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Renting Guide for Students

Advice and information for students looking to rent with us.

Welcome to Sheffield, one of the UK's student hot spots!

The city is student focussed and very student friendly but with Sheffield's colleges and 2 Universities and with over 65,000 students, demand for the very best student accommodation is competitive! To ensure you don't miss out, read our Guide to Renting as a Student below

You'll be pleased to know that UK Residential has a strong student tenant base with close links to the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University. We have been the proud Sponsors of the Sheffield University Freshers Fair and have for 2 years been the Sponsor of Sheffield's ultimate guide, The Student Directory.

Renting as a Student

Let us guide you with Hints and Tips, the Sheffield Student Property Hunting process, and lots more information on Bills, Council Tax, Deposits, and much more!

The Guide is aimed at students looking to rent in the private sector -that's anything but University Accommodation such as Halls of Residence

Should I share? Who do I want as House/Flat mates?

The best bits about sharing with friends is strong companionship, shared bills and other living costs and supporting each other but the bad bits are potentially arguing, disputes with bills and rent, cleanliness and noise!

The problem is that most Student Tenancies in Sheffield are on the basis of one Joint Tenancy. This means that once you've signed the dotted line, it's virtually impossible to be released from the contract! Everyone who signs the contract is equally liable for the whole contract so as surprising as it may sound, you could be liable for your housemates' rent if they don't pay.

We have come across scenarios where a group of students decide to live together but then start to argue on issues such as noise, food sharing and even cleaning and washing up! So make sure before you move in as a group everyone is clear on house rules!

UK Residential will always ensure you fully understand a tenancy before signing it and what is required of all tenants. Have a look at our Hints and Tips in relation to Tenancies!

Which Accommodation to Choose?

The choice is varied:

  • Purpose built student blocks
  • Bedsits
  • Student Apartments and Houses

Purpose Built Blocks

Purpose built student blocks have many similarities to University halls of residence but are owned by private organisations such as UNITE. Each block differs in facilities offered according to the company operating the site. What is and isn't included in the rent differs from block to block so you need to be careful of no hidden costs!

Bedsits

Not extremely popular but good for single students who prefer greater privacy. Each bedsit normally consists of a bedroom and kitchen area but normally has a shared bathroom.

Shared Student Apartments and Houses

This is the most popular type of student accommodation where students form groups and then sign up to a property. Each tenant has their own bedroom and then all share the communal facilities such as bathroom, kitchen and living room. Unless bills are included in the rent, everyone shares the payment of bills

When should I start looking for Sheffield Student Accommodation?

Sheffield's students are very organised when it comes to property searching and many start their search for student accommodation very early! UK Residential issues its Student Property List for the next academic year every November onwards.

Don't worry if you don't search early, there is plenty on offer so it's fine to leave it until you get back after the New Year and into February.

We don't recommended leaving it much after February of each year!

UK Residential advertises properties with the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University and all our properties meet the standards of the Sheffield City Council's Responsible Landlord Scheme (SRLS). This includes things like fire precautions, gas and electrical safety, amenities, repairs and maintenance, dealing with disputes and complaints.

International Students

We have a strong reputation for providing International students with accommodation taking into account cultural and religious factors.

As most international students do not have a UK guarantor, most landlords require rent upfront in one way or another.

UK Residential offers accommodation for all female households and female Muslim students. We take everyone's circumstances into consideration and the ability to pay rent upfront

Registration Fees

Registration fees are charged by all private letting agents. These cover credit and identity checks and administration fees.

UK Residential will always explain our fees to you upfront before you sign anything! We will never charge you a fee until you have chosen a property and formally apply

Guarantors

All student tenancies require a Guarantor (except for International students) - this is usually a parent or guardian who is a UK citizen and working.

A Guarantor basically is liable for rent and any other costs such as damage to the property where you cannot meet such demands

UK Residential will always explain everything your Guarantor needs to provide and explain the responsibilities of being a Guarantor.

Recommended Time and Time Again

Talk to friends and the University Accommodation Offices, we are recommend time and time again!

UK Residential will always work hard to help you as much as possible - going out of our way wherever we can!

Location, Location, Location!

The main student areas are:

For Sheffield Hallam University Students:

  • City Centre
  • Broomhall
  • Ecclesall Road/Hunters Bar
  • London Rd/Abbeydale Rd (Sharrow/Nether Edge)

For University of Sheffield Students:

  • Broomhall
  • Broomhill
  • City Centre
  • Crookes
  • Crookesmoor
  • Ecclesall Road/Hunters Bar
  • Walkley

The most expensive places are Sheffield city centre, Broomhill and Ecclesall Road

Searching and Viewing Hints & Tips:

  • Before viewing properties think of what you want - what's your budget? Have you budgeted for bills? What locations will you consider?
  • Ensure your budget includes TV licence (where applicable), food costs, going out and transport
  • View a Property as a Group and even make a list of questions
  • Ask any current residents any questions about the property
  • Does the property have all the facilities you need? E.g. washing machine
  • Is the property safe and secure?
  • Take your time to choose as whatever you choose will be your home for the next academic year

UK Residential will always check with you that you have made the right decision before you decide on the property for you and answer any questions you may have before making any commitment!

We encourage you to take your time viewing!

Contract Hints & Tips:

  • Before you commit to anything, make sure you are happy with who you will live with. Remember: once you've signed a Tenancy you may well be stuck!
  • Make sure the Tenancy clearly sets out the Property you have chosen
  • Double check the length of the contract - check the start and end date
  • Check the Rent and how this must be paid
  • Check what the Rent doesn't include - For example, most city centre properties will not include anything in the rent
  • Check charges the landlord can make. For example, the landlord can charge you if your rent is late or if a contractor comes out to look at a problem you have caused
  • Check the Tenant's Obligations Section as this is what is expected of you. For example, not to be a nuisance, to keep loud music down, no smoking and how the property needs to be handed back
  • THE KEY TIP: Do not sign a Tenancy unless you have read and understand it as it is a legally enforceable contract!

UK Residential will take the time with you to ensure you understand what is required of you. Our Tenancies are in clear plain English and we avoid legal jargon. The terms of the tenancy are clearly laid out to ensure you understand

  • The Amount of Rent Payable and how to pay rent
  • The Amount of the Deposit and how this is dealt with and Protected
  • The Property Address
  • The start and end date of the Tenancy
  • What the landlord can charge you for

Check in and Check Out Inventory

Ensure you receive a detailed inventory when you move into the property. This should list all items of furniture, fixtures and fittings and comment on the condition of each and cleanliness.

Take your time going around a property and checking if the Check In Inventory is correct. Where it isn't correct, make any amendments before signing

Equally, at the end of the tenancy, make sure that the property is given back in the same condition as at the commencement of the tenancy. If there are any major differences, a landlord may be entitled to claim money from your deposit

Inventory Hints & Tips:

  • Take your time going around a property when moving in as you can't say something is broken, etc after!
  • Ensure you have the check in inventory to hand at the end of the tenancy and use it as a checklist

UK Residential provides very detailed check in inventories and equally detailed check out inventories via an independent inventory clerk to ensure your deposit is fully protected. However, where a deposit deduction is applicable our detailed inventories are designed to avoid any disputes! We give you ample opportunity at the start and end of the tenancy to complete the check in documentation and the final check out inventory.

Deposits

From April 2007, if you have an Assured Shorthold Tenancy your landlord has to protect your deposit and provide you with details of the Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme in which it is held.

Deposit Hints & Tips:

  • Make Sure you can get your Deposit together before arranging to sign a contract
  • Ensure your Deposit is fully protected as legally required
  • Make sure you don't cause any damage or leave the property in an unclean manner so to avoid any deposit deductions
  • Make sure you pay all your bills in order to receive your Deposit back quickly

All students who use UK Residential will be pleased to know that one of the Partners is an Adjudicator for Tenancy Deposit Disputes so we do our utmost to protect you as tenants.

All deposits are fully protected with the Deposit Protection Service.

Currently, we only charge a deposit of one month's rent

We also encourage you to request a pre-move out inspection to deal with any issues that may need addressing

Council Tax

Council Tax is a charge set by local authorities such as Sheffield City Council to help pay for certain public services

Full Time Students

All full time students who live in a Student Only household are exempt from paying council tax on the condition that a student exemption has been applied for.

Part Time Students

Part time students are not entitled to a council tax exemption but may be able to claim Council Tax Benefit

International Students and Spouses

The same rules as above apply to International Sheffield Students so long as the course runs for one academic year.

If a husband or wife joins an international student in Sheffield and is not a UK citizen, doesn't work and doesn't claim benefits, then an exemption can be granted

General Council Tax Advice

If you are sharing with non-students, then the property is liable for council tax and usually the person that is not the student will pay the bill. If there is only one non-student in the property a 25% discount can be applied for.

If you live with your landlord who is not a student, the landlord must pay the council tax

Council Tax Hints & Tips:

  • Remember as a student you are not automatically exempt from council tax
  • You always remain liable for gaining a Student Council Tax Exemption
  • Make sure you keep a copy of your Exemption as you may not get your Deposit back if you can't produce an Exemption
  • Part time students should enquire about Council Tax Benefits
  • International students with spouses should contact Sheffield City Council Tax Department if they are unsure about spouse status

UK Residential ensures all student tenants are registered for Council Tax. We then advise and guide you on how to apply for a student exemption!