Student Accommodation Durham
High quality student accommodation within walking distance of Durham University
Students4houses Ltd is a family-owned business offering superior quality student accommodation within walking distance of Durham University. We have been providing a very high standard of student accommodation for over a decade, during which time we’ve had an enviable record of satisfied tenants!
For the forthcoming 2020/2021 academic year we have five properties available to rent :
Centrally located | Safe | Affordable | Comfortable | Well managed | Close to amenities
1A Union Place
1B Union Place
14 Mountjoy Crescent
15 Mount Joy Crescent
Crossways, Whinney Hill
All properties benefit from:
~ Adjacent to all principal Durham University departments and the Palatine Centre.
~ Supermarkets, shops, restaurants, cafes, coffee houses and public houses in the immediate vicinity.
~ Each individual property is equipped and maintained to the very highest standards.
~ Being a member of the Durham Student Housing Accreditation Scheme.
~ No agent fees.
~ No hidden charges
We receive various enquiries from tenants regards setting up accounts with various utility suppliers.
It’s easy to set up a standing order with the various utility companies and much cheaper than using a bills included package which a lot of landlords use in Durham. In our opinion its much cheaper for Tenants to set up accounts with the various Utility Companies rather than go with an all inclusive bills package.
Please note that we do not get personally involved or give advice in respect of any of the utility companies. This is for the tenants to sort out and arrange. However, we are happy to give as much guidance as we can regarding initially setting things in motion.
Firstly you do not have any obligation to stay with the suppliers the current tenants are using. You can research and find the companies and tariffs which are suitable to yourselves. Please be aware that most contracts only usually run for 12 months (some for 18 months)
If you do wish to stay with the current suppliers here is a rough idea of what you do:
Electricity and Gas
I suggest that you ring each individual supplier and tell them you are moving into the property / student accommodation Durham at the beginning of your tenancy .
They will need an account holder name and address The supplier will then talk you through what information they require from you and payment methods .
(*Please note that the existing tenants still have to notify them that they will no longer be the account holders from the end date of their tenancy and settle their final bills).
The amount a supplier sets is usually based on the usage over the previous 12 months.
You will need to have a bank account set up if you choose a direct debit option .
Depending on who your suppliers are they may only need one named person for the account. Others may require all your housemates names too. But the Direct Debit will only be taken from one account.
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD YOU HAVE A SMART METER INSTALLED. IF YOU DO SO YOU WILL HAVE TO PAY FOR IT TO BE REMOVED AT THE END OF YOUR TENANCY.
Smart meters are not compulsory but many suppliers say it is. It is extremely difficult for any future tenants to change suppliers when a smart meter is installed.
Unfortunately, there are no alternatives here, there is only Northumbrian Water. Again you will have to contact them and tell them that you are due to take over the tenancy and they will send out the relevant paperwork to the property / your student accommodation Durham.
Again, the same with broadband in that contracts are usually 12 or 18 months.
We pay the TV licence so no need to do anything with this. We pin the licence up on the notice board, when the licence is due for renewal we will send you an electronic copy for your information.
It sounds daunting setting up these accounts and there is some input required at the start with the various suppliers but worth it in the long run.
LANDLORD TENANT RELATIONSHIP AND COMMUNICATION
One of the best ways to enjoy your property accommodation is to have a good relationship with your Landlord. Please contact us if you have any issues. We are there to help you to ensure a happy and safe stay with us.. This is mostly down to communication between Landlord and Tenant.
Viewing a property
You can view all our properties on our website via the walk through videos which are also useful for your housemates and parents who may wish to see a property before you sign on the dotted line for a tenancy.
Always read and understand your tenancy agreement prior to signing and feel free to ask any questions.
Accreditation & Membership
We are members of the Durham Student Assured Housing Scheme and the majority of our properties are licensed “House of Multiple Occupation” (HMO) which are certified by Durham County Council.
The inventory is an important document. It is basically a record of the condition of the property when you move in and will form a “Control Document” of the condition of the property when you move out.
The Inventory “Control Document” is how we will decide whether there is a need to make any deductions from the tenancy deposit at the end of the rental term. If there is any damage to the property which is your fault and does not relate directly to fair wear and tear we may deduct money from your deposit to pay for any damages.
When you move in, it is therefore Important to check through the inventory before you sign it and raise any discrepancies.
We carry out an Induction meeting in the property and ask all tenants to attend this meeting. The meeting is an opportunity to meet each other and importantly tell you about all aspects of the property.
Posters and Pictures
We understand that tenants like to decorate their rooms so we provide notice boards in each individual bedroom and living room. Do not erect posters on any walls as this will be in breach of your Tenancy agreement.
Most Landlords will want to see the property cleaned and kept in reasonable order. While it won’t be one of your most exciting tasks, it is well worth keeping on top of this on an ongoing basis. It is also worth working out how you are going to handle the cleaning of any communal areas.
It’s best to draw up a rota for cleaning of your common areas this avoids any future housemate disputes.
Damage and breakages
These are a frequent cause of disputes between Landlords and Student Tenants. Like most things we have referred to, good communication helps here. Accidents do happen. If something is broken during the tenancy it is best to discuss this with the landlord as early as possible, to resolve it.
If something breaks please contact us immediately preferably by email as this keeps a communication trail. We aim to have repairs completed within 24 hours however weekends and Bank Holidays may take a little longer to arrange for obvious reasons.
In general terms, this means that we as the landlord are responsible for major maintenance works. Minor and routine tasks (like changing light bulbs for example) are going to be down to you.
The kind of thing that the landlord is going to be responsible for are structure of the property,fixtures and fittings, sinks and toilets, electrical wiring.
The tenant(s) will be responsible for such items as light bulbs (we do leave spares in all our properties as a gesture of good will), vacuum bags, etc
Maintaining the Garden
Don’t worry we have this covered, we employ a gardener to cut the grass and trim any hedges.
End of tenancy
Most disputes between students and Landlords happen at the end of the tenancy and the majority of these are about cleaning. When you move out you need to leave the property in the same condition you found it in, with allowances for fair wear and tear.
This means you will need to ensure the property is as clean when you move out as when you moved in. This can be quite subjective, but despite this it is worth making sure all parties agree that the accommodation is suitably clean before you actually move out, as it can avoid lengthy disputes over your deposit.
It is also sensible to go through that inventory to make sure everything is as it should be.
At the end of the tenancy, if there is a dispute about your tenancy deposit, you can use the dispute resolution service provided by the tenancy deposit scheme we use to protect the scheme. Where they can help they will appoint an adjudicator who will review the case.
As with many of the problems that can arise this situation can be avoided through good communication with your landlord, so that you don’t end up discussing these things at the very end of your tenancy.
Student Accommodation Durham – Frequently Asked Questions
There are many things to consider when looking for a property during your student years. At Students4houses we hope that our FAQ section will be able to answer all your questions. If you have any further queries please feel free to get in contact with us directly.
In the first instance, please view the walk through videos on our website for each property.
We have an arrangement with our tenants that if anyone is interested in the property that they can knock on the door and ask if you can have a look around the property, but please be aware this may not always be a convenient time.
If that’s the case, then please contact us either by e-mail or telephone, the details for this are on each page. We will then be able to arrange a viewing of the property or properties of your choice, but please allow us a short time to liaise with our current tenants to make sure the suggested time is convenient for them too.
Please view the copy tenancy agreement (copy available under ‘Tenant Information’) and read it thoroughly. If you decide you would like to rent one of our properties its quick and easy! Just click on the photo of the relevant property you are interested in and follow the application process.
Contracts will then be generated and sent out electronically to each individual tenant. Please note we also require a refundable deposit of one month’s rent from each tenant (payable by bank transfer).
Our Tenant and Guarantee Contracts can only be signed electronically with an uploaded signature which must be in .jpeg, .jpg, .png or gif format and submitted via our online system. Please do not print out and sign the contract.
To create an electronic signature for uploading, write your signature on a piece of paper and using your mobile phone, open your camera app and take a photo of your handwritten signature. Send the photo from your phone to your email address. Once received, save the image to your computer then insert it into the document.
We do not reserve or hold a property. We work on the basis that the first complete group of applicants to complete, sign and return their signed Joint and Several Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement, the Guarantor Guarantee form and their deposit, will usually secure the rental. Until that time the property will still be available for rental by other interested parties.
If you do delay in returning the Agreements and have transferred the deposit(s), and in the meantime another party secures the property, we will notify you and arrange for your deposit(s) to be returned to you immediately.
Rents are payable one month in advance. The First rent payment date for UK tenants is 1st June. The First rent payment date for International tenants is 28th March.
From 1 February 2016, landlords, homeowners, and Letting Agents are required by law to ensure that someone has the right to rent in England before letting them a property. Please see here for more information about the Immigration Right to Rent Checks.
We take a deposit to cover against any damage to the property during your tenancy. We will thoroughly inspect properties at the beginning of a tenancy and an inventory will be completed. When it comes to moving out, the house will be inspected again.
You can make it easy for us by ensuring the house is in the same condition as when the tenancy began (allowing for reasonable wear and tear), and all utility bills are settled and all rent is paid.
Your deposits are registered with an authorised Government agency, and once your deposit has been registered you will receive confirmation in the form of a Deposit Certificate.
Yes we are a member of the Durham Student Housing Accreditation Scheme. All of our properties have up to date Gas Safety Certificates, Electrical Safety Certificates and Energy Performance Certificates maintained by approved tradesmen.
Properties where all the occupants are full-time students will be exempt. You may be asked to produce a certificate giving evidence of your student status.
Absolutely, we aim to get all properties professionally cleaned within a week or so of the hand over.
These are shown on each property page and are outlined within your tenancy agreement.
All tenants are required to provide a UK-based guarantor. A guarantor (usually a parent or guardian) agrees to pay your rent if you are unable to. Due to a student’s age and employment status, we require a guarantor for all tenants. This is standard practice with student rental properties.
Any tenant unable to provide a UK based guarantor will be required to pay the full annual rent in advance of moving in, or provide a guarantor through a bank. Please speak to us as we are flexible to overseas students circumstances and requirements.
Rent is charged monthly in advance. To get the monthly rent you multiply the weekly rent by 52 and then divide by 12. You pay this on the first of each month via standing order.
Student Life in Durham
What does Durham have to offer
Durham University is England’s third oldest university and is ranked as one of the world’s top 100 universities to attend. Durham University’s undergraduate employment record is amongst the best in Britain and it’s high quality graduates are in high demand.
The University has par excellence research, teaching and leisure facilities but what does Durham itself have to offer the student population?
Dont drink until you are ill you may end up spending most of your day in bed with a hang over missing out on all the other things happening during Freshers Week. There’s plenty of time to explore Durhams night life over the next three years!
Getting into a routine and meeting new friends is always a daunting task but try to enjoy the new freedom that these opportunities open up.
Don’t forget to call your family, if you are missing them give them a call they will be missing you, so its good to talk with your parents and siblings. Also try writing them a letter, trust us, they do appreciate it.
Explore Durham at your leisure take your time its a beautiful City.
Getting into a routine of working hard during your first year will prepare you for the hard work that is ahead. If you spend the year doing just enough, you will struggle to adjust. Worse than that, you could fail first year and have to redo it/drop out. It’s all about balance, work hard so you can play hard. Your future is in your hands.
How to Study Effectively
Get organised and manage your time well. Time management is important because you have deadlines that you have to meet and doing assignments 2 hours before it’s due is not the best thing to do. Stay focused try not to get stressed.
Study with friends
Study at University with friends if you have a routine and a place where you can study you can be more focused. Help each other and learn together.
Let your friends read over your work
When writing essays, before you submit ask a friend to read your work. If you have a specific friend that always reads your work it makes life a little easier because they understand the topic and they will know where you went wrong. Not only that but if you read theirs you may be able to add some comments.
Take notes the ‘Write’ way
Handwriting your notes helps with your concentration its more effort but this helps you remember facts.,
Record the lecture
Use technology everyone has a phone you can use this to record a lecture. After the lecture you can write notes/transcript of what the lecture taught you.
Make sure you take regular breaks your brain gets tired so make your study time structure with study periods at University or in your student accommodation Durham and factor in those important breaks.
Student Accommodation Durham – Landlord Assurance
We are members of the Durham Student Assured Housing Scheme
The Durham Student Assured Housing Scheme aims to improve the quality of privately rented student accommodation Durham and provide a level of assurance for students seeking accommodation.
~ Ensuring safety and security standards
~ Guaranteeing minimum room sizes
~ Established complaints procedure to allow you to report any problems easily
~ Giving you peace of mind that you’re making the right decision on your student accommodation Durham