Accommodation for Students

Our homestay accommodation, which is carefully selected and available to all our students, provides the experience of living in an English home, where you will have the opportunity to practise your English with your host in a relaxed setting.

Hotel and Bed and Breakfast within walking distance of the school is also widely available.

For students who are with us for several months, or would prefer greater independence, we are able to provide assistance in looking for rented accommodation.

Homestay Accommodation
  • Most of our students live in an English home during their course, where they are given a warm welcome. If the student chooses to do this, it provides an opportunity to practise their English and experience our country and culture.
  • Full board accommodation will be provided and will include a packed lunch and evening meal with your host during the week.
  • Adults are allocated a single room, whilst all juniors are offered single or twin bed accommodation. There will be no more than 4 students staying with a homestay provider at the same time.
  • We provide free bus passes to all our individual students staying with our homestay providers.
  • Our hosts offer a laundry service and will do their best to ensure you have a home from home environment.
  • Before you travel we will give you details of your accommodation and we will also meet you on arrival in Plymouth and introduce you to your homestay provider.
  • All homestays provide students with a space to study.

Accommodation is £25 per night.

Renting Your Own Home

 

Choosing an accredited property:

When looking for the right property it is important that you ALWAYS rent from an accredited landlord or letting agent.  Accredited landlords and agents have agreed to abide by a set of standards (or code) relating to the physical conditions to the property. This type of landlord and agent offers a lot more security than those who are not.

When going to a Landlord or letting agent, ask them to show their accreditation membership card or certificate.

Looking around a house:

Once you have decided on the type of property and what your budget will be, you can start looking at what is available. If possible it is always advisable to see a property in person, photographs can be misleading.

Take your time in each property and look at at least three so you are able to get an idea of what is available.

It will be worth it!

Deposits

A deposit is a sum of money you pay as security against the property that you are renting. When you move out, your deposit should be returned to you in full, provided you have kept up to date with payments and you have not damaged property or fittings.

Protecting your deposit:

Your landlord/ agent should pay your deposit into a UK Government approved deposit protection scheme, and return it to you at the end of your tenancy – unless there is a dispute about damages that you have caused to the property or rent or bills that you have not paid.

Following the rules on rent

Landlords and agents will tell you how they would like you to pay your rent, for example by cash or cheque, or into a bank account. They can refuse to accept the rent from their tenants, make sure that you keep trying to pay and keep the money separate and get some advice.  If you pay by cash or cheque make sure you receive a receipt every time you pay your rent.

Rent can be increased but only at certain times and only in certain circumstances.  This will depend on the type of tenancy you have and what your agreement says about increasing the rent.

Cost

Remember cost is not just about your rent – you may have a number of fees at the beginning of your tenancy, as well as bills and deposits to consider.

Check your contract to see whether other costs are included.  For example water, electricity, gas, insurance, internet, a telephone line, all of these may be extra costs on top of your rent.

Full time students are usually exempt from paying local council tax but you will have to complete some paperwork to prove you are exempt.

Remember, some bills you will have to pay every three months whilst other bills will need to be paid monthly.

If you have a television or you watch any UK television programmes on your computer or mobile phone then you must purchase a TV Licence.

Rights and responsibilities

The law entitles you to some basic rights as a tenant, these include the landlord maintaining the structure of the property, as well as things like ensuring your boiler and water works properly.

Your landlord or their agent cannot enter the property without first notifying you.

They will also be responsible for carrying out any repairs; these should be completed in a reasonable time depending on the urgency of the repair.   Please try and keep any correspondence in writing, this may be useful if you need to make a complaint.

In return, you as a tenant have a responsibility to pay your rent on time and behave responsibly…treat the property like it was your own home: with respect, report faults or breakages and be a good neighbour.

Carrying out certain kinds of repairs

Landlords/agents are responsible for most repairs to the exterior or structure of the property.  This means that problems with the roof, chimneys, walls, guttering and drains are the responsibility of the landlord.  Landlords are responsible for keeping the equipment for supplying water, gas and electricity in safe working order.

You will often be responsible for minor repairs and maintenance such as:

  • internal decoration
  • gardens
  • furniture and equipment
  • Small DIY jobs such as changing plugs and light bulbs, unblocking sinks, toilets and drains.

Signing a contract

Check the contract has everything it needs

  • Name and address of landlord
  • Names and contact details of the tenant(s)
  • Address of the property-makes sure this matches the house that you looked at.
  • When the contract starts and when it will end
  • Reasons why the contract may end
  • The amount of rent payable , when payable, how it will be paid
  • What the rent includes and what it doesn’t
  • The amount of the deposit and where the deposit will be protected
  • Tenant obligations
  • Landlord’s obligations
  • Any work that will be completed prior to the tenant moving in

Check the inventory

With your contract you should also have an inventory.  This is a list of everything that comes with the property and their condition.

Read this carefully and ensure that everything is listed, and you agree with the description of it. Does everything on it match up with what you have seen in the property?  If it is not correct, speak to the landlord and get this altered to descriptions and details you both agree with.

At the end of a tenancy, this is a very important document, in terms of getting your deposit back.

Signing the contract

Once you have checked the contract and are happy with the content, you are ready to sign.

Keep a copy: photocopy the contract and keep it for yourself.  This will helpful if you need to check anything during your stay.

Moving out of your house

When you reach the end of your contract, it is important that you take a few steps to ensure you get your deposit back.

  • Ensure you have fulfilled all the requirements of your contract.
  • Leave the property as you found it – Take photos when you leave as proof of how you left it.
  • You should receive your deposit within 10 days from returning the keys.

Here are some links that you may find useful –

 

https://www.depositprotection.com/im-a-tenant/

https://www.gov.uk/private-renting-tenancy-agreements

https://safeagents.co.uk/for-tenants/

https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/housing/renting-a-home/

 

Take a course with us and see how we can help you achieve your goals!