Residential Lettings and Management, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

mail@johncaveproperties.co.uk - 01242 261 679

The Students Guide


Viewing

Either with the existing Students direct or accompanied by one of us, whichever is the mutually convenient option and remember – early viewings avoid disappointment, as most of our houses were let by January of last Academic year. To arrange viewings please telephone the office on 01242 261679 or email us at mail@johncaveproperties.co.uk

House Booking Process

Having selected a house, you have to let us know either by telephone or email, so that we can "provisionally" allocate the house to you and your colleagues. You will then be asked to produce some basic information such as names and addresses etc, in order that we can then confirm in writing this let to yourselves. It is at this stage that you will be asked to pay your Deposit (more detail below). Thereafter we apply for the lease, which then gets emailed to you, before you all then come into the office for us to go through the document in detail. Once this process is complete, only then do we mail the Parental Guarantee request out (more detail below).

Rent

Rent is an individual responsibility and quoted on a weekly basis (the preferred Student method), although it is calculated and paid on a per calendar monthly basis (£weeks rent x 52 weeks and divided by 12 months). Payment method is by post dated rental cheques, which are dated for the 28th day of each respective calendar month, so that the money is cleared for the first day of the month and calendar monthly thereafter. Rent is payable for 10 months from September - June (inclusive), with half rent paid over the summer months of July and August, which means you can occupy your chosen property during the Summer, if you so wish, with the exception of the first two weeks of July, whilst we take back the houses and undertake the initial cleaning process.

We calculate the rental amount based on the University average of approx £75.00 per week Exclusive, with an average £12.00 premium to pay for the Inclusive Utilities element only (although please note, this average does not normally include the broadband and TV licence, which we also include).

It is our philosophy to offer value for money accommodation without charging additional premiums. However, from experience, properties quoted with a much lower rental figure almost always involves some sort of compromise, such as location, standard of the accommodation, heating, furniture quality, lack of broadband and TV licence and so on; so the moral to this is to be careful when perusing various lists as more often than not, all is not quite what it seems!

Furthermore, there is also a converse analogy to this. Just because an Agency or Landlord is asking upwards of £100.00 a week, does not mean that the property is correspondingly that much better. It’s expensive enough going to University and we strongly believe therefore that the value paid for the accommodation you occupy, should be fair and reasonable.

Utility Inclusive Cap

The inclusive element part of the rent is though “capped”, which currently is £200.00 per month, which is one of the most generous in the town. Furthermore, unlike some other Landlords, this amount is aggregated evenly across 12 months and not by Quarter, which means you benefit from offsetting the milder spring and summer Quarters against the more expensive autumn and winter Quarters. Another example of being fair and reasonable.

House hand over

As you will appreciate, our first responsibility is to get the houses handed back from the current years group at the end of their Tenancy and whereas in the past we have allowed keys for the new Tenancy to be released on the 1st July, this has now proved to be difficult and has resulted in a number of problems.

To tackle this issue, we will now not be releasing respective keys for the first two weeks of July.

If however and as sometimes happens, we have all the keys returned early from an outgoing group, we will conduct the checking out and subsequent cleaning process of that respective house early. Accordingly, we will then be in a position to release keys to those respective houses earlier than the first two weeks of July. In other words, the first two weeks of July vacant period will only be a guide, although either way if you wish to store any of your belongings, this will not be a problem and can be done.

Deposit

The equivalent of a month’s rent and is fully refundable immediately after the end of the contract, subject to there being no damage or rent arrears. We accept fair wear and tear and minor breakages and in fact very rarely make any deductions. Please note, we fully comply with the Tenancy Deposit Legislation which came into force on 6 April 2007; having chosen The Tenancy Deposit Scheme as our compliance provider. They can be contacted on www.tds.gb.com or 0845 226 7837. Alternatively you can find out more information from www.direct.gov.uk/tenancydepositor telephone 0845 609 0696.

Parental Guarantees

In light of the fact that Students effectively have no income, it is a requirement that either a Parent or Guardian signs a basic Guarantee. It is a simple document and in essence means that the Guarantor ‘indirectly’ has the same responsibilities as the Student themselves and will therefore act accordingly in the unlikely event that the Student fails to pay their rent or damages the property, less the amount of the held deposit. However, Guarantors are not responsible for any other Tenant. The Guarantee is only mailed out for signing after a copy of the lease has been emailed to the respective Student and in addition, after the lease signing meeting has taken place where we comprehensively go through the detail of the document, with the group in question. The cost for the Guarantee is shared equally with the Landlord and currently is £45.00 plus VAT = £54.00. However, this only gets paid with the first rental payment just before the Student moves into the house in the Summer.

Lettings and Administration Fees

We do not charge any Lettings or Administration Fees for Student Accommodation. All these costs are covered by the respective Landlord's.

Council Tax

Currently, all full-time students at University are exempt from Council Tax. However, in the event a Student leaves the University but stays in the house, that Student will become liable for the Council Tax for the entire house (usually with a 25% discount), on which basis, we do require any Tenant ceasing to be a Student to inform us immediately so that we can let the Council know.

The Contract

The letting contract is basically a standard Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement under the Housing Act, although with some very minor modifications to reflect Student INCLUSIVE use and in addition, to comply with the requirements of the University of Gloucestershire - in particular, that rents are not “joint and several” i.e. Students (and their respective Guarantor) are not liable for any other Student.

Insurance

All the properties are insured by the respective Landlords, although this cover does not extend to any of the personal possessions that a Student may bring. However, getting individual insurance is actually not straight forward, predominantly as we do not fit respective Bedroom doors with locks, unlike the University Halls of Residence. There are a number of reasons for this, including Safety aswell as the fact that the house may not be defined as being "shared". Inevitably, in the increasingly bureaucratic world that we live in, this has a number of potential implications, in particular, on the eligibility for one "shared" TV license.

It is strongly recommended therefore that Insurance is taken out, not least as “opportunistic” theft is on the increase and sadly in particular targeting the Student community. Options are (1) an individual stand alone policy or (2) potentially (if possible) for the respective Parent or Guardian to extend their own Household Insurance to cover Portable Possessions of either their Son or Daughter.

On balance it is our recommendation to go with Option 1 and purchase your own policy – with Endsleigh Insurance being the specialist Student provider of choice. For more information on this please click the following link: http://niche.endsleigh.co.uk/?companyid=eiswhtstb&agent=30995

Safety

We take the safety of our Students and Tenants in general, very seriously and will take a dim view of any individual compromising this standard.

All our houses comply with the both the relevant Health and Safety Legislation (including the new HMO Regulations, where applicable, which came into force in April 2007) and where applicable University requirements. All the properties have electrically connected smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors and are comprehensively Safety tested on an annual basis resulting in both Electrical and Gas safety certificates being issued.

Please note: We do not allow the burning of candles or any incense and likewise, smoking is not allowed in any of the houses. Anyone burning a carpet, in any capacity, will be required to purchase a new one.

Maintenance

All of our houses have been the subject of considerable refurbishment and regular upgrading; furthermore they all are well maintained and thoroughly cleaned at the Tenancy commencement. However, in the event that there are any problems, please contact the office on 01242 261679 and we will endeavour to resolve the problem with immediate effect. However, in the event that the problem is identified as either neglect or ill treatment, the cost will be apportioned accordingly.

Telephones

Some of the houses have an incoming telephone line, generally as a consequence of the provision of the Broadband connection. However, this will not allow normal outgoing calls, with the exception of 999 and certain Free Phone numbers.

TV License

All of the Houses are provided with a Television License (which also covers Students own TV's) and in most cases have TV aerial’s fitted with a socket installed into each Bedroom, thus allowing an individual to install a digital freeview box into their own room.

Broadband Internet

We now provide all the houses with fast Virgin cable wireless Broadband, as opposed to a hard wired local area network, as part of the Inclusive rent package.

Removal and Storage

We have negotiated preferential rates with "Safestore" (http://www.safestore.co.uk) who are a National Company with 90 Depots Nationwide, including Cheltenham (http://www.safestore.co.uk/storage/south_west/cheltenham/cheltenham.aspx).

They have the experience and strength in depth to arrange an entire move or just Storage solutions, depending on individual requirements. They can also arrange preferential rates on van hire, if this is all you need.



Reputable Residential Property Lettings and Management specialists located in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

All material and opinions presented on this website are provided for information purposes only and are not intended to form part of any offer or contract. Further, our policies and practices may change at any time without notice. Details of all properties are provided from information received, and their accuracy cannot be guaranteed.