How much is the agency fee?
The agency fee is 40% + VAT of one months rent (48% inclusive of VAT). This fee is payable with the deposit (equivalent to one months rent) in order to secure the property after a viewing. The agency fee takes the property off the market, covers all admin costs and drawing up the legal documentation such the tenancy agreement and deposit protection information. Click here to view a detailed breakdown of what your agency fee covers.
How much is the deposit?
The deposit is equivalent to one months rent. This is payable with the agency fee (see above) after you have viewed a property that you wish to take for the next academic year. The deposit is registered in a government-approved scheme such as My Deposits or The Deposit Protection Service. You will receive your deposit back at the end of your tenancy if you leave the property in a clean and undamaged condition.
Is my deposit fully protected?
Yes, this is now a legal requirement. There are three main schemes- My Deposits, The Deposit Protection Service and The Tenancy Deposit Scheme. Abode ensures that the deposit is registered into one of these government-approved schemes. Please note that it is important to retain paperwork and keep any certificates or information that you have acquired as you may need this at the end of your tenancy.
How quickly can I arrange a viewing?
We would recommend arranging appointments as soon as possible in order to avoid disappointment. The lettings market moves very quickly so we would not recommend arranging viewings too far in advance. We are required to give a minimum of 24 hours notice prior to going to a property so please keep this in mind.
How many properties can I arrange a viewing for?
It can be tricky to select your top few properties to view as there are many properties to choose from. We recommend arranging a maximum of 3 viewings. Student properties let extremely quickly so if you are viewing multiple houses your favourite one might go before you have time to see them all. Choose your top 3 in terms of price, location, how many double bedrooms/bathrooms and let us know as soon as possible so we can book you in.
What do I do if I want to take a property?
Once you have viewed the property and would like to take it, please come to the office straight away. You will need to complete an application form and pay the agency fee and deposit in order to take the property off of the market. You must also bring your passport with you due to new immigration laws that are being introduced in the UK. You can fill in the form in the office or download it from our website in advance. We must receive all of the required monies along with the completed application form before we can take a property off the market.
Do I need a Guarantor?
Yes, all students are required to have a UK based Guarantor. This must be someone who owns their own home in the UK so they cannot be renting or live outside of the UK. International students who do not have a Guarantor available would be required to pay for the full year in advance.
What is the length of the tenancy?
The majority of our student tenancies are on average 12 months, unless advertised as otherwise. Please check each advert as this will provide details of the fixed tenancy term for each property.
Do I need insurance?
It is very sensible to get contents insurance that covers both accidental damage to the property, fixtures or fittings plus your own possessions both inside and outside the property (e.g. lap tops, phones, bikes).
How much are bills?
The cost of bills will depend on how much energy you use and how big the space is to heat. We can offer you some advice on what to expect: Gas central heating will be cheaper than electric heating. Warming up a smaller space will be less expensive than heating a large area. A flat on the top floor will generally be warmer than a basement flat as heat rises throughout a property. Normally the bills will be less expensive in a flat than a house. Students are exempt from Council Tax which is a huge help to the cost of living.
What notice do you need to give to enter my property?
Unless there is an emergency or you have agreed or are aware of a lesser timeframe, a minimum of 24 hours notice is always given to conduct any works, inspections, viewings etc.
Are there any additional or other costs we need to be aware of?
Abode is one of the few agencies that have no hidden costs! We require an agency fee, deposit and first months rent- there are no separate costs for Guarantor checks, check-outs or inventories. When you move into a property please note that utilities and contents insurance are all payable to external providers. Please do not forget to take out insurance to cover all of your personal possessions and any accidental damage to either yours or the landlord's possessions.
Who is responsible for contacting the utility companies after I move in?
We will notify the utility companies (gas, electricity and water) that the previous tenants have vacated and will inform them of your tenancy start date. The utility providers will get in touch with you to advise how to set up payments once you have moved in.
When will the rent leave my account?
For all properties managed by Abode, the standing order will be set up for the 1st of every month. The rent will be paid in monthly instalments from the first of every month. For any properties that are managed by the Landlord, the rent will be paid every month from the day that your tenancy starts. Some landlords require quarterly cheques instead. Please make sure you check the property advert where this will be noted.
How will my rent stop at the end of my tenancy?
We will ask your bank to cease the standing order. However, we would recommend checking with your bank to ensure that the standing order has stopped a month before your tenancy is due to end.
When is my deposit returned to me?
According to the deposit schemes, an agent has 30 days to return the deposit. For managed properties, we will liaise with the lead tenant if there are any deductions to be made at the end of the tenancy. We will issue the deposit refund by cheque to the individual tenant.
Do I need a professional cleaner? / How do I leave the property?
If you are confident that you can leave the property in a clean state without a professional clean, then this is acceptable. Once you have vacated the property, we will conduct a final check out to make sure everything is ready for the new tenants to move in. If further cleaning is required by a professional cleaner then this will be paid out of your deposit.
When is the student property list released?
The list is released in November for move-in the following July, unless stated otherwise.
Can we install locks on our doors?
No, unfortunately tenants cannot fit additional locks to bedroom doors. The fire officer has advised against this and the police have stated that this does not assist in terms of avoiding burglaries. We advise to 1) always dead-lock the front door 2) ensure you have insurance 3) take valuables home during holidays.
What internet can I have and how do I get it?
Abode work closely with Virgin Media and can get you special discounts and offers! When your tenancy starts, we will give you information on how to claim your deal. If you wish to go with another provider, please get in touch with them directly to find out what best deals are out there. If you wish to install Sky always ask us first as a satellite dish may need to be erected.
Do I have to pay for Council Tax?
All students who are in full-time education are exempt from paying Council Tax. We will notify the Council that you are students living at the property so you will not be charged. If you do get a letter from them, please let us know and we will sort it out for you.
Do I have to buy a TV license?
The short answer is yes. Anyone who watches live television on a TV, laptop, iPad or even on a phone is responsible for ensuring that the property is licensed to watch live TV. If you only watch catch-up or DVDs then a TV license is not required. Please contact TV licensing to inform them either way.
What redress schemes does Abode use?
ARLA (Association of Residential Letting and Managing Agents), BALMA (Bristol Association Letting and Managing Agents), Property Ombudsman LETTINGS (D01994). Abode Property Management are a member of the following client money protection scheme; NFOPP (National Federation of Property Professionals)