Presentation on theme: "Housing Presentation. What is a Tenancy Agreement? A contract between you and your landlord Giving certain rights 12 months Joint tenancy Signed by everyone."— Presentation transcript:
What is a Tenancy Agreement? A contract between you and your landlord Giving certain rights 12 months Joint tenancy Signed by everyone Everyone should receive a copy
Common Terms Address of property Start and end date. Duration Rent Whether your landlord will provide any services Notice
Landlord Responsibilities/Entitlement Duty to carry out basic repairs Duty to ensure boiler and water work properly Must give 24 hours written notice before entering property to carry out repair Must protect your deposit Provide a copy of the Gas Safety Certificate Provide you with full name, address and contact details
Your Responsibilities/Entitlements Duty to pay rent on time Responsible for minor repairs and maintenance Obligation to provide access for repair work Cleaning house Usually responsible for bills Entitled to quiet enjoyment of your property Duty to behave in a tenant-like manner Being reasonable about noise and parties
Eviction You can be evicted before the end of your tenancy if you break the terms of the contract Two months written notice AND a court order
Paying rent Pay your rent! When How How much Even if you don’t think you should Agreement between you and your landlord Fixed-term tenancy Changes to rent What happens if you don’t pay your rent?
Guarantors Who? Parent or guardian International students What? Joint and several liability Rent and damages When? Tenancy agreement – seen and approved
Inventory and Damages
Inventory List of all contents and condition of a property Also referred to as a “schedule of condition” Makes clear what damages, if any, need to be paid for out of the deposit Agreed between landlord and tenant on move-in day
Things to do: Sign Inventory and initial every page to signify agreement Photographic/video evidence of the property contents and condition Inspection of property every 3 months On move-out day, inventory must be checked and agreed on
General consensus on damages? Tenant should be informed in writing of all costs and amounts of deductions from the deposit If deposit doesn’t cover full amount needed to carry out the repairs, invoice for additional payments
No general consensus? Record the state and condition of the alleged item with photographs Inform the landlord in writing All disputes handled by Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) service provided by Tenant Deposit Scheme County court
Deposits What you should know..
In General You will probably be required to pay a deposit (usually the equivalent of 1 month’s or 6 weeks’ rent) to the Landlord or Agent when you accept the property Your landlord will hold it against unpaid rent or potential damage to the property (caused by you) Otherwise, the deposit should be returned to you in full at the end of the tenancy
How to Lose Your Deposit Cause damage to contents of the property, or have them go missing Return your keys late Cause damage to the property (beyond ‘reasonable wear and tear) Keep the property unreasonably dirty Fail to pay your rent
How to Keep Your Deposit Complete a thorough inventory at the start of your tenancy (proof of condition of the property) Take photos of the property, if possible, with a camera that records the date For further information, see the Factsheet from the University of Bristol accommodation office Have a chat with anyone in the office—they are very helpful!
What Scheme is Your Landlord Using? As of April 2007, any landlord who takes a deposit from a tenant for an assured shorthold tenancy must protect tenants’ deposits by using one of 3 government approved deposit schemes Within 30 days of receiving the deposit, the landlord must provide tenants with information about which scheme s/he is using, how to apply for the release of the deposit and what to do if there is a dispute about it If the landlord doesn’t protect your deposit within this time or provide this information, you may be able to take the landlord to court and claim up to 3 times the sum of the deposit Be warned that: some landlords appear to be exploring alternatives to using any of the government approved deposit schemes (for example, the landlord may take your money but call it something other than a deposit) Some of these alternatives are lawful and some aren’t—if you have any doubts at all, contact the University Accommodation Office
Paying the Bills
Bills – A Brief Glance
More Expenses?? No!!!...
Bank Accounts Savings accounts used to park excess cash and earn interest Current accounts used mainly for handling day to day transactions Can be used to set up direct debits, issue standing orders and issue cheques
Standing Orders Instruction to bank to pay someone a fixed amount at regular intervals Suitable for bills with non-variable amounts like rent or mortgages Can be set up to run for a set period and is cancellable anytime Features and procedure standardized by UK Payments Administration
Direct Debit A procedure to pay bills by allowing the other party to directly access funds in payer's account Payer must authorise this through direct debit instruction with the bank. Can be cancelled anytime Direct debit guarantee Direct Debit Fraud
Overdrafts Occurs when payments are made beyond cash available in account Can be authorized or unauthorized Subject to credit scoring restrictions Some banks offer free overdraft limits for pre-agreed amounts
Overdrafts – Potential Nightmares!
Overdrafts – The Nightmare Additional bank charges and higher interest rates apply once overdraft reached Can shoot as high as 24% EAR Lack of transparency in bank advertising regarding charges
The Abbey National PLC Case Office of Fair Trading tried to challenge fairness of bank charges for overdrawn customers under EU law Case generated considerable public interest Supreme court held that bank charges were core term of banking contract and could not be assessed for fairness High overdraft charges are here to stay
Final Tips Plan your finances Check your Bank statements regularly NEVER exceed your agreed overdraft Negotiate with banks for extensions if facing financial difficulties
Noise Disturbance Legal Definition = Nuisance
Questions 1. WHAT IS A NUISANCE? 2. SIMPLE SOLUTION 3. ADVANCED /ALTERNATIVE SOLUTION 4. HANDY TIPS TO PREVENT NOISE DISTURBANCE
1) What is a Nuisance? A legal meaning based on a number of factors which include: i. The VOLUME or loudness of the noise ii. The CHARACTER of the noise. iii. The DURATION of the noise iv. The TIME at which the noise occurs.
2) Simple Solution Don’t forget, music to one person may be noise to another! Many people are unaware THEY are causing a problem until they are told
3) ADVANCED /ALTERNATIVE SOLUTION If NOT SUCCESFUL, then can: a. COMPLAIN TO POLLUTION CONTROL b. COMPLAIN TO A MAGISTRATES’ COURT c. TAKE ACTION AT COMMON LAW d. MEDIATION
A) Complaint TO POLLUTION CONTROL Who are they: The Pollution Control team is the section of Bristol City Council dealing with an array of pollutions Law: Environmental Protection Act 1990, Section 80 Measure taken: If a noise nuisance is proved they can serve a nuisance abatement notice Evidence required: Noise diary (i.e. noting down when, for how long; sort of noise) Environmental Health Officer may then come and check
Example of a ‘Noise diary’
B) Complaint to a magistrates’ court Law: Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 i.e. right to take complaint straight to the Magistrates’ Court – Up to £5000 fine Evidence: Well documented noise diary (recording the volume, character, duration, times and regularity of the noise; names and addresses of the person(s) responsible) Seek advice: Pollution Control’s advice booklet Professional advice (strongly recommended)
C) Action in common law Need to consult a solicitor. An injunction can be obtained to restrain a person from causing you a noise nuisance. D) MEDIATION Informal settlement between the involving parties with an appointed referee in presence to coordinate the discussion for a successful outcome i.e. Independent organisation called Bristol Mediation
4) HANDY TIPS TO PREVENT NOISE DISTURBANCE Simple measures can be taken at home to prevent noise nuisances: Keep the volume of radios, TVs, hi-fi equipment etc. as low as possible, especially late at night and on Sundays Avoid noisy D.I.Y. activities late at night and on Sundays Make sure your burglar alarm is not faulty and ensure it complies with BS 4737 Don’t hold noisy parties too often
Additional Help You can speak to a Just Ask adviser about anything that’s bothering you The Accommodation Office have a tenancy agreement checking service
Contact Details University of Bristol Accommodation Office The Hawthorns Tel: +44 (0) Citizens Advice Bureau 1 Quay Street, Bristol BS1 2JL For Telephone Advice call Just Ask – UBU Advice & Representation Just Ask Office – Student Union Information Point – Tyndall Avenue Tel: /541