Find the answers to common student tenancy questions

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Tel: 01227 765008

Tenant Advice During the Tenancy

Find answers to some of our most common questions we receive from our student tenants.

If I have problems with my tenancy who do I speak to?

If your property is managed by iConn:

Please call our office direct on 01227 765008; explain what your query is and you will be directed to the relevant person who will be happy to assist you.

If you property is managed by your Landlord:

Please call your Landlord direct.

If I have an emergency after office opening hours; who do I call?
How do I pay my rent?

Your rent is paid in advance on the due date as determined in your tenancy agreement. After paying for your first month's rent in advance on or before your move in date; iConn will ask you to fill out a standing order form which we will take to your bank. The standing order form is an instruction from you to tell your bank to pay iConn or your Landlord your rent every month on the due date.

Who is responsible for contacting the utility companies when I move in?

If the property is managed by iConn:

We will notify all relevant utility companies such as the gas, electric, water companies and the Council Tax office of your tenancy start date and provide them with your details as well as providing them with all meter readings which are also included on your inventory report. However, it is ultimately your responsibility to ensure that all utility bills have been set up in your name(s) correctly. This will include, council tax, electric, gas, water companies, telephone, broadband and TV license. Students are exempt from paying council tax but the council may still contact you direct for your student details. Please note, although we notify all utility companies of your tenancy start date and your details and meter readings, we cannot be held responsible for ensuring the utility companies successfully update their records their end; so it is essential that you contact all relevant companies to ensure they have your correct details. We are unable to contact the Telephone line provider, Broadband and the TV licensing company for you, due to their data protection policy. You are responsible for paying all accounts that have been set up in your name(s) iConn reserves the right to forward all contact details and forwarding addresses to all utility companies, debt collection companies and tracing companies in order to finalise all bills set up in your name at the end of the tenancy.

If the property is managed by your Landlord:

Please confirm with us as we may have provided this service for the Landlord.

What happens if I pay my rent late?

If the property is managed by iConn:

Please ensure that you contact our office as soon as possible to advise us if the rent is going to be paid late. If we have to chase late rent; you will be charged for any arrear letters that are issued if rent remains outstanding after 5 days. As per the tenancy agreement, interest will be charged until payment has been made.

Am I responsible for cancelling my standing order at the end of the tenancy?

Yes; normally your standing order would have been set up with the appropriate dates, which include the last date of the last rent payment due. It is not the Agent or the Landlords responsibility to ensure that your standing order has been cancelled as we are unable to do so. We therefore strongly recommend you to contact your bank once you have moved out to ensure the standing order has been cancelled.

Do I have to have a Guarantor?

Yes, you do. All student tenants must have a Guarantor in place. The Guarantor is also responsible for your legal liabilities as detailed in the Joint and several tenancy agreement and will sign a Guarantor agreement confirming this.

What do I do if I need a parking permit?

If you live on a housing development; you may have been provided with an allocated parking space that may require a permit; a permit would be issued at the time of the tenancy commencing.

If you require a permit for a particular street you live in; you would have to contact the local city council for details of cost and availability. Click here to visit the Canterbury City Council website.

Can I install a sky/satellite dish?

First and foremost you must seek permission from the Landlord/Agent before instructing any company to install a satellite dish. There are many properties in Canterbury and the surrounding areas that do not allow for satellite dishes to be erected due to conservation restrictions.

Can I have a pet?

First and foremost you must seek permission from the Landlord/Agent before allowing a pet on the premises. If permission is granted; you will have to provide details of your pet and sign a pet addendum which stipulates at the end of the tenancy; you must have all furnishings and carpets professionally cleaned and fumigated by a professional approved company. Any loss or damage occurred during the tenancy due to any pet will be the responsibility of the tenant to rectify accordingly.

Am I responsible for gardening and does the Landlord have to provide us with gardening tools?

Unless otherwise stated in your agreement, yes, you are responsible for ensuring you keep the garden tidy and cut back. The Landlord is not legally obliged to supply gardening tools.

Is the Landlord responsible for supplying a vacuum cleaner?

No the Landlord is not legally obliged to provide a vacuum cleaner. However most of our student houses do have a vacuum cleaner and should the machine fail to operate in most cases Landlords will replace it.

Are we responsible for changing light bulbs?

Yes, you are responsible for changing all light bulbs in the property during your tenancy.

Are we responsible for changing batteries in smoke alarms?

Yes, you are responsible for changing all batteries in smoke alarms during your tenancy.

Will our bedroom doors have locks?

No, most of our student properties do not have locks on bedrooms doors due to health and safety implications and loss of keys. However, we do have some properties that have bedroom locks already in place (This is ultimately down to the discretion of the Landlord)

How often do you inspect the property?

We carry out periodic inspections every two months. We will advise you in advance of our planned visit to obtain authorisation for access.

Who is responsible for repairs?

Your tenancy agreement is between you and the Landlord; therefore any obligations to make appropriate repairs under the terms of the contract are the responsibility of the Landlord and not the agent. If iConn is the managing agent for the property; you will be expected to contact our office in the first instance to inform us of any faults that may occur in the property. iConn will then inform your Landlord and we will instruct a contractor on behalf of your Landlord to attend and access the fault and quote for a possible repair or replacement. The contractor will then advise iConn of his findings and will provide a quote to us. iConn will then contact your Landlord again and pass the quotation details over to them along with any necessary information. The Landlord will then normally instruct us to instruct the contractor to go ahead with the repair. iConn will then contact the contractor direct and the contractor will normally contact you to arrange access to undertake the repair. Please note any faults found to be the responsibility of the tenant will be rectified and the cost of the repair will be passed to the tenant. If the repair is deemed to be of an urgent nature i.e. water leak etc; iConn will act out of necessity and will arrange for an urgent repair in order to make the situation safe.

If the property is managed by your Landlord; you would contact them direct in the first instance.

What happens if I want to renew my tenancy for the next academic year?

In November time; you will be sent an intentions letter. The letter will advise you that we are beginning our marketing for the next academic year. It is as this point that you are asked if you would like to renew your tenancy for another year. You will be provided with an intentions form and you will have approximately 7 days to advise us of your intentions. If we do not hear back from you; the property will be added to the lettings list and viewings will be conducted in the usual way.

Can my Landlord end my fixed term tenancy and ask me to leave?

Yes, your Landlord can ask you to leave; however the Landlord or the Agent must provide you with the relevant notice. To end a fixed term tenancy; your Landlord/Agent would have to serve the appropriate section 21 notice on the tenancy anniversary date, two months prior to your tenancy ending.

What happens if I want to end my tenancy early?

You are contractually liable for the whole fixed term of the tenancy. However if your Landlord grants you permission to leave early based on the understanding that a new tenant would have to be found to replace you; you would be liable for the Agents re-marketing costs and all terms within your tenancy, including the rent until a new tenancy has been granted. Please remember your tenancy is Joint and several which means that you and all your housemates are responsible to pay for the full rent each month.

What should I do with my keys at the end of the tenancy?

Unless otherwise instructed by your Landlord, you will be expected to return your keys to our office on or before the last day of your tenancy

In what condition do I leave the property at the end of the tenancy?

As per the Tenancy agreement and the Inventory and schedule of condition; you must leave the property professionally cleaned and in the same condition as you found it at the start of the tenancy. A normal level of fair wear and tear is accepted and will be noted on the check out document using the Inventory as the comparable report. Any loss or damages that have occurred during the tenancy will be chargeable.

Please note; if you choose to leave the property before the end of your tenancy; you are still legally liable for all terms within the agreement. Please ensure you organise a professional clean of the property at the end of your tenancy and not before as dust and cobwebs will settle and will be evident upon check out; resulting in the property having to be cleaned again.

When is my deposit returned to me?

Once the checkout has been conducted; we have 20 days to advise you of any issues; the property will be professionally cleaned (if you have not already organised this) and any loss or damage (if applicable) will be calculated fairly and once agreement has been sought between both parties; the Landlord will instruct us to release the deposit minus any agreed deductions (if applicable) If you disagree with any proposed deductions; the disputed amount will be retained on account until further negotiations have been undertaken and the undisputed monies will be refunded to you within the next 10 working days.

What is the Tenancy Deposit Scheme?

The Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) is a government approved tenancy deposit protection scheme in England and Wales operated by The Dispute Service Ltd.

The Housing Act 2004 requires landlords and letting agents to protect deposits on assured shorthold tenancies in a scheme such as theirs. They provide insurance backed tenancy deposit protection with free, impartial dispute resolution for when disagreements arise over how the money is divided.

TDS is the only not for profit deposit scheme.

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“We have always been treated sensitively, sympathetically and politely by your team. We were very pleased with the application process and, in particular, the removal of the 'no children' stipulation by the landlord."

Dr A&S Chandler, Tenants