms and conditions of Student Housing Lancaster (hereby referred to as SHL).
By signing your contract, you agree to all the below terms and conditions.
In taking up residence in a SHL property, you agree to abide fully by these Terms and Conditions for the FULL length of your contract.
If you need further guidance on these Terms and Conditions, please email the office (email@example.com)
Please note: These Terms and Conditions are FINAL and will not be altered.
1. Grant of Residence:
Subject to our right to terminate the housing contract, should you breach your tenancy agreement in anyway, we grant you the right to take up residence at the specified SHL property that is listed in your contract, for the length of time stated in your contract.
2. Complaints Regarding Property Condition:
If you wish to make a complaint about the condition of your property, this must be done in writing via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. All complaints will be answered within 28 working days (excludes: local/national lockdowns, weekends, bank/public holidays)
3. Accepting this Agreement:
You will be given these terms within your welcome pack upon moving in, and they are also available as a physical copy in our office. By moving into a SHL property you are agreeing to these terms and conditions.
4. Accommodation fees:
4.1: In exchange for the right to occupy the property, in which you signed a tenancy agreement for, you agree to pay us the set out and agreed accommodation fees & any other costs, these are set out in your tenancy agreement. (RENT UTILITIES ETC SERVICES)
4.2: You agree that you will pay the proper amount owed on time, without prompt from SHL & inform SHL of any issues asap
4.3: You agree that even if you leave or choose to vacate the property before your end of tenancy date, set out in your contract, you are still liable to pay the FULL amount of rent owed to SHL.
4.4: You agree that even if you do not move into your SHL property you are still liable to pay the FULL amount of rent owed to SHL.
4.5: You agree that SHL reserve the right to charge you a penalty of £10 per email sent as a reminder for overdue rent payments. Maximum being 3% of your termly rent.
4.6: You agree that the only way you are no longer liable to pay your rent is if you find a suitable replacement and they sign a contract with SHL.
4.7: You agree that because your contract is a joint tenancy agreement you are liable to pay for your housemates rent if they do not pay.
4.8 We must make you aware that if you default on the rent in any way that SHL reserves the right to use a third-party debt collection agency to recover your payment and this may add costs to the original amount.
5.1: You agree to your deposit being held with MyDeposit or similar appropriate deposit scheme (if a deposit is taken).
5.2: You agree that your deposit is to protect against damage made by you, your guests or other tenants of your household.
5.3: You agree that if you have any specific related deposit questions that you will contact https://www.mydeposits.co.uk/tenants/ to enquire/research.
5.4: You agree that if you terminate your contract with SHL, through the proper channels, that you forfeit the FULL amount of your deposit.
5.5: You agree that you are not guaranteed the full amount of your deposit returned to you, this is dependent on deductions made by SHL and judged by MyDeposit or similar /as agreed.
5.6: We will refund your deposit (provided there are no deductions) within 28 working days at the end of tenancy date but you must request it via MyDeposit in order to start the process. You have to take it into account that sometimes this takes longer if there are disputes.
5.7: You understand that the end of tenancy inspections is only performed after your contract end date NOT the date you moved out. The inspection can take up to 14 working days from start to finish.
6. Moving in
6.1: You agree that ONE person will collect ALL the keys for the property at the time that you booked on your chosen move in date. If you do not inform us, SHL will automatically allocate a date & time for you.
6.2: An inventory performed by an independent company will be performed on your property and the report sent to the lead tenant via email on the day of your arrival, please read through this carefully and email back whether you accept or decline this inventory within 24 hours (please read point 31 for further info). However, you also agree to complete your own inventory upon arrival how you see fit. This could include pictures, videos, meter readings, to be kept as evidence for your case for the returning of deposits.
6.3: You agree to read through all the welcome pack for guidance before contacting SHL. Naturally, moving in can be busy with over 200 houses moving in, so please bear with us during the busiest time of the year.
7. Safety and Security
7.1: You agree to the best of your ability to keep your property safe and secure for yourself and the other tenants of the property.
7.2: You agree not to use, any naked flames, candles or burn incense within the property.
7.3: You agree not to smoke within the property.
7.4: You agree to lock your doors when leaving the property and lock all windows.
7.5: You agree to call the National grid or TRANSCO if you smell gas. National Gas Emergency Service 0800 111 999 (24 Hours)
7.6: You agree not to tamper with fire alarms or fire safety equipment. This will incur a cost to the house for repairs.
7.7: You agree to test your fire alarms weekly.
7.8: You agree to use heat protective mats in bedrooms for hot electrical products to protect carpets/flooring and to use chopping boards the kitchen.
7.9: You agree not to overload electrical outlets. IE. Don’t plug in extension leads.
7.10: You agree to report all electrical issues. If you bring in any electrical appliance into the property, you need to ensure they are less than 12 months old, if not they have to be PAT tested as safe.
7.11: You agree not to copy your house keys or give them to another person who does not live in the property or anyone who has not paid rent to live there.
7.12: You agree to let SHL know if you lose your keys, this may result in SHL needing to replace the lock to ensure safety, at a charge to you.
8. Respect for Property
8.1: You agree to keep your property in a clean and organised state. See the cleaning rota we have attached and set one up with your housemates.
8.2: You agree to safely dispose of all rubbish using the bins provided and not to let them overflow & bring in your bins once they are emptied by the council – we suggest that you create a bin rota and find out when your bin days are on the Lancaster Council website.
8.3: You agree not to change or damage the decorative finish of the property in ANY way. If you wish to make a change you HAVE to contact SHL first & receive written permission from SHL.
8.4: You agree that if you decide to hang items on the walls, you do so at the risk of money being deducted from your deposit. Only use non-permanent fixings.
8.5: You agree not to keep any pets in the property. We have a strictly no pets policy.
8.6: You agree not to damage, remove or alter any of the landlord’s fixtures that reside in the property.
8.7: You agree that if you buy any extra furniture or appliances for the household these are your responsibility to maintain and dispose of at the end of tenancy. (You may enquire with SHL to see if we would like to keep the item for future tenants).
8.8: You agree to promptly report all maintenance issues through the FIXFLO service that SHL provides and inform ALL tenants in your property what and where the issue is. Set up a WhatsApp group for your house so that everyone can be kept in the loop.
8.9: You agree to consult the Maintenance guide given to you in your welcome packs before reporting anything through FIXFLO.
8.10: You agree that after reporting maintenance issues through FIXFLO you have automatically given us the right to enter the property and fix the reported issue in the quickest time we or our contractors can & this may happen without prior notice to the tenants.
9. Use of Accommodation:
9.1: You agree to only use your property for living purposes. No businesses can be run out of a SHL property.
9.2: You agree not to sublet any rooms in your property. Or let any of your friends/ partners move in. If we uncover substantial evidence, you have allowed another person to move into the property without SHL’s consent, SHL reserves the right impose a fine & recover costs for any overuse of utilities and/or damages.
9.3: Guests can stay up to five days a month. Please consult your other house/flat mates before allowing your guest to arrive at the property & please inform SHL so that we can inform trades & repairs / inspections etc.
9.4: You agree not to use your property to host large social events such as parties that will cause disruption to your neighbourhood past 11pm. Please be aware that other people live next to you. It is unacceptable to make noise after 11pm consistently or during weekdays/nights.
10. Leaving your Accommodation:
10.1: At the end of your tenancy, you agree to leave the property in a clean and tidy condition with no rubbish or personal possessions remaining within the property and adhere to the guidelines provided within the welcome pack given at the start of tenancy. All tenants should spend at least one to two hours of cleaning each to ensure the property in the same condition as when you moved in. We will refer to pre move in videos and inventory taken before you moved in as reference.
10.2: You agree to hand in your keys by 12pm on the last day of your tenancy.
10.3: A charge of £14 per key replacement will be incurred if any keys are missing at the end of your tenancy. Any keys not returned by the end of tenancy will lead to the locks having to be replaced, the charge of which will be taken from your deposit.
10.4: You agree that if you do not comply with 10.1 then you will have deductions made against your deposit and further money could be claimed depending on the damage caused / issues found.
10.5: If you leave any personal possessions inside the property after the end of your tenancy, SHL reserves the right to dispose of these belongings and charge you a minimum fee of £5 per bag of rubbish, £15 per large item of furniture and £30 per electrical appliance. Other services as charged.
10.6: SHL reserves the right to charge you for extra cleaning costs if you have failed to clean the property to a good standard before leaving the property.
10.7: You understand that if you do not make sure that your bins are emptied and returned to your gardens and they go missing you are liable for the replacement costs at any time during your tenancy or when noted as missing.
10.8: Please return the end of tenancy forms to SHL.
You are liable to us for all loss or damage suffered because of any breach by you or your visitors of this agreement.
12. Access to the house / property
12.1: When you report a Maintenance related issue to us via Fixflo or in person, you are by default giving us permission to enter your property to conduct the necessary maintenance and repairs ASAP when we can attend.
12.2: We will always give you 24 hours’ notice for potential new tenant viewings of your property. Please ensure you are communicating with all housemates regarding viewings, sometimes emails bounce back from our system or we do not have the correct info for you. Please also make sure you are keeping us updated on changes to your contact info & also your guarantors’ information as well.
12.3: We will always give 24 hours’ notice or more for scheduled visits from professionals such as council visits, surveyor visits etc.
12.4: You understand that if you are locked out of your property past the hour of 8pm then you will have to make other arrangements such as staying at a friend’s house as SHL reserves the right to not attend non emergent calls after 8pm.
You could call castlegate security and they can let you in but at a charge to you to which you will have to pay them on the day/night.
(EMERGENCY: FIRES / FLOODS/ IMMEDIATE SECURITY RISK)
12.5: You understand that on occasions, you will need to remain in the property to provide access for third party contractors and deliveries. If you miss this appointment and a charge is incurred, you are liable to pay for it.
We will not unreasonably interfere with your privacy. If you report multiple faults and fixflos to us, naturally there will be multiple visits by contractors to your property so please be aware of this fact.
14.1: We are not liable for any damage or loss of personal possessions that may occur within your property.
14.2: We reserve the right to make alterations to the property as we see fit. However, we will endeavour to cause the least amount of disruption to tenants of the property.
SHL does not provide contents insurance. Tenants should purchase their own insurance through a third-party agent, and this will be the tenant’s responsibility. The best way to protect yourselves is to do these – 1. Buy a video doorbell 2. Buy a burglar alarm (SHL can help you by installing them if needed).
16. Payment for loss or damage
16.1: You agree that if you or your visitor causes any damage or loses any of the landlord’s fixtures then you are liable to pay for the replacement of said fixtures, the price being reliant on the invoice provided by a third- party
16.2: SHL reserves the right to request the money when the damage is incurred instead of taking the money from your deposit.
16.3: Where the perpetrators of the damage or loss cannot be identified then you understand that all tenants within the property are equally responsible and the cost will be spread equally.
16.4: When additional cleaning is required within your property during your tenancy, you will be issued with ONE warning prior to SHL charging you for professional cleaners to attend the property.
16.5: If you wish to replace the appliance/ fixture yourself you must ask permission from SHL first and you must replace the fixture/appliance with one of equal or better quality & make sure it’s tested as safe & find SHL copies of certificates to confirm.
16.6: We must make you aware that if you do not pay for the damage then the responsibility will pass to your guarantors.
17. Our right to terminate
17.1: We reserve the right to terminate your contract should we find you to be in serious breach of your tenancy agreement.
17.2: SHL will give you warnings via email before we exercise this right and we will only exercise this right in extreme circumstances.
17.3: Should we exercise this right to terminate your contract you will be give a notice period of 7 days to vacate the premises.
18.1: All correspondence should be done via email. Unless in an emergency, then do contact us or castlegate security asap & leave messages & keep in contact.
18.2: You understand that emails can take up to 48 hours to be replied to (normal office hours) and that you will wait to contact SHL again, unless in an emergency, before this period ends. This may be longer during busy periods.
18.3: You understand that you if you wish to talk in person then need to make an appointment with the appropriate member of staff instead of coming into the office.
18.4: If you request the director, the 1st hour is free. After that, an hourly rate may be charged unless agreed otherwise in writing.
19. Rent reduction
19.1: Should you wish to request a rent reduction this must be done in writing via email with evidence & reasons why.
19.2: Rent reduction requests will be responded to within 28 working days.
19.3: SHL may offer rent reduction of up to a maximum 20% of the portion of your rent that is allocated for living in the property. You understand that your rent is split into sections, part of it goes towards the property itself and part goes towards your utilities (this split again into electric, internet and gas). Therefore, we can only offer a reduction on the proportion of rent that is allocated for the property itself, not the utilities.
19.4: To request a rent reduction you will need to prove that you have been inconvenienced for a proportion of time that exceeds the ‘reasonable’ time for repairs that is outlined in the Tenant and Landlord act of 1989.
19.5: All rent reductions are to be finalised in the last rent payment.
19.6: Rent reductions must be agreed to in writing by a member of the SHL team and cannot be decided by the tenant by withholding of a portion of the rent & finalised by the director of SHL.
19.7: Tenants must communicate about a rent refund or rent reduction with SHL themselves first, not through their guarantors.
20. Repairs to property
20.1: You understand that SHL works on a priority basis for maintenance repair issues. This basis is as follows:
(TIMINGS EXCLUDES EVENINGS, WEEKENDS & PUBLIC/BANK HOLIDAYS)
1- Safety and Security- (issues with boilers, serious electrical issues, flooding, damage to external locks) we aim to respond with 24 hours.
2- Cleanliness- (issues such as tenants moving into property and the cleaning is not up to standard) we aim to respond with 48 hours.
3- Comfort and Cosmetic issues- (issues such as broken furniture, uncomfortable mattresses, small appliances being faulty, non-essential light fixtures faulty) we aim to respond within 72 hours of reporting.
4- Replacement of items- (replacement of mattresses, furniture, sofas and large appliances) this is based of third-party times and schedules.
5- General minor repairs and minor external issues- (issues such as rubbish removal)
20.2: You understand that the official channel for reporting issues is through FIXFLO (instructions can be found within Maintenance guide) and SHL reserve the right to not respond to maintenance issues reporting through email and not the official channel.
20.3: You agree not to contact SHL again in non-emergent issues until 48 hours (excluding evenings, weekends & public/bank holidays) has passed without a response. During periods where there is a bank holiday, or the Christmas/ festive period then non emergent issues may not be responded to for 5 days approximately & then attended to asap.
20.4: You agree that you signed a contract based on the house you viewed virtually or in person. Any non-essential improvements made to the house are at SHL’s discretion.
20.5: You agree to make any requests for replacement of items in writing via email and understand that SHL is not obligated to fulfil your request. Also, you agree that the replacement of items is based of third-party schedules and out of SHL’s control.
20.6: You understand that SHL does not provide your internet therefore you agree to contact PLUSNET (using instructions in the maintenance guide to aid you) before reporting this on Fixflo.
20.7: You understand that if you experience boiler issues it may take up to 5 working days to complete due to ordering of parts and the schedule of the engineer. SHL will provide alternative heating in the form of electric heaters. SHL will drop these off where possible but it is ultimately your responsibility to collect them from the main office.
20.8: You understand the issue of domestic mould is the tenant’s responsibility to control initially. Please use the maintenance guide to aid you & keep a record of this so that we can help when this occurs.
20.9: You understand that if you are found to have been at fault for damaging the landlord’s fixtures/ appliances or fittings then you will be charged.
20.10: You agree that after an initial written warning via email, you will be charged if extra cleaning is required throughout any part of your tenancy.
20.11: You agree that after an initial written warning via email, you will be charged if you have been found to be at fault for blocking any drains including showers, toilets, sinks, exterior drains etc. You also agree that you will make a good attempt to unblock the drain first before reporting.
20.12: You understand that pests/ rodents sometimes occur within the property and this is not the fault of SHL or the Landlord. SHL will respond to these issues by working closely with the council by helping you stop the issue.
SHL will pay for the first visit the council makes and follow through with their recommendations, any further appointments will need to be paid for by the tenants.
20.13: You understand that it is not SHL’s responsibility to fit contractors visits to the property for repairs around your schedule. SHL reserves the right to send suitable and licensed contractors to the property to perform repairs whenever they are available, and it is not within your rights to demand to be present. We will try to accommodate your requests but please be aware if you want to be there & this is going to delay any repairs, we will have to attend at the earliest time.
21. Withholding of Rent
21.1: You understand that it is against the law to withhold rent due to maintenance repair issues.
21.2: You understand that if you withhold rent then SHL reserve the right to outsource a third-party debt collector to recover your payment.
21.2: You understand the Landlord and Tenant act 1989 which outlines that landlord’s/ agents should respond to maintenance issues within a ‘reasonable time’. Reasonable fitting to our maintenance repair priority structure stated in point 20.1.
21.3: You understand that withholding the full or even a portion of the rent is in breach of your tenancy agreement and will result in legal action/ debt recovery action. You withhold rent at your own risk.
21.4: In line with the rent reduction point (see point 19), rent reduction needs to be formally agreed with SHL and cannot be decided by the tenant. Therefore, withholding a portion of rent as an informal rent reduction will again result in legal action/ debt recovery action.
22.1: You understand that you are the tenant of the property and over the age of 18, therefore any issues/ complaints that you may have need to be addressed through yourself FIRST.
22.2: SHL reserve the right not to communicate with guarantors regarding maintenance issues and complaints as they are not the tenants of the property, unless the tenant has defaulted on their rent in any way, we will not formally communicate with guarantors.
22.3: You understand your guarantors will be contacted if you breach your tenancy agreement in ANY way. (smoking / drug use / cleaning issues)
22.4: You understand that your guarantors will be liable to pay your rent if you default in any way or if the rent payment is late & this could incur costs & court CCJs etc.
22.5: You understand that your guarantors will be liable to pay the rent of other tenants of the property if they default in any way as you have signed a joint tenancy agreement and you don’t pay in this rare circumstance.
22.6: SHL reserves the right not to meet with guarantors unless a formal appointment has been arranged and formally agreed to in writing. Please see 18.4.
23. Council Tax
You are not liable to pay council tax if you are a full-time student, the council may ask for proof of student status which you have to email them directly. If you have moved into a SHL property and you are not a student, council tax is your responsibility to pay in full and you must organise this yourself with the council tax department.
24. Car Parking Permits
SHL do NOT provide car parking permits, therefore this is your responsibility to organise and pay for with Lancaster county council or other providers.
25.1: You understand that viewings need to take place on your property as part of the Letting process.
25.2: You agree to grant access to the property and ALL rooms, given that you had 24 hours’ notice of the viewing. All viewings will be as quick and as efficient as possible. Please clean your house/property & rooms.
25.3: You understand that you cannot reject a viewing or turn away SHL viewers, given that you had 24 hours’ notice.
25.4: You understand that it is your responsibility to keep communal areas clean and tidy for viewings.
26. Call Outs and After-Hours Services
26.0: CALL CASTLEGATE SECURITY 08453102010 / 07904651241
26.1: You understand that in an emergency (FIRE, FLOODS & IMMEDIATE SECURITY RISK) that occurs out of normal office hours that you should also advise us of the issue at 07866851145. (voicemail / text / call)
26.2: If you are reporting an issue out of normal office hours that is not an emergency please just use FIXFLO, do not call.
26.3: SHL reserves the right to NOT to attend in person, non-emergent issues after normal office hours. These being:
Monday to Thursday: 9.30am-5.30pm
CLOSED: SUNDAYS & PUBLIC/BANK HOLIDAYS
26.4: You understand that SHL may not be able to grant you access to your property, if you are locked out, after office hours (this also carries a charge from Castlegate in which you have to pay them directly)
26.5: If SHL responds out of hours and you are found to be at fault then a charge will be incurred to you. You will have to pay the contractors when they are at your property directly.
You understand that all SHL costings for tenants are in line with the costing spreadsheet that is displayed in our office and available upon request. This is included in your TENANT HANDBOOK sent to everyone. But we are happy to send you a copy if you want one.
28. Respect to SHL Staff Members
You understand that all SHL staff members deserve to be treated with respect and not to be subject to abuse/ threats. SHL reserve the right to end communication with you whether that be through call, email, text or in person if you become abusive, rude, or threatening.
29. Contracts and Paperwork
You understand that all contracts and paperwork such as guarantor forms need to be returned within the stated time agreed by the Lettings’ Manager. You also understand that if you miss the deadline set you could forfeit the property. All within 7 days.
30. Signing for SHL Properties
You understand that SHL works on a first come first serve basis. The first person to formally request the contract for the property via email is the first to be allowed to sign for it. If the individuals miss the contract deadline return, then the second group to request the contract will be given the opportunity to sign for the property.
An independent inventory was performed on your property maximum of 48 hours before your arrival. It will be sent to you via email attachment, it is your responsibility to read through the inventory and either accept it or note any discrepancies within 24 hours of picking up the keys for the property. Since SHL’s policy is for the first person to move in to collect all the keys for the property, it is their responsibility to check the inventory for the whole house. If you do not raise any discrepancies or you do not reply the email SHL will assume you have accepted the inventory as correct and any damage noted on the end of tenancy inspection that did not appear on the inventory will be charged to you.