Student Accommodation Stoke on Trent
Updated: Mar 24
What to look for when considering student accommodation in Stoke on Trent for Staffordshire and Keele University students. Your first step is moving away from student halls and moving into private student accommodation and living in a student house for the first time in Stoke on Trent.
Student houses in Stoke come in all shapes and sizes from small 3 beds to large 10 bed houses. Some are to very high standards and others just to a basic standard student house. The price varies depending on location to the University and the decor/standard of the rooms and furniture.
It is a difficult time for students who have just met each other at university. Choosing your student house mates is the first step. Consider the friends you are going to live with are; are they clean and tidy, are you a clean and tidy person yourself? This is an important step it will make your stay in a student house easier if you choose the correct friends. In your first year at university you had no choice in student hall who you shared with and the common complaints from students on why they want to move out of student halls is that their house mates are very dirty and untidy. So it is an important step to choose house mates that you will be in tune with. A happy student house is more enjoyable to live in and there is more harmony in the student houses. If you are not a group but a single student looking for student accommodation, try to find student landlords who understand how to group and create a good student house mix. At Stoke Student Properties we have been in the student housing market for 12 years, we are used to analysing students and we take time to understand what our student personalities are like and try to form groups, where there will be harmony. We are the landlords and not agents and provide a personal service in this way. Often agents or large organisations do not have time for this type of service and just randomly group students together, this can cause problems in student houses. With the energy crises and inflation, less smaller houses like 2 and 3 bed student accommodation are available in the market, but it is not as cost effective for landlords to provide these type of houses when all bills are included.
We are here to help you, so here are a few tips and pointers as to what to look out for in student accommodation in Stoke on Trent. Once you have set you budget, rooms in stoke can go from £88 per week to £125 per week with all bills included, depending on the location, condition and specification of the student house.
Tip 1 - Student Safety
Does the house have smoke detectors in every student room, a heat detector in the kitchen and does it come with fire doors in every room? All our student properties come with these measures in place. If you are looking at a house for 5 or more students in Stoke on Trent, it has to have a HMO Licence (house of multiple occupation), which is issued by the council. This licence insures that the student house has met all safety guidelines. If you are viewing a 5 or more bed house which does not have a licence , then do not take a chance. If the landlord has not bothered to obtain a licence, then he or she will probably not follow government guidelines on safety so walk away. The HMO licence only applies to 5 beds and above in Stoke on Trent. This is different in other university towns and guidelines can be slightly different. At Stoke Student Properties we follow all the guidelines and all our 5 bed houses have licences. We also go the extra mile and follow the same safety guidelines for all our 3 bedroom and 4 bedroom student houses in Stoke on Trent, even though it's not required.
Tip 2 - Are all bills included?
Are all bills included in the price? Does it include Water, Gas, Electricity, Broadband and a TV Licence? Whats is the speed of the broadband? Is there a fair energy usage cap? Please be mindful that due to high energy prices the whole of the student housing industry is making a fair energy usage policy. This is now normal if all bills are included, saving energy is not just about the money but also saving the planet and reducing our/your carbon foot print. With this in mind what is the energy performance of the house, have you checked the EPC (Energy Performance Certificate)? Landlords should provide this to you or it should be available to you on request. Bands B and C are highly energy efficient houses, but a lot of student houses in Stoke on Trent have not been upgraded to higher levels and they are mostly D and some E. All of our houses are energy efficient and all are a Band C or above.
Tip 3 - The deposit
How much is the security deposit? In Stoke they can range from £0 to £300. Landlords should protect your deposit using a government approved deposit protection scheme? We use the The Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS). Some landlords do not charge a deposit, but please understand that these houses may not be to a good standard. If you owned a house wouldn't you want some assurances that the tenants are more likely to look after the house if they had an interest in keeping it in a good condition. It our experience where landlords take no depoists they attract students who may not be as clean , since they have no vested interest in keeping it clean, so if you are a clean person and want a clean house please be mindful of this.
Tip 4 - Term of the student tenancy
Most student tenancy agreements start in July and there will be a summer retainer rent, these are often discounted. We are able to offer a 50% discount of the rent over July and August if students do not live in the house.. Tenancies come in two ways either an individual tenancy, this is one that only has the name of the single student on it or a joint tenancy where the agreement has the names of all the students in the house on it. This will depend on whether you are a group of students that have taken the house together or if you are a single student taking the room. Most student tenancies start from July and run through to June the following academic year. Make sure your read through the tenancy agreement carefully and if you have any questions ask the landlord. We are always happy to speak to you and explain anything that you may not understand.
Tip 5 - Guarantor
All UK student landlords ask for a UK guarantor, this is a normally a family member such as one of your parents. They have to be working in the UK and show that they have lived at the same address, so some sort of proof of address. A guarantor is there so that if the rent is not paid the landlord can contact the guarantor and ask them to make up the unpaid rent. One of the main questions that parents are worried about in a joint tenancy is their responsibility and whether they are also responsible for the payments of the other students. The joint tenancy is in everyone's names and the group as a whole is responsible for the rent to be paid on time. We always explain to the the parents as that as a guarantor, they are responsible for guaranteeing only their child and not other peoples. If there is a non payment from one of the other students, we will always discuss this with the student and the guarantor/parent concerned and will make them liable for the payment and not them. In our 12 years of working we have never had to go to the whole group, but have worked with the students, to help them work out a payment plan. At Stoke Student Properties we are always happy to talk to guarantors and help explain things, so that they feel comfortable in being guarantors.
Stoke Student properties are here to help
So in summary, be careful what house you choose, speak to the landlord and make sure you are happy with the way they work. Ask questions and make sure you are completely happy with the contract, the payment structure, the deposit (and its protection) and overall ensure you read everything before you sign on the dotted line. Click here now to view our properties on our website or alternatively click her to contact us directly.