FAQs

Students

What is a Holding Fee and Why Do I Need to Pay It?

For a student tenancy the holding fee per person is 50% of the first month’s rent plus VAT divided by the number of students.  This also doubles up as your administration charges). Once paid we will contact the landlord and take the property off the market subject to references. Once the let is fully approved this amount will be deducted from your final moving in balance.

Why Do I Need to Provide My National Insurance Number?

This is for the purposes of tenant identification, this number could also be used to trace an absent tenant in the even we can can’t get hold of you at a forwarding address post tenancy.

What Is a Guarantor?

Each student will be required to provide a UK based guarantor, A guarantor is a person (usually a parent or guardian) undertaking to guarantee the commitment made by their child/ward (The Student) under the terms of the tenancy agreement. The student is agreeing to a joint and several agreement and therefore, the guarantor is agreeing to guarantee a joint and several agreement also. If for any reason this cannot be provided then full payment of rent up front would be required.

What Does “Joint and Several Liability” Mean?

Where there is more than one tenant signing an agreement, all tenants are ‘jointly and severally’ liable. This means that each tenant can be held responsible for the agreement and paying of rent and not just a share of it. Be sure about the people that you agree to share with as if they fail to pay the rent, you can also be held liable.

Who is Responsible for Maintenance Works on My Property?

The landlord is responsible for internal and external repairs to the property where the tenant is not at fault. The tenant is responsible for any breakages incurred and the upkeep and cleanliness of the property during the term of the tenancy.

Who Do I Report Maintenance Issues To?

If the property is managed by Acorn Properties you would call our maintenance team and we will arrange the necessary repairs on the landlord’s behalf. If the property is managed directly by the landlord you would report any issues directly to them. You can find all of your landlord’s contact details on the 2nd page of your tenancy agreement.

Who Do I Need To Pay My Rent To?

Acorn will set up a standing order with you when you agree to take a property and depending on the landlords request this will either be to Acorn Properties or to the landlord directly. If your guarantor is paying the rent on your behalf we will forward the standing order mandate on to them to fill out and return. Rent is paid monthly, termly or in advance depending on the landlords request and your circumstances. I.e. International students without a UK guarantor generally pay in advance.

What If I Have a Pet?

We do not allow pets on any student tenancies.

What about Insurance?

As a tenant you are responsible for insuring your own possessions and contents within the property. It is also advisable to take out cover for accidental damage to the landlords belongings. Your landlord is responsible for insuring the building. We can assist with tenant insurance if required, just ask.

How Can I Pay the Balance On My Invoice?

You can pay online on our website via secure trading, you can pay in person at our office or if it’s easier you can call us and pay over the telephone by debit or credit card.

Who is Responsible for the Payment of Utilities?

Unless otherwise specified the tenant is responsible for the payment of all utilities within the term of the tenancy agreement this would be on a joint and several liability basis.

What is the “Good Neighbourhood Agreement”?

This forms part of your tenancy agreement and had been written in conjunction with Northumbria Police and the local universities. It is an agreement to live within the confines of the law and relates to noise disturbance and anti-social behaviour in the community.

I Have Already Signed My Tenancy, What if I Cannot Move In?

If for some reason one of your group is not able to continue with a tenancy, this does not mean that we cannot proceed. You would have to find a replacement. If a tenancy agreement and agreement to rent has already been signed, everybody is still contractually bound by the terms of the agreement until another has been signed. Once a replacement has been found, holding fees paid and references completed, they can be added to the agreement and the other person removed. You must understand that if you sign an agreement and a final person cannot be found by the time the tenancy starts, you are bound by the terms and the full rent for the property will remain to be due.

What Are Your Opening Hours?

We are open from 9am to 5:30pm Monday to Friday. We are also open from 10am to 2pm on Saturdays. We are closed on public holidays and bank holiday weekends.

What about Council Tax?

If the tenant is a full-time student, they are exempt from paying this for the period of their studies, but it is their responsibility to prove their status to the City Council.

What Type of Tenancy Agreement do You Use?

Depending on the total rent of the property you will sign an Assured Shorthold Agreement or a Contractual Agreement. All agreements are joint and several. This means that you and your guarantors are all responsible for all the rent. If one fails to pay, the burden falls to the others.

Where is My Deposit Held?

This information can be found contained within your tenancy agreement under “prescribed information”.

What about Emergencies?

For our managed properties we have an out of office hour’s emergency number for our tenants to call. This can be found on our office answer phone when the office is closed. If the matter if the matter is extremely urgent you should first contact the emergency services by calling 999. You can find information about your local policing teams at http://www.northumbria.police.uk/your_neighbourhood

Jesmond Office

59 St George's Terrace, Newcastle, NE2 2SX

0191 212 2020

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Durham Office

6 Old Elvet, Durham, DH1 3HL

0191 212 6970

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