2019 Tenancy Law changes
Minimum room size: Single room size: 6.51m2 or 10.22m2 for 2 persons.
It is a criminal offence to allow an HMO (House of Multiple Occupation) to be occupied by more persons than it is licensed for. It is also illegal to fail to meet the HMO licensing conditions and could result in losing the license.
The HMO licensed landlord can:
Control the maximum number of occupants;
Criminal landlords who have committed offences will not be granted an HMO license.
Test your fire alarm regularly.
Never leave cooking unattended.
Do not keep dry clothes on heaters.
Switch off electrical appliances and sockets when you’re not using them.
Identify an escape route at the property.
Do not microwave tin and foil.
If you smoke, make sure it is distinguished properly before you leave it.
Keep the hob, grill and oven clean. Grease and a build up of fat can easily catch fire.
The landlord should:
Maintain the structure of the house including guttering, drains and pipes.
Maintain the structure and safety of the gas, water and electricity in the property.
Provide the landlords full time and address.
Provide a valid and current gas certificate.
Provide an energy performance certificate.
Give 24hr notice before entering the property.
Not damaging the house and paying for any repairs that need to be carried out.
Put your bins out on time and make sure it is collected.
Making sure the property is locked when you leave it.
Reporting all repairs that need to be dealt with, the problem will only be dealt with when it is reported.
Houses of multiple occupation are properties where family are not sharing, it could be friends, students etc. Types of HMO include shared houses, flats, bedsit, lodgings, accommodation for workers.
If you are a full-time student, you will be exempt from council tax and shouldn't have to pay any. You may have to get a certificate from the University as evidence that you are a full-time student but once your housing agency/landlord has got that, you will be exempt.
Stopcock: Got a leak or a burst pipe? Look under your kitchen sink to find the stopcock and turn it off.
Smoke alarms: It is the landlord's responsibility to make sure a smoke alarm is installed in the property, but the tenants should maintain them and make sure they work. They should be tested regularly, and sensors should be cleaned out so help with its function.
Meter keys: If your meters are outside, you should have some keys to unlock it. Keys for the gas meter are black and yellow.
Housing, Private sector:
Northamptonshire Borough Council have a range of services on their website on how to get different types of support with housing e.g disability benefits, reporting issues in your house and much more! The university also have a team who deal with Private Sector housing. You can email [email protected] to discuss this.
StudentPad is a site which advertises private-sector accommodation in Northampton which has been checked to ensure it is up to standards and safe for students to live in. StudentPad allows you to look at different options, contact different landlords and letting agents as well as provides information on your rights as a tenant and what to look out for when looking for accommodation. You can look at the StudentPad site online or if you need any further assistance, contact: [email protected] For a guide to how to acess StudentPad please click here.
Residential Life Team:
The RLT staff are available on campus during the day and night to ensure students are safe and for any incidents to be attend to. The team are there for you to chat to them, they are mental health first aid trained and can signpost you to any additional services should you need it. The team also put on events and activities throughout the year, do safety meetings with flats to make sure they are keeping all members safe and offer general support. You can contact them on [email protected]