Frequently Asked Questions

Everyone has questions, and we have the answers. Use this section to try find you answer. Can't find the answer to your question- give us a call!

Landlords

How much do you charge?

Please see our Landlords Services Page for a comprehensive list of services we offer- We can tailor the service to your needs, so contact us today to discuss it further.


What reference checks do you carry out?

If applicable, we carry out a previous Landlord, current employers and credit check on applicants.


Does it charge to advertise my property with you?

We advertise your property free of charge on a No Let, No Fee basis.


My current tenants aren't paying their rent?

If your Tenant has a fixed Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement, the Tenant would need to be two full months in arrears before any action can commence. Once a Tenant is two months in arrears and a Landlord wants the property back, they should service a Section 21 Notice to end the tenancy at the end of the fixed term. A Section 8 Notice can also be served allowing a Landlord to seek possession of the property on the ground of rent arrears.

If the tenancy is running on a periodic basis, the Landlord can serve notice seeking possession with two full months notice.

If the notice period expires and a tenant does not leave the property, the Landlord may start the process of eviction through the courts.

To discuss this further with one of our members of staff, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Can I inspect my property?

As long as you have provided your Tenants with 24 hours notice, you are entitled to inspect the property at any point. However, as a Landlord you should allow the Tenant quiet enjoyment of the Property during the tenancy without any unlawful interruption.


My tenants want to move out early?

An assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement is a legal document and once signed by your Tenants for a fixed term they cannot move out early. If they were to move out, they would still be liable for the terms and conditions listed in the Tenancy Agreement until the end of the tenancy. You may come to an agreement with them to release them early as long as suitable new tenants have been found.

If the fixed term agreement has come to an end and the tenancy is continuing on a periodic basis (month by month) and you want possession of the property, you would be required to provide the Tenants with two full months notice prior to the rent due date and if the Tenants wished to vacate the property they would be required to provide you with 1 months notice prior to the rent due date.


Which deposit scheme should I use?

We recommend using the Deposit Protection Service however there are a number of schemes available to use- contact us now to discuss the different schemes.

Students

I have found a property on your website that I would like to view, what do I do next?

Contact us via phone, email or our contact page and let us know which property you are interested in, and when is best for you to view. If there is a large group of you, don't worry if you can't all make the viewing, we can arrange multiple viewings so everyone can see it before making a decision. If we feel that there are other properties that you may be interested in, we will ask if you would like us to add these on. Our viewings are free of charge.


How long will the viewings take?

We usually book out a time slot of 10 minutes per property. However if you are seeing multiple properties we will book extra time depending on the number of properties you are viewing.  If you need to cancel a viewing, please contact the office at your earliest convenience. 


What are the contract lengths?

All of our Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreements for Students are 12 month contracts. Some of our Landlords may offer shorter tenancy periods of 10 or 11 months, depending if the tenancy end date would still fall into the prime student renting period of July, August or September. If you have seen a property and would like to know if the Landlord will accept a shorter tenancy, please contact us.


We have viewed a property with you and would like to take it?

If you would like to take one of our properties we will initially require an Administration Fee of £150(INC VAT) per person. If only 1 Tenant has their Administration Fee on the day of reserving a Property the remainder of the Tenants will have 7 days to pay. You will all be required to complete a simple application form and provide a copy of your Student ID and Driving License or Passport. Once the administration fee has been paid there is nothing else to pay until a month before the tenancy start date when we will require your First Months Rent and Security Deposit. We require all Student Applicants to have a UK Guarantor.


What other funds are required?

Prior to moving into the property we require you to pay your First Months Rent and Security Deposit. The Security Deposit is equivalent to one months rent + £50.00 per person. Please note, some of our Landlords will ask for funds to be paid at different dates to stated above, and some landlords ask for the rent to be paid over a different timescale (10 or 11 months) - a member of our team will inform you if this is the case at the time of signing for one of our properties.  


What is a Security Deposit?

As of 6th April 2007 in England and Wales Security Deposits must be protected by a protected deposit scheme. The scheme your Landlord uses will be written into your Tenancy Agreement.

A Security Deposit is taken from each Tenant in a property. The Security Deposit is held as security for the performance of the Tenants obligations under the Tenancy Agreement and does NOT form part of any rent payments. 

The Property will be inspected at the end of the tenancy and the Landlord will decide if they are going to claim for anything (common charges include cleaning, damage to furniture, damage to property etc). 


What is a Guarantor?

All student Tenants will require a Guarantor. A Guarantor must live in the UK and are normally a parent or family member. The Guarantor must earn over £15,000 a year and agree to sign the Tenancy Agreement.


What type of Tenancy Agreement will I need to sign?

All our student tenancies are Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreements. The Tenancy Agreements are also joint and several. 

Where there is more than one person named on a tenancy, they are 'joint and severally" responsible. This means that, jointly, the Tenants and Guarantors are liable for the payment of all rents and all liabilities falling upon the Tenants during the tenancy, as well as any breach of the Agreement. If a tenancy has a guarantee from the students' parents, any one parent guarantor will effectively be guaranteeing the whole of the rent, not just his son or daughters share.


My Landlord is withholding my deposit?

If you have moved out of your property and have not received your deposit, the lead Tenant will need to contact the deposit scheme which is protecting the deposit. Details of the scheme will be in your tenancy agreement.


What is a Lead Tenant?

One Tenant will need to agree to be the “Lead Tenant”. The role of the Lead Tenant is to action on behalf of the other Tenants and any third party when dealing with the deposit scheme in which the deposit is protected. The Lead Tenant can make enquiries or initiate disputes at the end of the tenancy.

Prescribed information for your deposit scheme will be provided with your tenancy pack when you tenancy starts with information on how to claim your deposit back. 


What will be included in the property?

All student properties will include oven, hob, fridge/freezer, washing machine, sofas, bed-base and mattress, wardrobe, desks and drawers. Some Landlords do provide more appliances / furniture, however on our unmanaged properties; we do not hold a comprehensive list of items.

Students have to provide their own crockery, kitchen utensils, bedding and sheets. Some properties will have a TV included, however where there is not one included it is the tenants responsibility to organise. If a TV is included please check with us to see if the TV licence is the students or Landlords responsibility.


What do I do when I move into the property?

Keys will be available during office hours from our Jesmond office on the tenancy start date. If all Tenants are not moving in at once, one tenant can collect all sets of keys or we can keep a hold of the other Tenants keys until needed. Some Landlords like to meet their tenants to introduce themselves and welcome their Tenants to the property. If this is the case, you will be informed prior to the start date. Tenants cannot move into the property earlier then the agreed start date.


How do we pay utility bills?

If we manage the property, we will inform the services (gas and electricity supplier, water provider and council tax) that you have moved in. We will also provide the gas and electricity providers with the up to date meter readings. You will still be required to take a copy of the fully signed Tenancy Agreement and a Tax Exception Certificate from your University / College to Newcastle Civic Centre to ensure that you are not charged for council tax.

Tenants will need to organise between themselves as to how utility bills will be paid. Some tenants will open a joint account for everyone to pay into and for the bills to automatically come out of. Some tenants will choose a service each (one may take gas, another takes electricity etc) and pay for their allocated service, and organise between them who owes who money.

On properties which we do not manage some Landlords may inform the services. We recommend you check with your Landlord.

Utilities are not included in the rent (unless otherwise stated).


Do we have to pay council tax?

Students are exempt from paying council tax, however they do need to provide proof to the council. Tenants will need to get a Tax Exemption Certificate from their university and email it to council.


Do I need a television licence?

It is the tenants responsibiltiy to arrange a TV License. 


How do I apply for a parking permit?

As a large area of Newcastle has permit parking restrictions, you may need to apply for a parking permit. You will need to take a copy of your Tenancy Agreement, and proof that your car is registered to your new address, to Newcastle Civic Centre where you can apply for a permit. Properties are able to apply for two residents permits and one visitors permit.


What happens if my rent is overdue?

Written into the tenancy will state that there is a charge if your rent is more then 7 days late. Please contact Rhapsody or your landlord as soon as you realise your payment has not come out of your account.

Professionals

I have found a property on your website that I would like to view, what do I do next?

Contact us via phone, email or our contact page and let us know which property you are interested in, and when is best for you to view. If we feel that there are other properties that you may be interested in, we will ask if you would like us to add these on. Our viewings are free of charge.


What are the contract lengths?

Each professional tenancy period can differ. We recommend you contact us to discuss a property you have seen. Typically the minimum tenancy period is 6 months and the initial maximum tenancy period is 2 years. 


What will be included in the property?

All properties will vary; we offer furnished/ unfurnished and part-furnished properties. Our website will indicate the furnishing status of the property. If a TV is include please check with us to see if the TV licence is the Tenant or Landlords responsibility.

For more information about an individual property, please contact us. 


 We have viewed a property with you and would like to take it?

If you would like to take one of our properties we will initially require an Administration Fee of half a months rent + VAT (subject to a minimum fee of £200 + VAT)

You will all be required to complete an application form and provide proof of I.D.  -  a copy of Driving License or Passport together with a copy of a bank statement or utility bill with your current address.  Once the Administration Fee has been paid there is nothing else to pay until a month before the tenancy start date when we will require your first month’s rent and security deposit.  


What other funds are required?

Prior to moving into the property we require you to pay your First Months Rent and Security Deposit. The Security Deposit is equivalent to one months rent + £100.00. Security Deposit amounts can sometimes differ due to agreed terms- a member of staff will inform you of this at the time of signing for one of our properties.


What is a Security Deposit?

As of 6th April 2007 in England and Wales Security Deposits must be protected by a protected deposit scheme.   The scheme your Landlord uses will be written into your Tenancy Agreement.

The Security Deposit is held as security for the performance of the Tenants obligations under the Tenancy Agreement and does NOT form part of any rent payments.

The property will be inspected at the end of the tenancy and the Landlord will decide if they are going to claim for anything (common charges include cleaning, damage to furniture, damage to property etc). 


What is a lead tenant?

One Tenant will need to agree to be the “Lead Tenant”. The role of the Lead Tenant is to action on behalf of the other Tenants and any third party when dealing with the deposit scheme in which the deposit is protected. The Lead Tenant can make enquiries or initiate disputes at the end of the tenancy.

Prescribed information for your deposit scheme will be provided with your tenancy pack when you tenancy starts with information on how to claim your deposit back.  


What is a guarantor?

If an applicant is not in full time employment or not earning sufficient money to cover the rent and all living expenses, they will require a Guarantor. A Guarantor must live in the UK and are normally a parent or family member. The Guarantor must earn sufficient money and agree to sign the Tenancy Agreement. Our referencing company has a table of all rental amounts and the relevant wage amount. If you would like to discuss this in more detail, please do not hesitate to contact us.


What type of Tenancy Agreement will I have to sign?

The most common form of tenancy is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement. 

All our tenancies are joint and several tenancies.

Where there is more than one person named on a tenancy, they are 'joint and severally" responsible. This means that, jointly, the Tenants and Guarantors are liable for the payment of all rents and all liabilities falling upon the Tenants during the tenancy, as well as any breach of the Agreement. If a tenancy has a guarantee from the applicants parents, any one parent guarantor will effectively be guaranteeing the whole of the rent, not just his son or daughters share.


What do I do when I move into the property?

Keys will be available during office hours from our Jesmond office on the tenancy start date.  Some Landlords like to meet their tenants to introduce themselves and welcome their Tenants to the property. If this is the case, you will be informed prior to the start date. Tenants cannot move into the property earlier then the agreed start date.


What happens if my rent is overdue?

Written into the tenancy will state that there is a charge if your rent is more then 7 days late. Please contact Rhapsody or your landlord as soon as realise your payment has not come out of your account.


How do we pay utility bills?

If we manage the property, we will inform the services (gas and electricity supplier, water provider and council tax) that you have moved in. We will also provide the gas and electricity providers with the up to date meter readings.

On properties which we do not manage some Landlords may inform the services. We recommend you check with your Landlord.

Utilities are not included in the rent (unless otherwise stated).


How much Council Tax will I need to pay?

The amount of Council Tax to be paid is dependent on the area and property- Please follow the link here and enter the postcode of the property you are interested in.


Do I need a television licence?

It is the tenants responsibiltiy to arrange a TV License. 


My tenancy is coming to an end, however I would like to stay on in the property?

If we manage the property and you are planning to move out at the end of the fixed term you will need to write to us providing a minimum of  1 months notice prior to the rent due date.  If you were interested in staying in the property, we could prepare a renewal tenancy for a new fixed term, or we could continue your tenancy on a month by month rolling basis (subject to the Landlord agreeing to this).

If we do not manage the property please contact the Landlord direct.


My landlord is withholding my deposit?

If you have moved out of your property and have not received your deposit, the lead Tenant will need to contact the deposit scheme which is protecting the deposit. Details of the scheme will be in your tenancy agreement.

Useful Contact Details

Newcastle City Council

www.newcastle.gov.uk/

0191 2787878


Council Tax Department

http://cti.voa.gov.uk/cti/inits.asp - Check Council Tax Amount

council.tax@newcastle.gov.uk

0191 278 7878


Northumbrian Water

www.nwl.co.uk/

0345 733 5566
 

Northumbrian Water
Customer Centre
PO Box 300
Durham
DH1 9WQ


Northern Power Grid

www.northernpowergrid.com

0330 123 0877 / 0800 66 88 77


British Gas

www.britishgas.co.uk

Emergency line: 0800 111 999

Moving home number: 0800 048 0202


N Power

http://www.npower.com/home/

Moving Home number: 0800 316 8558

Bills and payments: 0800 073 3000


Utility Warehouse

www.utilitywarehouse.co.uk/

0800 131 3000


SSE

http://www.sse.co.uk/

0800 107 9639


Scottish Power

http://www.scottishpower.co.uk/

0845 7292292


Police

Emergency 999

Non emergency 101

www.northumbria.police.uk  


NHS

Emergency 999

Non emergency 111


TV Licence

www.tvlicensing.co.uk


BT 

www.home.bt.com

0800 800 150 / 0330 1234 150 


Virgin

www.virginmedia.com

0800 0643839


Sky

www.sky.com

0333 202 2133 / 03442 411 653


Newcastle University

www.ncl.ac.uk

0191 208 6000


Northumbria University

www.northumbria.ac.uk

0191 232 6002


Newcastle College

www.ncl-coll.ac.uk

0191 200 4000


Gateshead College

www.gateshead.ac.uk

0191 490 0300