8 Phrases to Understand about the Student Accommodation Lease
PUBLISHED 20 FEB 2020
Signing a Lease on Student Accommodation? Here are 8 Phrases to Understand First
Moving into your first student accommodation is exciting – you finally have the freedom to live on your own as an adult. Where things get tricky is when you have to sign your first lease. Putting your name on that dotted line is final, and if you do not understand what your lease entails, you may experience a few surprises down the road. For the most part, a rental contract is rather straightforward once you understand all the jargon. Do not be intimidated either – everyone learns these phrases at some point. To help young adults renting student accommodation for the first time, we have compiled a list of the top eight essential phrases to understand before you ink that paper.
Sometimes called a residential tenancy agreement or contract, a lease is simply the agreement that outlines rules, obligations, responsibilities, regulations, and the lease term. Signing this contract makes it legally binding, so make sure you understand every sentence and feel free to ask about any uncertainties.
Your lease may use words like tenant, renter, lessee, leaseholder, lodger, or boarder. All of these terms are interchangeable and refer to the person who is signing the lease and using the property. You, as the student, would therefore be the tenant of your chosen accommodation.
Like tenant, the term “landlord” is also synonymous with a few words, such as lessor, property owner, and proprietor. A landlord is a person who owns the property (like the student accommodation) and rents it out to tenants. The landlord’s responsibilities are usually outlined in the lease.
Rent is the monthly payment fee that you, as the tenant, must pay the landlord for the use of their property. Your lease will let you know what this monthly amount is, as well as whether rent increases will occur during or after the fixed-term agreement. Rent may include or exclude extras, such as water, electricity, Internet, and other utilities – so ask about these costs if it is not explicitly stated.
A security deposit is an amount put down at the beginning of the rental term that often equates to one to three months’ worth of rent. This money is then placed in an interest-bearing account by the landlord until the lease ends or is terminated. Once the tenant moves, any damage to the property (excluding reasonable wear and tear) and necessary paint jobs or deep carpet cleaning are paid for by the deposit. The tenant will then receive the remainder of the sum back.
6. Fixed-Term Agreement
Your fixed-term agreement, or rental term, is the set period of time you will rent your student accommodation. This agreement can be anywhere from six months to three years, but is most often 12 months long. This agreement is terminated after the expiry of the term, or if the tenant breaches the lease in any way.
Eviction is what happens when your landlord terminates your fixed-term agreement before it ends. Your landlord may choose to evict you if you breach any of the rules and regulations within your signed contract, such as failure to pay rent or intentionally damaging the property.
8. Rental Agent
The rental agent is an external party mandated by the landlord to assist with the marketing of their property, vetting of prospective tenants, setting up the lease agreement, and acting as the mediator between the landlord and the tenant. Ultimately, the landlord decides the level of involvement of the rental agent during the process.
So, now that you are clued up on all your need-to-know phrases in terms of your new place, you can sign that lease with much more confidence. To find out more about student accommodation available in your area, please feel free to contact us today.