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Student Homes Since 1962

Frequently Asked Questions

How do we arrange a viewing?

Simply contact ourselves on 07805 291250 or email us at info@lingardbell.co.uk

If you are a group, please suggest a date and time when you are all available to view the property – this saves us disturbing the current tenants more than is necessary. We always give our tenants at least 24 hours notice of any visits and start our viewings from 11am onwards. We will then meet you at the property, show you around and answer any questions you may have.  We try to give you the opportunity to speak to the current tenants in private so you can ask them for their opinion of us as landlords. Please remember to bring a notepad/pen and also a camera as you may be able to take photographs with the permission of the current occupiers.

Please note that these arrangements are subject to change, depending on Government guidance at the time.  We now have fully tested measures in place to be able to deal with all eventualities.

 

How do we go about signing for the property?

Please make sure all your group has considered the implications of signing for the property.  If you do decide to go ahead, please get in touch with us quickly.  We can reserve the property for you for 24 hours until you have had chance to read through the Tenancy Agreement, consult with parents and take advice from the contract checking services at the student unions.  Once you are happy to sign, we will make an appointment for you to come to our office to sign the agreement, fill in the tenancy application forms and pay your deposits. If any of your group are abroad it is not a problem as we can complete the necessary paperwork online.

You will need to discuss amongst yourselves who you want to nominate as “Lead Tenant”.  The Lead Tenant will be the person who will be the first named person on the Deposit Protection Certificate and we will liaise with this person to agree any deductions for the property at the end of the tenancy.  You can change the Lead Tenant at any time, as long as you all agree to it and then let us know!

To save time you could print off the tenancy application forms which are located in the Documents section of our website, fill them in and bring them along to the letting office when you come to sign the contract.

Please note that The Immigration Act 2014 came into force on the 1st February 2016.  Section 22 of this Act requires anyone renting property from this date to check the “Right to Rent” status of all tenants and take copies of documentation for their records.  The documentation is then kept on file for 1 year after the end of the tenancy.

What is the tenancy agreement (contract) that we sign?

It is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement (AST) which has been prepared by the Leeds Property Association’s specialist Solicitor.  It is fully compliant with the Tenant Fees Act 2019.  The contract runs from 1st July until 30th June for 52 weeks. The contract checking services at Unipol, Leeds University Student Union, Leeds Beckett Students Union and Leeds Trinity University College are all familiar with this contract.  Contact details are as follows:

Unipol
Email: info@unipol.leeds.ac.uk
Tel: 0113 2430169
Main office located at 155 Woodhouse Lane and drop in centre located in the Leeds University Union Building

Leeds University Union Student Advice Centre
Email: advice@luu.leeds.ac.uk
Tel: 0113 3801290

Leeds Beckett University Students Union
Email: suadvice@leedsbeckett.ac.uk
Tel: 0113 8128400

Leeds Trinity University Students Union
Email: trinitywelfare@leedstrinity.ac.uk
Tel: 0113 2837100 (extension 352)

If we sign for a property, what happens if one of our group drops out?

Strictly speaking, contracts are legally binding for the full duration of the tenancy.  Under normal circumstances, we will only release you from the contract if you can find a suitable replacement for yourself.  However, in light of the current pandemic we will try to be as flexible as we can.

The first step would be to consult with your housemates to see if they know anyone within their peer group who would fit into the house nicely. You could also place an advert on the student to student notice board on the Unipol website advertising your room under the “Accommodation Available” section. You could also respond to adverts placed on the noticeboard under the “Accommodation Wanted” section. Gumtree is also a good place to advertise.

We would assist with any viewings and organise the paperwork necessary to release you from the contract. We would also place an advert on our own website advertising the spare room.

How much is the deposit , how can we pay and when do we pay it?

The deposit is £200 per person, payable by cash, credit/debit card or bank transfer.  If you pay by cash/card we will give you a receipt straightaway.  If you pay by bank transfer, we will email you a receipt asap.  Deposits are normally paid at the time the Tenancy Agreement is signed.  However, we will accept late payments as long as they are received within 30 days of the first deposit being paid.  There is no administration charge for deposits being paid late.

Is my deposit protected?

Yes, your deposit will be held by Lingard Bell Limited in a separate “ring fenced” account and will be registered with mydeposits.co.uk. Deposits must be registered within 30 days of receipt of the first deposit for the property.

Please visit the website at www.mydeposits.co.uk for more information.

When would we receive our deposits back?

By law, we need to return all deposits within 10 days of agreeing any deductions to be made.  Deposits are returned to tenants/parents individually by cheque or by bank transfer if preferred.  We use the mydeposits insurance scheme which means we can release deposits very quickly as we hold the deposits ourselves in a ring fenced account. We return the majority of deposits in full, deductions made are almost always for replacing lost keys – the loss of which we have no control over – so please be careful with them!

Are there any administration/signing fees?

No – it has always been our policy not to charge any administration/signing fees.  For tenancies signed after the 1st June 2019 it’s actually illegal for a landlord/letting agent to charge these fees.

How do we pay the rent?

We will write to you all individually late February/early March detailing rent amounts and payment options.  You can either pay the rent monthly, quarterly or termly.  You can pay by standing order or by bank transfer.   When you fill in your tenancy application form we will ask if the rent will be paid by yourselves or your parents.  If your parents are paying, we will contact them directly to make all the necessary arrangements.

Are utility bills included in the rent?

Yes – gas, electricity, water and internet are included in the rent at all our properties.

Shared houses are subject to a Fair Usage Policy which will be sent to you along with the contract.

 

Is there a Summer rent discount?

Unfortunately not.  However, to help you with your finances, we do accept a smaller payment being paid on the 1st July – with the 3 other main payments being made to fit in with the receipt of your student loan around October, January and April

 

Do we need to pay Council Tax?

If the property is completely occupied by full time students the property is exempt from Council Tax.  Lingard Bell Limited does inform Leeds City Council of your names and student identity numbers before you move in.  However, it is your responsibility to provide them with your Student Council Tax Exemption Certificate if requested.

What do we do about collecting our keys?

This is another instance where the Lead Tenant role comes in.  We write to the Lead Tenant around mid May time asking them to ask around the rest of the group to ascertain their plans for moving in.  You can either collect your keys from our “letting office” in front of 50 Brudenell Road LS6 1BD on the 1st July between 12 noon and 2pm, have them posted out to you by first class post on the 2nd July or arrange a slightly later time in July to collect them from us.

This process is subject to change pending Government guidance at the time.

Please note that keys will not be released until all deposits have been paid in full and arrangements have been made for paying at least the first month’s rent.

 

Will the property have been cleaned in preparation for the start of our tenancy?

The outgoing tenants may have only left the property a matter of hours from you moving in and should have left the property suitably clean and tidy as instructed.  We also put professional cleaners into all our properties to carry out a thorough clean.  If you find the cleaning is not up to standard when you move in, please let us know and we will arrange for the cleaners to come back in at the earliest opportunity.  Please bear in mind that we own a large number of properties and we need to prioritise where the cleaners first visit.

 

What is not provided?

We do not provide bedding, waste bins, toilet brushes, toilet paper, towels, kitchen utensils, irons or ironing boards or cleaning equipment.  We do provide a reliable vacuum cleaner and mattress protectors on all beds.

 

What do we need to do when we move in?

If you are responsible for the utility bills you need to take meter readings for gas, electric and sometimes water supplies. Please ring the readings through to the utility suppliers as soon as possible.  It is a good idea to register the accounts in as many names as possible.  Details of current suppliers and locations of meters are listed on the welcome letter which will have been handed to the first person who collects their keys for the house.  This person should place the welcome letter in the perspex holder in the hallway/lobby so that everyone has access to it.  If your meter is outside it will need a special key to open the meter cabinet.  The key will be attached to the welcome letter.

What about things we discover not to be working/need attention when we move in?

If it is something that requires urgent attention, please contact Steve on 07957 644213.  If it is something minor, we request that you make a note of it yourself and then once everyone has moved into the house, you all get together with your notes and compile a list of jobs needing doing and email it to us at info@lingardbell.co.uk.   We have found this to be the most efficient way of dealing with repairs.  More information is given on the welcome letter which will have been handed to the first person who collects their keys for the house.  This person places the welcome letter in the perspex holder in the hallway so that everyone has access to it.

Maintenance issues

We do try to attend to repairs as quickly as possible but first we have to prioritise them.  To do this we use the following categories:

  • EMERGENCY REPAIRS (i.e. boiler not working, toilet blocked, water leaks, lock faulty). We aim to resolve these matters within 24 hours
  • URGENT REPAIRS (i.e. toilet seat broken, fridge/washing machine not working). We aim to resolve these matters within 5 working days
  • NON URGENT REPAIRS (i.e. cupboard handle loose, shelf fallen down). We aim to resolve these matters within 28 days
  • SPECIAL REQUESTS (i.e. you want to redecorate your room, bring your own furniture into the house). We will consider your request and get back to you as soon as possible.

 

As a rule we need to have all requests in writing (except in the case of an emergency, when you should ring Steve on his mobile number 07957 644213).  Please fill in the maintenance form under the Maintenance section on the tool bar above giving a detailed description of the fault.

What about emergencies?

Please contact Steve on 07957 644213.  Please ensure that it is a genuine emergency and not something that can wait until the morning!

What do we do when our tenancy is about to end?

We will contact you all individually about mid May letting you know the process for returning your deposits, asking for a forwarding address and who you want the deposit cheque making out to.  If you prefer a bank transfer, this can easily be arranged. We also let you know where to return your keys and also provide each of you with Unipol’s leaflet about deposits which gives advice about deposits in general and their estimate of possible deduction charges.

What do we need to do when we move out?

You must ensure that the property is clean and tidy throughout (both inside and outside).  We will arrange an inspection of your property a couple of weeks before you move out so that any deductions for damage can be agreed.  If you are responsible for the utility bills, you also need to take final meter readings and phone them through to the suppliers, giving them a forwarding address to send the final bills to.

Please don’t forget to arrange to have your post redirected!

What if we want to renew our contract for another year?

We always email our tenants around mid October to offer them first refusal on their current property.  If you decide you do want to stay we would arrange for a new Tenancy Agreement to be drawn up and signed as soon as possible.  You would not have to pay another deposit if you were staying in the same property but a new Deposit Protection Certificate would be provided for the new fixed term.  It could be that you wanted to stay with Lingard Bell Limited but wanted to move to a smaller property.  In this case, we would arrange any viewings required as soon as possible so that you could secure the property before the letting season starts properly around the Unipol house hunting weekend towards the later part of November.

Does the property have a Gas Safety Certificate?

Yes all our properties have a current Gas Safety Certificate provided by a Gas Safe registered engineer. Checks are carried out annually.  Everyone will be emailed a copy of the Certificate along with the signed Tenancy Agreement once the Tenancy Agreement is complete.  A hard copy of the Certificate can also be found in the perspex holder in the hallway/lobby at each property.

 

Does the property have an Electrical Report?

Yes, a record of the latest electrical inspection will be emailed to everyone along with the signed Tenancy Agreement once the Tenancy Agreement is complete.  A hard copy of the inspection report can also be found in the perspex holder in the hallway/lobby at each property.  Safety inspections are required to be carried out every 5 years.

Does the property have a Carbon Monoxide Detector?

To supplement the annual gas safety checks, carbon monoxide detectors are fitted wherever there is an appliance which could give off poisonous fumes.  Instructions on how to test the detector and what to do if an alarm sounds are located next to each detector.  All detectors comply with EN50291:1:2010 standards and are fitted with long life sealed unit batteries.

Has the property got a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) Licence?

The Housing Act 2004 introduced the mandatory licensing of certain high risk houses in multiple occupation.  The Act was implemented in April 2006 and meant that all properties inhabited by 5 or more unrelated occupants which had 3 or more floors would have to be licenced with the local council (Leeds City Council in your case).  We obtained HMO Licences for any of our properties which fell into this bracket.  There will be a full copy of the Licence in the perspex holder in the hallway/lobby of all licensable properties.

Does the property have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) ?

Yes – new government legislation meant that as of October 2008 every rented property must have an EPC.  Everyone will be emailed a copy of the EPC along with the signed Tenancy Agreement once the Tenancy Agreement is complete.  There is a hard copy of the EPC in the perspex holder in the hallway/lobby as well.

Will we need a TV Licence for the property?

If you use a TV, laptop, phone or any other device to watch or record television programmes which are being shown on TV or live on an online TV service or to download or watch BBC programmes on demand, including catch up TV on BBC iPlayer then by law you need to be covered by a TV Licence.

If you have signed a joint contract with other people named on the agreement you will only need one tv licence between you.  This applies even if you have a lock on your bedroom door.

If a TV licence is included in the rent this will be shown on the Utilities section at the front of the tenancy agreement by way of a tick box.

Otherwise, licences can be purchased online at www.tvlicensing.co.uk.  There is a student section on the website which gives you more information about this.

 

What about Internet?

Internet is provided at all our properties. You will have access to high speed unlimited internet the minute you walk in the door.  24 hour support is available 7 days a week (apart from Christmas Day and New Years Day)

Do we need to arrange contents insurance?

Contents insurance is provided by Endsleigh Insurance through a policy we hold in partnership with the Leeds Property Association.  The Certificate of Insurance will be emailed to you at the same time as the welcome letter at the end of June so that you can fully understand the protection provided and check it is sufficient for your needs.  If you do need to top up your cover you will be able to do so through Endsleigh directly.  You do not need to do anything to activate the insurance cover, it will commence automatically on the 1st July.  You can of course arrange your own insurance cover if you prefer.

Can we put up pictures or posters?

Whilst we don’t mind you personalising your rooms, we would have to charge you a reasonable cost for putting right any damage caused to wall coverings.

When are our bin days?

These are detailed on the welcome letter which is emailed to everyone at the start of their tenancy but collection dates can change throughout the year.  To check your bin days and download future calendars, please visit www.leeds.gov.uk/mybinday

You will need to have your postcode to hand when you log on to the website.

A laminated copy of the welcome letter is also placed in the perspex holder in the hallway/lobby of each property.