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Accommodation Contracts

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It’s very important to get your tenancy agreement in writing

This sets out the rights and responsibilities for you and your landlord. Be certain that you understand and agree with all of the contract terms before you sign. Once you have signed, you’ll usually be bound by the terms of the agreement, unless the specific contract term is unlawful.

If you have found accommodation, the SU advice team offer a contract checking service to see if it looks correct. If you want to use this service get in touch with us, allowing at least 5 working days for us to reply.

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Types of contract

There are 2 main types of accommodation contracts for students:

  1. Assured shorthold tenancy agreements, commonly known as ASTs. You’ll have an AST if you rent private accommodation from a private landlord or privately-owned student accommodation.
  2. License agreements. You’ll have a license agreement if you rent a room in University Halls or you live with your landlord as their lodger.

If you’re not sure what type of contract you have, contact the SU Advice Service or you can check on the Shelter tenancy checker.

What should my contract include?

At the minimum, your contract should include the following information:

  • Your name (s), the landlord’s name and address, or agent’s if they are managing the property
  • The full postal address of the property
  • The start and end date of the tenancy
  • The amount of rent and deposit payable
  • Confirmation of responsibility for any bills
  • Confirmation of Landlord’s responsibility to carry out essential repairs
  • Notice required to bring the tenancy to an end

What rights do I have with an AST?

What are my main obligations if I have an AST?

  • Paying the rent on time
  • Notifying the landlord of extended times away
  • Reporting repairs to the landlord in writing
  • Keeping the property clean and tidy
  • Not causing any damage or nuisance

If you’re a joint tenant, you’ll have joint responsibility for these obligations. This is sometimes  described in the contract as “joint and several liability”.  For example, if one of your housemates doesn’t pay their share of the rent, you can be held liable for their unpaid rent.

What rights do I have if I have a license agreement?

  • You won’t have as many rights if you have a license agreement.
  • You won’t have exclusive possession. Your landlord could enter your room without notice or your permission.
  • If you pay a security deposit, this does not need to be protected.
  • Your landlord can ask you to leave with “reasonable notice” and they don’t need a court order to evict you.

What are my main obligations?

  • You’ll need to pay your rent and follow any agreed household rules.

Contact the SU Advice Service

Email us

Usually the fastest way to contact us is to email using our contact form.

We always aim to reply within 5 working days, but often reply much sooner.

We generally answer in chronological order but if your issue is very time sensitive please mark your email 'Urgent' and we will try to get back to you as soon as we can.

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Book an appointment (new clients only)

If you prefer to speak to someone directly, and you have not spoken to us previously about the issue, you can book an appointment with an Advisor.

If you already have an Advisor assigned to you and you would like to speak to them please just email them directly - this will be usually be much faster than using the booking form!

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