Help and Advice
In an Emergency
Call the National Grid on 105
Call the National Gas emergency number on 0800 111 999
Tenant Fees Act 2019
A recent change in law means you'll no longer be charged for any admin fees. From 1st June 2019 fees like credit checks or for referencing have been banned. You can find more details here - www.gov.uk/government/publications/tenant-fees-act-2019-guidance.
Provide advice and information for people renting in Brighton and Hove. Please visit - rentsmartbrightonhove.org/.
Shelter helps millions of people every year struggling with bad housing or homelessness through out advice, support and legal services. For more infomation visit england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice.
Brighton Housing Trust
Support accross Sussex with homelessness - www.bht.org.uk/.
Brighton Student Union
For information on rental contracts, getting your deposit back, housemate disputes and making complaints visit - www.brightonsu.com/support/housing/
Finding a Letting Agency
The uk's largest estate and letting agents review site - www.allagents.co.uk/
An online estate agent directory for University students - whichpad.com/
Get a UK rent guarantor - www.housinghand.co.uk
UK rent guarantor for university students - www.yourguarantor.com
A tax charged to the resident of a property. if all residents in the property are students, they will not have to pay council tax. However, if any of the residents are not students, council tax will need to be paid. Your local council may also charge council tax outside of your course dates, so it is important to read through their current policy to see how it may affect you. For students living in Brighton check here - https://new.brighton-hove.gov.uk/council-tax/council-tax-discounts/council-tax-discounts-students. For students living in Eastbourne check here - https://www.lewes-eastbourne.gov.uk/council-tax/council-tax-discounts/
uSwitch is a free, independent price comparison service - www.uswitch.com/gas-electricity/
GoCompare will help you find the right products - less time, less hassle - www.gocompare.com/1/
Money Super Market
Compare cheap energy prices and suppliers - www.moneysupermarket.com/gas-and-electricity/
You need to be covered by a TV Licence to watch or record programmes as they are being shown on TV or an online TV service, or to download or watch BBC programmes on iPlayer - www.tvlicensing.co.uk/
Tenancy Deposit Protection Schemes
Your Agent/Landlord is responsible for...
Keeping in repair the structure and exterior of the dwelling house, including drains, gutters and external pipes.
Keeping in repair and proper working order the installations for the supply of water, gas and electricity and for sanitation (including basins, sinks, baths and sanitary conveniences) and for heating rooms and heating water.
Providing a rent book if statute so requires e.g., where the rent is paid weekly.
Providing you with the agents/landlords full name and address.
Providing you with a copy of the valid current Gas Safety Certificate (see Standards).
Allowing you to "peacefully enjoy" your accommodation (unless there is an emergency).
Agents/Landlords have the right to enter the property at reasonable times to carry out the repairs for which they are responsible and to inspect the condition and the state of repair of the property. They must give at least 24 hours notice in writing of an inspection. It would be helpful to set out the arrangements for access and procedures for getting repairs done in the tenancy agreement.
Providing you with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).
You are responsible for...
Acting in a "Tenant-like manner". This means you should perform the smaller tasks around the house such as mending the electric light when a fuse blows; unblocking the sink when clogged with waste and cleaning the windows when necessary.
Not damaging the house, if you do then you and your guests are responsible for the repairs.
Refuse collection! Remember to find out the collection day from your local council. Put the wheelie bin out - and bring it back in again, it's illegal to leave it on the street.
Securing the property when you go away; lock all the doors and windows!
Being reasonable about noise and parties; weekends are better and let your neighbours know in advance.
Reporting all repairs needed to the agent/landlord (preferably in writing). The landlord's/agent's responsibility to repair begins only when they are aware of the problem. If the fault is not corrected within a reasonable period of time (dependant upon the nature of the disrepair) then seek advice from the Students Union Advice Centre/ Accommodation Office or Citizen's Advice.
Harassment and Unlawful Eviction
If your agent/landlord wants you to leave your house then a legal process must be complied with before you can be evicted. This will include a written notice and applying to the Court for a possession order. If you are evicted without the agent/landlord following the correct procedure then the agent/landlord is committing a criminal offence. In addition, if the agent/landlord (or someone acting on their behalf) interferes with your peace or comfort either with unannounced visits, by not fulfilling his/her responsibilities for basic repairs (as listed above), disconnecting utility supplies and so on, then this may amount to harassment which is a criminal offence.
If you are in danger of eviction or suffering from harassment by your agent/landlord then contact the Student Union Advice Centre, your local Council's Housing Advice Team, or your Council's Anti-Social Behaviour Team. Citizen's Advice also produce a booklet entitled "Protection Against Harassment and Unlawful Eviction".
Important Safety Information
Landlords have responsibilities for gas safety. By law your landlord must keep all gas appliances supplied for you to use in good condition. They must arrange for a Gas Safe registered engineer to carry out a gas safety check on them every 12 months and provide you with a copy of the landlord’s gas safety record.
The Gas Safe Register is the official list of gas engineers who are qualified to work safely and legally on gas appliances. It has replaced CORGI registration. Only a Gas Safe registered engineer should fit, fix or service gas appliances.
- Ask for a copy of the landlord’s current gas safety record before you move in.
- Cooperate with your landlord and let a registered engineer in when a gas safety check or servicing has to be done.
- Check the ID card of any gas engineer that comes to do work in your home. The engineer must be Gas Safe registered.
Badly fitted and poorly serviced appliances can cause gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas which can kill quickly with no warning. Know the six main signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning – headaches, dizziness, nausea, breathlessness, collapse and loss of consciousness. Don’t mistake the symptoms for a hangover.
If you think a gas appliance is faulty turn it off and let your landlord know immediately. In an emergency call the gas emergency helpline on 0800 111 999. If you feel unwell, seek medical help immediately.
Many agents/landlords may hold a NICEIC certificate which proves that the property has had an electrical check within the last five years. Although this is recommended, it is not a legal requirement.
Fire Safety - Furniture and Furnishings
On 1 January 1997 the final phase of the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations 1988 came into force. "The regulations provide for all furniture manufactured after 1 January 1950 to be fire retardant and carry the proper labels". This means that furniture and furnishings supplied in let accommodation must comply with the fire and safety requirements in the Regulations. All residential premises including flats, bedsits and houses where furniture is supplied as part of the let are covered by these regulations. The type of furniture covered by the regulations are: any upholstered furniture including chairs, sofas, children's furniture, beds, head boards (if upholstered), mattresses, scatter cushions, seat pads, pillows and even garden furniture if it is upholstered and can be used in the dwelling. Carpets, curtains and duvets are not covered by the regulations.
If you have gas appliances in your house, Carbon Monoxide is a possible danger. It's invisible and odourless, but it can kill.
Watch out for...
Gas flames that burn orange or yellow rather than blue.
Sooty stains on or around your appliances.
Solid fuels that burn slowly or go out.
Know the symptoms...
Carbon Monoxide? Be Alarmed! Campaign
In October 2008, the Carbon Monoxide Consumer Awareness Alliance launched a new national campaign aimed at cutting the number of deaths and injuries caused by Carbon Monoxide poisoning.
For more information on the Carbon Monoxide? Be Alarmed! Campaign visit - www.co-bealarmed.co.uk/