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What's included

The cost of utilities is included in your rent; we pay your gas, electricity, water bills, internet charges and TV licence (subject to a 'fair usage' policy). This takes away lots of stress and hassle for you so you can relax in the knowledge it's all taken care of.

As part of our care for the environment, we would always encourage you to be responsible with your use of gas and electricity. There is a fair usage policy in place to prevent excessive energy use and we monitor this on a monthly basis through your meter readings.

We want you to live comfortably in our houses and so we have set the fair use policy at a level which we know is reasonable based on many years of historic data of gas and electricity use in our houses.  Here are the annual fair use limits for houses which have both gas and electricity:

Number of bedrooms in house

Annual gas use (kWh)

 

Annual electricity use (kWh)

3

10000

2500

4

12000

4000

5

21000

4300

6

24000

5000

7

30000

6000

8

35000

6500

Here are the annual fair use limits for houses which have electricity only:

Number of bedrooms in house

Annual electricity use (kWh)

5

13500

Council tax

1 Council tax is NOT included in your rent.

Please check your course start and finish dates as you are liable for council tax outside of these dates.

Full time students are exempt from council tax for the duration of their course. If you are a 3rd year student, Bristol City Council will charge you council tax from the date your course officially ends until the last day of your contract.

For all council tax enquiries, please visit the Bristol Council Website.

Deposits

There are two deposits you will pay to secure a room with UWE Houses; the holding deposit and tenancy deposit.
Holding Deposit

The holding deposit is £100 per tenant and this is usually paid once you have viewed the room and have been invited by UWE Houses to reserve it.

The first step is to view the room and you will then be asked to complete an application form. Once we have reviewed all applications, we will invite you to pay your £100 holding deposits.

Once we have all your application forms and holding deposits, we will stop any further viewings of the property and take the property off the market and reserve it for you.

Please note, if we find that false information has been supplied to support your application, such as for referencing, you will forfeit your £100 holding deposit.

Your £100 holding deposit is also not refundable if you change your mind about the room you have reserved.

Tenancy Deposit

The tenancy deposit is £300 per occupant.

This covers any damage to the room and communal areas and any additional cleaning at the end of the tenancy.  We conduct an inventory when you first take the room (check-in) and also when you move out (check-out) so that the condition at both points in the tenancy is accurately recorded.

We will protect your deposit with ‘My Deposits’, which is a government Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS).  Your holding deposit of £100 is returned upon successful completion of reference checks and supplying all the information listed above.

The holding deposit does not contribute to your tenancy deposit so a further £300 payment will have to be made to cover this.  Payments for the tenancy deposit will be made to the same account as the holding deposit.

If you are paying online, the house reference (which can be found on the website for the house you are reserving e.g. ‘7 Vas’ = 7 Vassall Court) must be added to your payment to ensure it is correctly credited to you.

The tenancy deposit and the first months’ rent need to be paid before the contract start date (which is the point of commitment).

Guarantors

Requirements

All tenants have to supply a guarantor of rent - this is usually a parent or close relative. The person who guarantees the rent needs to be willing and able to pay, once the rent becomes more than ten days late.  If you are an international student, please speak with us about other options.

Requirements:

  • UK-based guarantor
  • Ideally a parent in full time employment or on a permanent contract
  • If you choose a close relative such as a sibling or grand-parent to be your guarantor, they will have to prove they have enough savings to pay for the rent should it be overdue
  • All guarantors will be asked to provide evidence that they can afford the monthly rental instalments.  We use an online referencing service called Vouch.  They will also need to sign a Guarantee of Rent form once they have been approved by UWE houses
  • Tenants without a UK-based guarantor will need to pay all the annual rent in advance as we are unable to accept guarantors that do not live in the UK. There is however a 2% discount for paying all the rent in full
Referencing process

The applicant will be invited by Vouch to supply information and select a guarantor.  The guarantor will then be asked to supply information and evidence to show they are in a financial position to act as a guarantor.

Using Vouch, the whole referencing process should take between 5-7 days depending on how quickly the applicant and guarantor can supply the necessary information. 

When selecting your guarantor, it’s important they are willing and able to pay any outstanding rent as soon as they are asked.  This is why a regular income or savings to cover the rent is important and they can promptly pay a month's rent when asked.

Failure to pay may lead to court action being taken against you which could result in you having to pay more than the original amount.  County Court Judgments (CCJ’s) and other court orders against you will affect your ability to get credit in the future.

UWE houses has the right to waive some of the above requirements making the contract valid without all occupants having an approved guarantor.

A guarantor's information sheet is available to download below:

Contracts

We always use a 12 month, Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) Contract. This is a ‘joint and several’ agreement between us and you, the group of students who together are ‘the Tenant’.

To ensure that you are first satisfied, if you have any questions regarding your contract please contact us to discuss before signing.

Sample contract

You can download a sample contract below

Common questions
  • What happens if I want to shorten my contract?
    Our tenancies are fixed for 12 months. Occasionally when we need to do refurbishment works, we will contact your group to see if you would like to shorten the contract. This would be discussed with you well in advance of your contract ending and needs approval from UWE houses and all tenants.
  • I need to leave my course, what should I do?
    It's rare that you will need to leave your contract but if there are no other alternative option, then we can let you leave your tenancy with certain conditions. You will need to find a suitable replacement with a UK based guarantor. You will also still be liable to pay your rent until a replacement has paid their rent.
  • What happens if my housemate doesn't pay their rent, am I liable?
    We use joint and several tenancies for our contracts which mean you are all on the same tenancy. However, as a company policy we only chase the tenant that is a late paying and their guarantor for any late rental payments.
  • If I break something what happens?
    If you broke something and it was in your room, then only you would be liable for a deposit deduction. Any damage in a communal area, we be treated as a communal charge at the end of the tenancy and the deduction split between your group, unless someone lets us know they are responsible. Please note, we are fair with our deposit deductions and we do thorough inventories to accurately record any damage at the start and end of your tenancy. We also take into account 'fair wear and tear'.
  • Can I have guests stay over?
    We operate most of our houses under a licence from Bristol City Council and as part of the licencing conditions, each house has a maximum number of occupants. With that in mind, guests are welcome providing they don't stay for more than two weekends a month.

Protection & Privacy Policy

We treat your data very seriously and strive to handle it in the correct way. For more information on how we handle your data please see our privacy policy.

Insurance

For peace of mind, contents insurance with Ensleigh, the number 1 provider of student insurance, is included free of charge

This covers your contents in the house only, but you can top up the insurance if you wish so that your possessions are covered outside the house as well as topping up your insurance to include additional items which may not be covered by our policy.

Click below for more information so you can see what is covered:

How to Complain

We very much hope that all will go well for you; however, from time to time things can go wrong. If you have a complaint the first thing you need to do is to ring or email us.

Repairs / Replacements

Trevor, our maintenance manager, will see to any faults as soon as he can. Priority will be given to urgent matters like water leaks & heating breakdowns, less urgent matters may take longer to be resolved.  They will have been noted and if you are concerned that the matter has not been dealt with in a reasonable time please contact us again and we will ask Trevor to treat it as a priority if we think this is reasonable.

Disputes Between Yourself and Other Tenants

Before you talk to us, you need to talk amongst yourselves and try to resolve things.

If you are unable to sort things out between yourselves, you can email us and we can write to the whole household: if this is the case you need to clearly outline your complaint so everyone can read it and understand what the issues are.

We will then either suggest that:

  • We meet with all of you as a household to discuss your complaint
  • You go to any of the following services at the University of The West of England Frenchay Campus, who are professionally qualified to help you:
    • Student Support Services: Click here to book an appointment with a Student Support Adviser or call 0117 32 85678.  Email the Information Point Team at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    • Students' Union: Click here or call 0117 32 82577.  Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    • Advice Centre: Click here or call 0117 32 82676.  Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    • Wellbeing Services: Click here or call 0117 32 86268.  Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Complaints About the UWE Houses Team

If you are unhappy with the way you have been treated by any of our team we want to know: please tell us who you are complaining about and exactly what the problem is.  We will talk to the person concerned and address any issues raised.

Once the matter has been dealt with, we will give you feedback.  If you feel that UWE houses has not resolved the matter properly, tell us.  We are a member of the Property Redress Scheme, who can deal with any issues you have tried to resolve with us, and this has not been successful.

Information on the PRS can be found here.

Accreditation – Designed to Protect You!

UWE houses are fully accredited and have agreed to accreditation standards.  If you feel that these have not been complied with, talk to us.

If you are still unhappy, you can contact the National Landlord’s Association:

http://www.landlords.org.uk/accreditation/tenants

or Bristol City Council:

https://www.bristol.gov.uk/private-landlords/private-housing-policies-and-performance

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Copyright ©2008-2022
UWE Houses LLP

UWE Houses LLP
5B Staplehill Road,
Fishponds,
Bristol,
BS16 5AA

01179 118282