This article explains what a housing contract is and your rights. If you are looking for information on the different sections in the housing contract see this article.
When you have found a property that you are happy with, you will be expected to pay a deposit and then sign a contract.
What a housing contract is
A contract is a legally binding document. It details the terms of the property you will rent and the amount and period you are expected to rent it for. So once you have signed one, you have committed yourself to meeting the rental payments for the period the contract states - you do not generally get the chance to change your mind.
You should not feel pressured into signing a contract straight away – it is quite common for landlords to say that they have got several groups waiting for the house, but this may not always be true. Always ask to see a copy of the contract before agreeing to sign.
A contract will also include ‘tenant responsibilities’ - how you are expected to maintain the property, and ‘landlord responsibilities’ – what the landlord is expected to do and ensure, so that you can live comfortably and safely in your home.
The Tenancy Agreement (contract) should have the full name, address and contact detail of the landlord and clearly state the rental amounts and period of occupancy. The tenant details should also be clearly indicated on the contract.
Understand your rights when signing a contract
*A joint contract means all housemates are liable for rent payments and damages in the event one housemate, or more, leave the property. This will also potentially include your guarantor, so double-check it before signing anything.
Factors to consider when looking at the housing contract
See this article on the factors to consider when looking at a housing contract.
Ending a tenancy
For more information on housing contract contact Student Housing team.