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Student Housing Problem (SOS!)


hafcly
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The situation started in February, I was re-sitting university and I signed a contract for a 4 bedroom house with three of my at the time housemates. They sent us guarantor forms to send to our parents and return to the office, I did this but they did not receive them and did not bother telling me this until I rang them this month.

 

I feel that at the time signing the contract was forced, and that if i hadn't signed for the house and I had passed the year, I would have been without a house and pretty much homeless.

 

I found out I failed this year and can not proceed onto next year so I am having to move back home. Due to the fact I can no longer claim student finance I can not afford to pay for the house in no way shape or form and as I have no guarantor they have threatened me with CCJ's.

 

The letting agency has also said that because it is a joint tenancy the rent that I cannot pay will have to be made up by the other three tenants before anyone can move in (move in date 1st July) which understandable places immense pressure on myself.

 

I have worked tirelessly for the past three days (since i found out i had failed) to find a replacement tenant, but there is only so much i can do.

 

Because of my situation nobody is willing to be my guarantor, so even if i could afford to pay the rent (which i 1000% cant) I wouldn't even be able to move in because of the absent guarantor!

 

I am really struggling here, I cannot pay for the rent, there is no guarantor to cover my liability, the letting agent isn't budging on this and have threatened me with CCJ's and I've hit a massive low.

 

The term trying to get blood out of a stone plays it's part here, not only am i having to deal with the life changing results from university, i have to deal with this. I just want to cut all ties with this place and move back home, I'm only 19!

 

My questions are,

 

Is there any way out of this?

What is the worst that can happen to me as i'm unable to pay?

Why is nothing bloody simple?

 

Thanks I appreciate any help

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Hi hafcly

 

Student tenancies can be a nightmare as you are now finding out! I am so sorry that you have had such a time of it.

 

Unfortunately the tenancy agreements will always be in favour of the landlord, should this scenario happen. You ask what is the worst that can happen? In a joint and several tenancy, well the remaining tenants and guarantors become liable for any outstanding rent.

 

Did any of the guarantees get to the agents? If they didn't, then the agents are at fault for not following this up but it may work in your favour as there is no point in suing an unemployed student and if they have no guarantees then there is no one else to go after!

 

Have you actually been living in the house or was the plan to take up residency on 1st July? You may be able to find a latecomer who is willing to take over your room, does the Uni do a list of students who are looking for a room?

 

Have you tried any of the student accommodation websites?

 

And what are the others doing to help you, are they aware of the situation and that they may have to find more rent?

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Hi hafcly

 

Student tenancies can be a nightmare as you are now finding out! I am so sorry that you have had such a time of it.

 

Unfortunately the tenancy agreements will always be in favour of the landlord, should this scenario happen. You ask what is the worst that can happen? In a joint and several tenancy, well the remaining tenants and guarantors become liable for any outstanding rent.

 

Did any of the guarantees get to the agents? If they didn't, then the agents are at fault for not following this up but it may work in your favour as there is no point in suing an unemployed student and if they have no guarantees then there is no one else to go after!

 

Have you actually been living in the house or was the plan to take up residency on 1st July? You may be able to find a latecomer who is willing to take over your room, does the Uni do a list of students who are looking for a room?

 

Have you tried any of the student accommodation websites?

 

And what are the others doing to help you, are they aware of the situation and that they may have to find more rent?

 

The guarantors of the other three tenants were sent to the agents, so was mine but they never recieved it for whatever reason.

 

The plan was to move in on the 1st, but they aren't letting anyone move in until all 4 payments have been made, some of them have already made payments. Surely denying tenancy by denying the handover of keys after accepting part rent is illegal?

 

There is no way they can get the money out of me, i've tried looking for tenants but there is only so much i can do.

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Whilst I'm not sure about the legal situation here and I am sure someone will come along and advise, I would have thought that if there is a shortfall in payment then the agents are within their rights. If you have a copy of the tenancy that you signed (which you should have) check what it states in that.

 

What monies are they short? Rent in advance or deposit? If it's rent, have you paid any deposit?

 

I also asked you if the other lads are aware of this situation? I'm guessing they are if you were all due to move in on Sunday. They need to be fully aware that they are liable for the full rent, I know they won't be happy about this but they must contact the agent and see what can be done.

 

My son was in a house share and a student moved out after a couple of months and we (the remaining tenants/g'tors) had to foot the bill for the whole 12 month tenancy.

 

I'm afraid agents/landlords do put pressure on to get these tenancies signed because there is only (usually) a small gate of opportunity to fill their houses, which is why you are now finding it difficult to get another person to take over.

 

http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=student%20housing%20shelter&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CHkQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fengland.shelter.org.uk%2Fget_advice%2Ffinding_a_place_to_live%2Fstudent_housing&ei=46ntT8q9M4zH8gOo4eX4DA&usg=AFQjCNEZophvo3y_xBqOoJazEfibNSvRgg

 

Take a look at this link, I spent a long time on it a while ago so I don't know whether you will find anything different to what I have said.

 

Also, don't let the agents sit on their bums doing nothing! They act for the landlord and have messed up if they don't have the correct papers in order so they need to assist in getting a replacement student too! Point out to them that it's a difficult situation you find yourself in but they also stand to lose out if they can't get it sorted! Be firm with them don't take any C**P!

 

Do your parents know what's happening? Keep them in the loop too, sometimes a parent may give a little more clout is they speak to the agents.

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People here will of course do their best to help but many students' unions have advisors who specialise in student housing problems, and will hopefully be able to get involved directly with your case. They might even be familiar with the particular agent in question. Otherwise you could go to the local CAB.

 

Your letting agent is not acting reasonably by refusing to admit the replacement tenant - they are effectively deliberately making the situation worse and you would have a good chance of arguing this part of the argument if they ever went ahead with a claim against you. Hopefully you can reach an agreement with them and it won't go that far, although if not already paid, you will certainly need to pay the rent for the period you lived there, even if on a longer timescale to ensure payments are affordable.

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Marmaris, I think you may have misread the thread, so just to clarify.

 

Hafcly was due to take up occupancy on 1st July with three others but due to not getting the expected placement at Uni, he is unable to fulfill his part of the contract. The agents have lost his guarantee but do have the other three.

 

If he had a replacement tenant, the problem would be solved as the agent couldn't easily refuse, providing all the checks were ok.

 

He is struggling to get another person to take his place. From my experience the time for advertising for students is March/April so it's a bit late in the day now to find someone.

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Hi Hafcly, another thought that has occurred to me is that the agents may have a problem with the contract in failing to get all the paperwork in order.

 

I would have thought they should have a duty of care to all of the prospective tenants when signing a joint and several liability so if they have not got everyone's signature then there may be a problem with the validity of the agreement. I would certainly pursue this angle and see what the legal bods advise.

 

Here's a link to Community Legal Advice, they were extremely helpful to my son, although I did all the talking for him!

 

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Dl1/Directories/UsefulContactsByCategory/Governmentcitizensandrightscontacts/DG_195356

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