Student Accommodation Sheffield | student accommodation FAQs| www.pcproperties.co.uk

  Student Property FAQs

We have attempted to provide below information and answers to questions most frequently asked by our tenants. These include the procedure for viewing properties, signing tenancy agreements, through to when you occupy and finally vacate the property.

We would very much welcome any suggestions which you may have that would assist us in providing any additional useful information regarding student accommodation in Sheffield. Please send your e-mail to info@pcproperties.co.uk

Your  comments would be much appreciated.

In which areas of Sheffield are your Student properties located?

PC Properties provide a comprehensive range of student accommodation in Sheffield, comprising of houses and flats ranging in size from 1 to 11 bedrooms and which are located in the following popular student areas of Sheffield:-

- Ecclesall - S11
- Broomhil - S10
- Broomhall - S10
- Hunters Bar - S11
- Crookesmoor - S10
- Crookes -S10
- Hanover Way - S3

Our properties range in size from 1 bedroom flats up to 11 bedroom shared houses. Please refer to the search facility on the Home page of this web site for the house of your choice.

When should I start looking for a property?

Re-letting of student accommodation in Sheffield for the next academic year usually commences at the beginning of the prior November.

Given the demand, most Landlords formally start to advertise their properties early November and are often almost fully let by the Christmas break. Therefore, if you wish to secure a good quality property in a desirable area then it is advisable to start your search at the beginning of November.

What is the procedure for viewing a property?

Telephone our office on 0114-267-6177, visit our office, or email on info@pcproperties.co.uk. Please bear in mind that we always give our tenants at least 24 hours notice of any viewing. All viewings are accompanied by a PC Properties member of staff who will meet you at the property or alternatively you can meet at our office and we will arrange transport if required. To minimise the disruption to current tenants, please ensure wherever possible, that all members of your group are present to view the property. During your visit to the property, please feel free to ask the current tenants any relevant questions, e.g. how much are your utility bills, what is the neighbourhood like, what are the managing agents like, do they respond quickly to problems etc. Please note that during the busy student re-letting period commencing 1st November through to mid December, we are pleased to conduct evening and weekend viewings, including Sundays (subject of course to tenant agreement)

We have viewed the property and would like to take it, but what else do we need to consider and what other questions do we need to ask?

We must emphasise that you are about to enter in to a legally binding contract, and therefore before you sign any tenancy agreement, we strongly recommend that you obtain and carefully study a copy of the draft contract. We are pleased to answer any questions that you may have, but if you are in any doubt then we would suggest that you seek legal advice. We would also recommend that you make your parents fully aware of your intentions before signing any contractual agreement. Please be reminded that the tenancy agreement for our student accommodation is Sheffield is a joint one, consequently the responsibility for payment of all rent and any possible damages to the property or other liabilities falling upon the tenants during the tenancy, as well as any breach of the Agreement are jointly shared by all tenants until all payments have been made in full. The following clause is quoted from page 2 of our Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement Under Part 1 Of The Housing Act 1988:

"The Tenant acknowledges that if more than one person is named on this agreement, the Tenant liability and obligations under this Agreement shall be joint and several between those named".

What type of tenancy agreement would I be entering in to?

PC Properties normally let their student accommodation on the basis of a 12 month term (1st July to 30th June of the following year) using an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement Under Part 1 Of The Housing Act 1988, As Amended By The Housing Act 1009. As stated in answer to the previous question, the tenancy agreement is a joint and several contract, which again means that all tenants are jointly responsible for the payment of all rents and liabilities falling upon the tenants during the tenancy, as well as any breach of the Tenancy Agreement until all payments have been made in full.

To obtain a copy of a draft Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement, please click on the down loadable PDF file link below:-

  Example assured shorthold student tenancy agreement

 

Are Utility Bills Included?

Our quoted rental rates do not include gas, electric, water & T.V licence bills.  As an approximate guide, you should allow between £10.00 - £12.00p per person per week to cover payment of Gas, Electricity & Water charges.

However, please enquire for competitive all inclusive rentals including gas, electrice, water & T.V licence.. Please contact our office for further information.

Before committing to sign for any property, please carefully consider the cost of renting and plan ahead your budget for the year, taking into account rent, utility bills, telephone/internet, food and other day to day living expenses.

Do we have to pay council tax?

No, full time students are exempt from payment of Council Tax. PC Properties inform the council on your behalf and apply for your exemption from Council Tax. Please be aware that if you cease to be a student for whatever reason during the term of your tenancy, then you may be liable to pay Council Tax.

Please note that the Council Tax office may write to you during your tenancy requesting confirmation and proof that you are a full time registered student. Please do not ignore their request for information, if you do, they will issue you with a council tax bill and an immediate demand for payment.

Am I required to insure the property?

The tenants are only required to insure their own personal belongings. PC Properties insurance policy provides buildings insurance cover. Endsleigh insurance can provide a group or individual personal belongings insurance policy cover. We strongly recommend that tenants take out adequate insurance cover from day one of their tenancy.

Is Broadband Internet Service Included?

Commencing 1st July 2014, free broadband will be provided to every property and will be available in all rooms!

Please note that our broadband/internet engineers will commence installation to all of our properties from the 1st July 2014 and we would expect that all student properties are broadband enabled by the end of July 2014, subject to provision of the telephone lines by British Telecom.

Is the property licensed with Sheffield Council?

In compliance with Government legislation (Housing Act 2004) which came in to force in July 2006, all properties which are let to 5 occupants and over and which provide 3 habitable storeys are are subject to mandatory licencing. Where any property meets this criteria, all relevant PC Properties student shared houses in Sheffield are licensed with Sheffield City Council. A copy of the licence can be made available upon request. Alternatively, to verify that any property is licensed, please contact the Private Sector Housing Department at Sheffield City Council on 0114-273-4680

Does the property comply with current regulations?

All properties are checked annually and the appropriate certificates are issued, namely; Landlords Gas Safety Certificate, Electrical Inspection Certificate, Fire Alarm & Emergency Lighting Certificates. Where a full LD2 or LD3 mains wired interlinked Fire Alarm system is installed, an inspection certificate is provided annually, together with an emergency lighting certificate if appropriate. A full inspection of the electrical system is inspected and certified every 5 years. The household furniture & furnishings are compliant with Fire Safety Regulation Act 1988. An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is mandatory from the 1st October 2008 and is available for inspection.

Are locks fitted to bedroom doors?

Yes, all of our properties have a thumb turn lock fitted to each bedroom door. These are approved by Sheffield City Council and will allow exit from the bedroom in an emergency without the use of a key.

Will I require a a parking permit?

If the property does not have off road parking, then you will require a parking permit. Currently, Crookes does not require parking permits, although, Ecclesall, Broomhall, Broomhill and Crookesmoor do operate car parking permit schemes. Resident Car Parking permits are £36.00 per annum for the first vehicle, and £72.00 per annum for second and subsequent vehicles. Please note that parking permits for second and subsequent vehicles are issued at the discretion of Sheffield City Council Parking Services. Visitors parking permits are available at £10.00p for a book of 25 daily permits. For more information, please contact Sheffield City Council Parking Services on 0114-273-5469 or e-mail parkingservices@sheffield.gov.uk

What is included in the property?

Although the inventory may vary slightly from property to property, generally, each bedroom contains a bed (usually a double), wardrobe, chest of drawers, desk & chair. The lounge will have sofas and dining table & chairs.The kitchen provides electric cooker/hob, fridge/freezer, washing machine and microwave. For houses of 6 and above, there are usually 2 fridge/freezers, 2 ovens/hobs. Please note that the inventory of contents may vary from property to property. Cooking utensils, crockery, cutlery, kettles, toasters, waste bins, mops, buckets, cleaning materials, iron/ironing board and bedding are not provided.

What fire prevention facilities does the property have?

All properties are fitted with a mains wired smoke alarm system covering all zones within the house and a heat detector is fitted to the kitchen. The kitchen is also provided with a dry powder extinguisher and fire blanket. Although not mandatory under current fire regulations, a fire extinguisher is usually sited in the entrance hall and on each landing.

If I were to sign for the property, could I leave or be released from the Tenancy Contract at any point?

In short, no! Legally you cannot do this and there is no provision within the tenancy agreement to terminate the agreement before the end of the agreed term.  On signing any Assured Shorthold Tenancy Contract, you must understand that you have entered in to a legally binding agreement for the duration of the agreed term. However, should you request to be released from your contract, and providing that you find a replacement to take over your tenancy and that any such replacement is in full agreement with your co-tenants and the change in tenancy has been completed to the satisfaction of PC Properties, and providing that you have met all your obligations under the terms of your tenancy agreement and have paid all rents which may be due, you may then be released from your tenancy contract. In these circumstances, the outgoing tenant shall pay to PC Properties an administration fee of £50.00p.

Please note that in any circumstance, including that where the tenancy contract has not been fully completed, the administration fee is non refundable. The deposit or part of it may only be refunded at the discretion of the Landlord.

O.K. We understand the above, we wish to take the house and sign contracts - what next?

To reserve the property, all that we request is that you make a firm appointment within 5 days to to visit PC Properties offices to sign the contract, provide deposits, administration fees, post dated rent cheques, and complete a tenant details form. Once you have booked a time and date to visit our office to sign tenancy agreements etc, we undertake to reserve the property for you for up to a maximum of 5 days. Please note that if contract signings are not completed by the agreed date and within the specified 5 day period, we will then re-advertise the property for let.

All tenants must be present at the signing and must provide the following payments:

- Refundable Deposit = £200.00p (payable by cheque or cash)
- Non Refundable Administration Fee = £60.00 (payable by cheque or cash)
- 3 x Post Dated Rent Cheques to cover the Rent due for the period of the tenancy agreement
- National Insurance Number & Student Number

  (Please note that the above post dated rent cheques are not cashed until the
  due dates which are:

- 20th June (Covers the period 1st July to 31st October)
- 20th October (Covers the period 1st November to 28th February)
- 20th February (Covers the period 1st March to 30th June)

Upon receipt in cleared funds, your refundable deposit of £200.00p will be protected and lodged with a Government approved deposit scheme provider - The Deposit Protection Service Ltd (DPS). Once the DPS have received your deposit, each tenant will be sent written confirmation to their home address and also by e-mail and text message where e-mail and addresses and mobile numbers are provided. Your confirmation that the DPS are in receipt of your deposit will also include a unique deposit ID and repayment ID number and which is necessary to claim your deposit back from the DPS at the end of your tenancy. Repayment of your deposit may be done on-line or by written request to the DPS. It is therefore extremely important that you keep your deposit & repayment ID numbers secure. Please note that any deposit paid on or after the 6th April 2007 must be lodged with a Government approved deposit protection scheme)

Once you have received confirmation from the DPS that they are in receipt of your deposit, we would recommend that you log on to their web site and check that your details are correct, e.g., Name, Address, E-mail Address & Mobile Phone Number.

If any of the above information should change before, during or after your tenancy, then it is important that you log on to the DPS web site and make any necessary amendments to your postal address, e-mail address or mobile number, as the DPS may use any one of these to contact you.

Once our current tenancy agreement has expired, can we renew our tenancy for a further year?

Yes, prior to the end of your tenancy, we write to all our tenants to give them the opportunity of retaining the property and re-signing for a further term.

When can we move in to our new property?  

Your tenancy commences at 1.00pm on the 1st July and you may collect the keys from our office at 398, Ecclesall Road anytime from 1.00pm on the 1st July. Keys may be collected individually or collection may be made on behalf of your co-tenants. Collection of keys on a weekend can be arranged by prior agreement.

Will the property be cleaned prior to moving in?  

All our properties are professionally cleaned at the end of any tenancy. However, because the outgoing tenants vacate the property on the 30th June and the new incoming tenants move in on the 1st July, we cannot therefore guarantee that the property will be thoroughly cleaned in readiness for the start of your tenancy. Due to the hectic summer change over, we have to prioritise the cleaning of properties and those houses which have been left in poor condition are promptly attended to. Therefore, if your property has been left in fare condition, please bare with us and rest assured that your house will be cleaned as soon as possible.

We would ask that if you have moved in to your house and it has not yet been cleaned, please place your belongings in your room and other areas in a tidy manner so as to allow our cleaners to carry out a thorough clean once they are able to visit.

Carpets and upholstery will also be cleaned where necessary

Is an inventory provided?

Yes, all properties are thoroughly inspected at the end of each tenancy and a detailed inventory and schedule of condition report is provided. We request that all tenants check this and return their signed copy to PC Properties with any amendments or additions.

Any repairs etc identified during our inspection will be attended to as soon as possible but again due to the hectic summer changeover, please bear with us and rest assured that any such matters will be attended to.

What is the procedure regarding Gas, Electricity & Water suppliers?

We can offer very competitive all inclusive utility deals - please contact our office for rental prices inclusive of gas, electric, water & T.V licence.

However, if you decide to source and directly pay your chosen utility suppliers,  we provide a yellow form for the outgoing tenants to complete and leave in the property for the new incoming tenants. This form states the name of the current Gas, Electric and water suppliers. It will also state their final meter readings. In addition, PC Properties also note the final meter readings for verification purposes.

On moving in to the property, you should set up an account with your chosen Electric & Gas suppliers as soon as possible. Water services are only supplied by Yorkshire Water and similarly you should also set up an account with them as soon as possible. Please note that you may choose to stay with the current supplier or you are at liberty to change to a supplier of your choice.

We recommend that any Gas, Electric or Water accounts are set up in your joint names.

Gas and Electricity charges are normally billed quarterly. You may elect to pay Water charges monthly or quarterly etc. Please ensure that you budget carefully and that everyone puts a sum aside each week to cover these costs.

We would also recommend that you set up a joint 'household' bank account from which all utility bills are paid. If everyone pays between £8.00p to £10.00p in to this account from the start of your tenancy, then all utility bills should be easily covered. You can also set up a direct debit to automatically pay bills from this account or alternatively bills may be paid by cheque upon receipt of the monthly or quarterly bills - your bank will provide you with a cheque book for this purpose.

You may wish to consider using 'Glide' as your utilities provider. The big advantage of Glide is that they can not only supply your Gas, Electric, Water, Telephone, Broadband & T.V Licence services, but they will also split the bills equally so that each tenant receives their own bill. This means that there are no arguments over who pays what, no more chasing housemates for money, and no more falling out over bills! It is very simple to sign up with Glide by visiting their web site www.glide.uk.com or call them on 0333 666 5555

Please note that you are liable for all Gas, Electric and Water charges from the 1st of July until the end of your contracted tenancy, even though you may not have moved in to the property until the start of your University course in say September!

Please note that the notice board in your property provides the contact numbers of most utility suppliers.

Who do we contact if we have a problem or require advice?

During normal office hours (Monday to Friday 9.00am to 5.00pm) please contact our office at 398, Ecclesall Road, Sheffield S11 8PJ by telephone: 0114-267-6177 or by e-mail: info@pcproperties.co.uk

If the problem is an emergency and is outside of normal office hours, please contact either Phil Darwent (PC Properties Maintenance) on 07968-072610 or Peter Turkington (PC Properties Manager) on 07973-166691

Please note that we have provided an information board in every property. This is usually located in the hall way or landing of your property and contains the above numbers together with other emergency numbers and also other useful information.

Please do not hesitate to contact Collette Harrington or Peter Turkington should you have any query or problem - we are here to help you wherever we possibly can.

What is the procedure when I finally vacate the property at the end of my tenancy?

Towards the end of your tenancy, we send numerous notices to your house which are not only designed to help make your move out as easy and stress free as possible but are also intended to help you achieve a speedy and maximum refund of your deposit.
 
Approximately 2 months before the end of your tenancy, we send out a Deposit Claim Form for each to tenant to complete and return to PC Properties. This will request such essential information as your e-mail address, mobile number and your forwarding address which we have to provide to the DPS when authorising them to release your deposit. Please do ensure that you complete and return your Deposit Claim Form to our office as this is essential to enable us to authorise the DPS to release your deposit

Further notices sent to each property include advice and direction concerning house cleaning, rubbish removal, key returns and detailed instructions on how to claim your deposit back from the DPS. .

The most common source of deduction from tenants deposits is that for house cleaning and rubbish removal. To avoid any such deduction, we recommend that all occupants make every effort to ensure that the property is left in a clean and tidy condition throughout, and that all rubbish and personal belongings are removed. This includes any of your own furniture, cooking utensils, crockery, kitchen appliances including electric kettles & toasters.

Please be reminded that you are not only responsible for ensuring that your own bedroom is left clean and tidy but also the communal areas comprising of the lounge, kitchen, bathrooms, hall, stairs and landings which are everyones responsibility. If everyone mucks in, then the task is so much easier. If you have vacated the property early and before the remainder of your co-tenants, then you should return at the end of the tenancy to help with any necessary cleaning etc.

Sheffield City Council operate a 'Red Sack' scheme which is designed to assist with the disposal of excessive rubbish which may not fit in your wheelie bins. These can be left on the pavement outside of your property and will be collected by the waste disposal company (Veolia) throughout June and the first week of July. PC Properties will deliver a supply of Red Sacks to your property at the end of May (2 Red Sacks per tenant will be provided)

With regard to the return of your house keys, these must be returned to PC Properties office no later than 1.00pm on the last day of your tenancy - 30th June. If you vacate the property earlier, then we would appreciate their immediate return wherever possible. If you are returning keys by post, then they should be sent by recorded delivery to PC Properties within a secure padded bag and clearly marked with your property address, name and room number.

Please remember to take your final gas, electricity and if applicable water meter readings on the last day of your tenancy. Contact your gas & electricity suppliers and provide them with your final meter readings. Please also remember to provide them with a forwarding address to which the final bills should be sent.  PC Properties will provide two yellow meter reading forms on which you should record your meter readings and also state the name of your electricity & gas suppliers. Please retain one copy for your records and leave one copy in the kitchen area for the new incoming tenants.

As per the terms of your tenancy agreement, PC Properties will undertake to authorise the DPS to refund your deposit within 30 days from the end of your tenancy, providing that the following conditions are met;

- Proof of payment of all utility bills is provided to PC Properties, namely gas, electricity & water
- Confirmation of utility providers has been supplied to PC Properties
- All rents due have been paid in full
- The property has been returned in good clean condition and good state of repair
- All keys to the property have been returned to PC Properties
- All fully completed deposit refund claim forms have been returned to PC Properties
- Any bills relating to costs for which the tenants may be liable have been received by PC Properties

For detailed instructions on how to claim back your deposit from the DPS, please see below.

How do I claim back my deposit?

Detailed instructions on how to claim back your deposit have now been moved to the Home page under the heading - Claiming Back Your Deposit

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