Questions? Don't worry, we've got you covered

Here are a few of things we get asked most frequently. Can't find what you're looking for? No worries, just send us a message, or pop in and ask!

Can I redecorate my room?
What deposit do I need to pay, and is this put into a scheme?
Am I allowed to have pets in the house?
Are the houses covered by safety certificates?
Are we allowed to smoke in our rooms/houses?
Are we allowed to use candles in the properties?
Are we liable to pay council tax?
Can I pay my rent monthly?
Can I put pictures on the walls?
Can my friends/ partner stay over?
Do I have to pay during the holiday periods?
Do I need to have a TV licence?
Do I need to provide my own crockery?
Does the house have insurance?
How do I deal with my rubbish and recycling?
How do I collect my keys?
Can my friend collect my key for me?
How do I pay my rent?
How do we pay our gas and electricity bills?
How much is my monthly rent?
I've been asked to provide my card details via email, is this safe?
I've got black mould in my room, what do I do?
I've remarketed my room, when will I receive a refund?
Is the house cleaned before I move in?
Is the room furnished, if so what furniture is there?
What if I want to move out early?
What should I do if I have a problem or repair?
What should I do if I'm having problems paying my rent?
What times are you open?
When are my rental payments due?
When do I get my deposit back?
When will I receive my deposit back?
When will I receive my tenancy agreement?
Why haven't I received your emails?
Why is my first months' rent less?
Why is my monthly rent different from what I'm expecting?
Will I get a warning that someone is coming to complete a repair?
Will I get notice when there are viewings taking place?
Will I have any unexpected visitors?
Will I receive an inventory?

Can I redecorate my room?

Of course you can to a degree! You’d need your landlord’s written permission for things like painting, recarpeting, but things like posters are fine provided you use special adhesive tabs such as Command Strips that don’t leave marks on the walls. Items like ornaments, rugs and nice stationery can really make a difference.

What deposit do I need to pay, and is this put into a scheme?

When you sign up, you will pay an administration fee (the fee required for us to create your contract and application etc), and a cleaning fee used to pay cleaners at the end of your tenancy.

We are able to save our tenants money by not charging a deposit at the beginning of their tenancy, however this does mean that you don’t receive any money back at the end of your tenancy.

On the rare occasion that one of our landlords requests a deposit, we will ensure that this is put into a Government authorised scheme.

Am I allowed to have pets in the house?

Unless you have your landlord's written permission, and written permission from all of your housemates, unfortunately pets aren't allowed. 

Are the houses covered by safety certificates?

Yes, all our houses are covered by all regulatory certificates including a Gas Safety Certificate, Electrical Certificate (valid for 5 years), and Fire Safety Certificate. These are always updated when they're due.

Are we allowed to smoke in our rooms/houses?

All our houses are strictly no smoking inside, however you are welcome to smoke outside the house so long as you clean up after yourself, and it doesn't cause any upset to your housemates or neighbours.

Are we allowed to use candles in the properties?

We recommend that you do not light any candles in your house, as these are a large common cause of dangerous house fires. You can get great replica candles from places like Amazon.

Are we liable to pay council tax?

No, as a student you don't need to pay council tax. If you're in a CSL managed house, you'll need to bring us your Council Tax Exemption Certificate that you will receive once you have registered with the University. This is really important otherwise you may be charged by the council.

Can I pay my rent monthly?

If you are a fully managed tenant, you can pay monthly so long as this payment is coming from your parent/ guardian or guarantors' account. If you signed up after July 2016 you will have completed a form explaining this to you.

Can I put pictures on the walls?

Posters are fine provided you use special adhesive tabs such as Command Strips that don’t leave marks on the walls. Please don't use BluTack or WhiteTack as these leave oily residue that require painting over, and you may be charged for this.

Can my friend collect my key for me?

If you're not able to get to us between 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday, you may wish to have someone else collect your key on your behalf. This is absolutely fine so long as you give us permission in writing beforehand.

Can my friends/ partner stay over?

As much as we love having you with us, unfortunately, we can't allow visitors to stay for more than one day per week. Our houses are built to have a specific number of occupants, anything more than that could have a direct impact on things like extractors and heating.

Do I have to pay during the holiday periods?

All of our contracts are generally 12 months long. We've found this works better as quite a lot of our students get part time work to help pay their bills. A 12 month contract means you don't have to move out, and can continue working through the holidays or hanging out with your friends, and there's no need to take all your belongings home. 

Do I need to have a TV licence?

If your house is all inclusive of bills and a TV is included in your common area, you won’t need an additional licence. If your bills are paid separately then you will need one! Unfortunately, irrespective of whether you're an all inclusive tenant or not, you all need individual licenses for any TVs or gadgets that stream live or catch-up TV in your rooms.

Do I need to provide my own crockery?

Yes, make sure you bring all your own pots, pans, crockery and cutlery as these items are generally not provided in any houses. You'll usually also need to provide your own bin, hoover, toasters and kettles. 

Does the house have insurance?

Your landlord is responsible for insuring the building, but you are responsible for insuring your own belongings and any fixtures and fittings that are provided by your landlord. We recommend Endsleigh who specialise in student house insurance.

How do I collect my keys?

If you're a CSL managed tenant, you can collect your keys by visiting our Garden Lane HQ. It's best to let us know when you're intending to arrive so that we can ensure someone is here to meet you. 

If your home is managed by your landlord independently of CSL, they will get in touch with you to let you know how to collect your keys.

How do I deal with my rubbish and recycling?

This can vary depending on the area of Chester that you live. But the council have created some really helpful guides to let you know what they collect and when they collect it.

Usually at the start of term, you will receive some information through the post telling you everything you need to know too.

Make sure you do follow the instructions the council gives you regarding waste, as tenants have been known to get fined.

How do I pay my rent?

If you are a fully managed tenant, from August 2016 we are using an automated system to take your rental payments. If you didn't receive an email from us with a direct debit mandate link, just contact us and we will provide you with the instructions you need. If you are renting with a private landlord, they will provide you with instructions regarding how to pay your rent.

How do we pay our gas and electricity bills?

If your house is not all-inclusive, then bills are paid on top of your monthly rent. These bills are split equally between the number of tenants living in the house. If a tenant leaves at any time to go home for holidays etc. they are still liable for those payments as per the Tenancy Agreement.  Depending on the supplier, the bills may be monthly or quarterly and will be sent directly to your house for payment.

How much is my monthly rent?

Your monthly rent is stated on the front page of your tenancy agreement.

I've been asked to provide my card details via email, is this safe?

Yes. When you signed up for your tenancy you may have been asked to provide your card details, however these are shredded after we take your first months' rent. If we need to provide you with a refund or take a payment, the quickest way for us to get this to/ from you is often via a card payment. Therefore we may ask you to provide details via email. Please be assured that we use a secure email server and are registered with the ICO.

I've got black mould in my room, what do I do?

Unfortunately due to the style of the houses in the student area of Chester and the large number of people in a house, this can be a common occurrence if the right precautions are not taken. If you're a CSL managed tenant, when you received your welcome email, you also received a house handbook. There are step-by-step instructions in this booklet that will tell you how to avoid black mould, and also how to treat it should it occur.

I've remarketed my room, when will I receive a refund?

If your room has been successfully re-marketed and a new tenant has been found, once the landlord has accepted the tenant and all their fees/ rent have been received, you will receive a refund of any rent that is owed to you. Our property management team will be in touch to let you know once this can be processed if there are any refunds due back to you. 

Is the house cleaned before I move in?

Yes, all of our houses are cleaned professionally before you move in. The cleaning fee you pay when you sign up for a tenancy is used to pay for professional cleaning when you leave your house - this includes oven cleaning, window cleaning, general cleaning and carpet cleaning where needed. We have a really good relationship with our cleaners and they are happy to come out to address anything that our tenants feel needs revisiting. Bear in mind that our cleaners will only be able to cover general cleaning - this relates to the cleaning agreement you signed when you signed for your tenancy.

Is the room furnished, if so what furniture is there?

All of our fully managed rooms tend to have a single or queen/ double bed, a wardrobe, chest of drawers, desk, mirror, notice board, desk chair, carpet, curtains, shelves, and a bedroom door lock.

What if I want to move out early?

The ‘legally binding’ nature of the assured shorthold tenancy agreement means that by law, you are contractually bound pay your rent until the end of the ‘fixed term’ and cannot be released before this date. Should you wish to leave before the end of the period stated in the agreement, put it in writing for us, and we’ll let you know what options are available to you.

What should I do if I have a problem or repair?

It’s really important that you communicate with us, and that we have a written history of any issues in case we need to come back again! Logging a repair is really simple - if you haven’t already done so, create an account or just login if you already have an account. Should an emergency occur, call us on 01244 374650 and follow the instructions for emergency repairs. Non-emergency repairs will be addressed during office hours, which are Monday - Friday, 9am to 5pm. We aim to get all urgent repairs completed within 48 hours, and non-urgent repairs completed within 14 days.

What should I do if I'm having problems paying my rent?

If you're fully managed, you need to inform us as soon as possible if you are unable to pay your rent. Should rent be received late without prior authorisation, there will be a £20 late payment charge (as detailed in your Tenancy Agreement) so keep us in the loop. Paying rent on time and in full protects you from the potential of a bad credit history. You should always speak to your guarantor if you are unable to make payments, as they are equally liable for your rent.

What times are you open?

Our sales HQ in Chester is normally open between 9am - 5pm between Monday and Friday, and our property management team based in head office are available between 8am - 4pm between Monday and Friday. We try to encourage you to send through any queries via our website, as this is the quickest way for our team to respond to you. There are days when we're away for staff training, so if you know you'll need us on a specific day or time, please do get in touch in advance so we can let you know our availability.

 

When are my rental payments due?

If you're a CSL managed tenant, we will collect your rental payments on a termly basis (unless you have a parent or guardian paying your rent, in which case you can pay monthly). 

Your first month will reflect one of the following:

  • If your contract started in August, you'll pay one full month in September
  • If you signed up as a new tenant in September, you will need to pay a full months' rent before you move in, which will reduce your termly payment*
  • If you signed up earlier in the year and your contract starts in September, you will have already paid your rent for this month

Then remaining payments are due on:

*4th October - three months' rent

10th January - four months' rent

18th April - three months' rent

These dates correspond with the times when you will receive your student loan.

When do I get my deposit back?

When you sign up, you will pay an administration fee (the fee required for us to create your contract and application etc), and a cleaning fee used to pay cleaners at the end of your tenancy.

We are able to save our tenants money by not charging a deposit at the beginning of their tenancy, however this does mean that you don’t receive any money back at the end of your tenancy.

On the rare occasion that one of our landlords requests a deposit, we will ensure that this is put into a Government authorised scheme, and you would receive notification of this at the time.

When will I receive my deposit back?

We have put together a process to ensure that we don't need to get a hefty deposit from our tenants at the start of their tenancy. Instead, we will ask for a guarantor and you will secure your room with an administration fee and cleaning fee only, which are non-refundable. 

In the rare event that we have a landlord that requests deposits, you will be made explicitly aware of this and receive notification that any payments have been put into a Government authorised deposit scheme.

When will I receive my tenancy agreement?

If you are are a CSL managed tenant, you will have received your tenancy agreement by email. Please make sure to check your junk mail if you are unable to find it in your inbox.

If you're a tenant in a non-CSL managed house, you'll receive a tenancy agreement directly from your landlord. Once your landlord accepts your tenancy we transfer all of your documents to them, so unfortunately we're unable to provide copies.

Why do I have to pay September rent separate to other termly payments?

If you're a CSL managed tenant, we ask you to pay one individual month aside from the usual termly payments. This is because all rent is paid in advance, but September is the only time of the year where we ask for a payment and you haven't received an installment of your loan. Rather than asking for a significant amount of money at a time where it would be difficult for you to provide this, we only ask for one month.

Remember, your guarantor has signed up to help you, so if you do have any issues paying your rent, make sure to speak to them first of all.

Why haven't I received your emails?

Occasionally our emails may go into your Spam or Junk folders, or Promotions folder if you use Gmail. Please make sure you check these places, and also add info@chesterstudentlets.co.uk onto your safe senders list.

Why is my first months' rent less?

Your rent is calculated pro-rata - this means that you're only charged from the date that your contract starts. For example, if your contract begins on 4th August, you will only be charged 28 days' rent up to 31st August for month one, and the full amount for each month thereafter.

Why is my monthly rent different from what I'm expecting?

Your monthly rent is calculated by multiplying your weekly rent by 52, and diving this by 12. As there aren't always an equal number of weeks in a month, this ensures that all months cost the same amount.

Will I get a warning that someone is coming to complete a repair?

Depending on the nature of the repair, usually once you have submitted your request it is assumed that you are happy for us to come over to your house as soon as we can. You are given the option when logging a repair of being notified in advance of a trade arriving, however it's worth noting that this could potentially delay the repair being completed, and if you require being present when the trade arrives and aren't in, you may be charged a non-attendance fee.

Will I get notice when there are viewings taking place?

We will always inform our tenants when open viewings are commencing, alternatively you will be told directly by your landlord. This means that viewings will normally take place between 10am - 6pm until the room/ rooms are let. We will of course cause as little disruption as possible, and will not enter any personal rooms that aren't for let without prior notice (as per the terms of your tenancy agreement). When possible, we will also text tenants to let you know that we're popping over. 

Will I have any unexpected visitors?

Unexpected? Not with us. With reasonable notice, once a month, we do pop in for roughly twenty minutes to ensure everything’s in order. This is essentially to make sure you’re never at risk and that your home is well looked after.

Will I receive an inventory?

Yes, you will receive a general inventory by email. If there are any issues with your house, it's recommended that you return your inventory to us (you'll need to do this within 7 days of moving in) otherwise we'll assume everything is as it should be. 

The purpose of the inventory is to ensure that any wear and tear is reported so that you're not charged at the end of the tenancy. You'll still need to log any repairs separately.