What is my admin fee for?
When you decide to take a house with us there's quite a lot of paperwork that we need to sort out. As well as making sure that you get your contract, we also need to process and manually check all of your ID documents, as well as those of your guarantor. We also credit check your guarantor, on behalf of the landlord. We then have to relay all of this information to the landlord and answer any queries that you or they might have. We also keep you informed throughout the process, including emailing you to make sure that you get all of the information you need to move in.
Our admin fee is £59 for students. We only ask you to pay this once you have found your property and it is a one-off payment. We are transparent about the costs of renting through Purple Frog, and you can find information on all of our fees and charges on our website.
What is a retainer?
A non-refundable retainer is paid when you wish to take a property, when you move into the property it becomes the deposit and will be protected through one of the government authorised deposit schemes.
Where is my deposits/retainer protected?
When you sign your contract you will pay your ‘non refundable retainer’; this is held by the landlord or his agent until you move into the property when it becomes your ‘deposit’. Once the funds become a deposit your landlord has 28 days in which to protect it with a government authorised scheme and provide the details to you. Your landlord is not obliged to tell you which scheme they will use until that time; the scheme fees paid by the landlord fluctuate so landlords’ will use the most appropriate of the three schemes at that time.
Our deposits team has also written a blog that answers common questions students ask about deposits.
What happens if we drop out?
Once you have signed the agreement you are bound to it for the full term so if you don’t want to live in the property any more you will still have to pay rent until you find someone to take over your liabilities. As explained in section 2.2.3 there is a £150 charge for a Novation agreement which transfers your responsibilities to another person. All of the other tenants and the landlord must agree to this first.
Will I get my deposit back?
At the end of your tenancy we ask you to leave the property clean and tidy and as close to the condition you found it in at the start of your tenancy. We'll also ask you to provide us with proof that you've paid all of your utilities (gas, electricity, water) and that you've dealt with the council tax at the property; so make sure you hold on to all your bills!
Your tenancy agreement explains in detail why you may have charges deducted from your deposits, however the main reasons tenants are charged are: not paying their rent on time, you can be charged £35 each time a rent payment is late by more than 4 days; using blue-tac or similar on your walls (if we have to re-paint a wall the charge is normally £40 per wall); and not cleaning the property well enough when moving out.
We can help you to keep as much of your deposit as possible if you arrange a pre-inspection with our team so we can point out any issues you may be charged for so you can put them right before the end of your tenancy. Deposits are normally returned within 28 days of the end of your tenancy, provided all rent is paid and you've provided us with proof that your utilities and council tax have been dealt with. One of our deposits team has written a blog about how deposits work, which you might find useful, too.
What do we do about bills?
We've got whole section about bills here.
How do I collect my keys?
For a lot of our properties you'll be asked to collect your keys from our office after midday on the 1st day of your tenancy. You can pick your keys up at any point after that date during our office hours. Remember, everyone in your house will need to have completed all of their paperwork first, paid their rent and you'll need to bring your ID with you so we know we're giving the right keys to the right people!
For some properties your landlord will provide keys directly to you. We'll email you a month before your move in date to confirm where you should collect your keys. There's more information on the moving in page.
How do I pay my rent?
For properties which Purple Frog manage, we'll be asking you to set up direct debits to pay your rent which will either be monthly in advance or quarterly. We'll email you with a link to a website where you'll need to enter your bank details to set up the direct debit. You can forward this link to your parents if they will be paying your rent for you. You'll need to make sure that you've got enough money in your account each month for the direct debit to work, if there's not you may be charged a late payment fee by us and your bank.
For properties which aren't managed by Purple Frog you'll need to pay your rent directly to your landlord, the bank details you'll need and your reference will be printed on the front of your tenancy agreement. You'll need to prove you've set up your standing order before your landlord will let you have your keys.
What does it mean to pay rent quarterly?
Often landlords will ask that you pay your rent quarterly, this means, once per quarter of the year meaning you will pay 4 larger payments during the year rather than 12 monthly payments. If your contract starts on the 1st July your payment dates will be 1st July, 1st October, 1st January and 1st April. The payments due on each of these dates will be equivalent to 3 months' rent.
What if something goes wrong in the house?
If we manage your property you will need to let us know about any maintenance issues, we have a team of trusted tradesmen and contractors who will resolve any issues you may have. There's a dedicated maintenance section on the website, where you can report a maintenance issue and find out more information.
What is a joint and several contract?
Most tenancy agreements (especially student ones) are joint and several which basically means you sign the agreement as a group and are all responsible jointly for the liabilities explained in the contract. For example; if there is damage to the property the landlord can hold you all liable; the landlord is also able to hold any one of you as being liable for the damage. It also means that if the landlord is required to give you notice of anything they are only legally required to inform one of you.
What are my guarantor's liabilities?
Although your obligations are joint and several; your guarantor's are not. this means that the landlord can only ask your guarantor for a particular share of any joint liability. For example if it is a 4 bedroom house; your guarantor can only be asked for ¼ of the total rent due if you haven’t paid or ¼ of any damage not covered by the deposit. You can find more information about the information we require from guarantors on our Guarantor FAQ page.
What if I don't have a UK guarantor?
While our standard process is to ask tenants to provide a UK-based guarantor, who passes a credit check, we know that sometimes this may not be possible. For instance, if you are an International student.
There are two options available if you don't have a UK guarantor: you can pay your rent upfront, or apply to the company Housing Hand to act as your guarantor.
Housing Hand charges a one-off fee of £299 for this service, which will mean that they act as your UK guarantor for 12 months - the usual length of your tenancy. The fee is exclusive to Purple Frog, so make sure you mention us to pay this fee. For more information, see their website: www.housinghand.co.uk.
What is a HMO Licence?
If more than two unrelated people rent in the same house the property is classified as a ‘house in multiple occupation’ (HMO). If the property has five or more bedrooms and is on three or more floors it has to be licensed with the local Council and has to meet certain safety requirements. The HMO certificate should be on display in the property but if you want confirmation that the property is registered you should call your local Council.
What about gas certificates?
Your landlord is responsible for making sure the gas appliances at your property are safe and is required to have them inspected by a ‘Gas Safe’ engineer every 12 months. We will make a copy available to you when you move in and again when it is renewed.
What happens if someone doesn't pay their rent?
You are all jointly liable for rent payments so if someone doesn't pay their rent the landlord is able to pursue all of you for any rent due. It is normal practice however that a landlord would pursue the individual tenant first and then their guarantor before approaching the other tenants.
When will we receive the inventory?
It is normal practice for your inventory to be supplied to you within the first 14 days of the tenancy agreement. You then usually have 7-14 days to return it signed with any amendments. If you don’t return the inventory then you agree to accept the property in the condition described in the inventory.
How does weekly rent convert into monthly?
There aren't exactly 4 weeks in a month so you have to multiply your weekly rent by 52 and divide by 12 to get a monthly figure. This will be done on your contract for you.
What’s an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?
An EPC shows how energy efficient a house is and can help you work out how much your utilities will cost. We put them on our website for you to look at but if you can’t find one let us know.