About Us [email protected] Telephone 01522 338204
Only Paying Your Rent
Student Articles

Only Paying Your Rent

Written by Sam | September 23, 2018

What happens when someone in your house doesn’t pay rent. Who does it fall to pay? Who has to pay for it? Doesn’t everyone have a guarantor? It might fall to their guarantors OR it might fall to the other housemates. It will be in the contract as to who pays it. If you are on a joined tenancy (unlikely) then it can fall to the rest of the housemates to make it up!

This is a good thing to check if a housemate is saying they aren’t taking the house, which, could be for a number of reasons:

  • Going through clearing and going to a different Uni
  • Not making the grades
  •  Disliking their course
  • Not enjoying the University lifestyle
  • Not coping at University
  • Been offered a job
  • Personal Circumstances
  • Gone travelling
  • Plus many more…

There are many things which can stop someone from continuing at University. Before you sign the agreement you MUST find out whose responsibility it is to pay their rent if they leave. The landlord will still be expecting their money at the end of the month.  The letting agent will be able to tell you and it should be in your contract also. There are usually a few options that can happen if someone would like to end their agreement.

What happens if someone wants to leave:

  • They find someone to replace them
  • They pay the rest of the agreement
  • The guarantor pays the rest of the rent until they find someone
  • The rest of the house makes up the money.

You usually see a lot of students offering accommodation just after clearing, this could be because they have booked their accommodation and either not got the grades or they have done better than they expected and gone to a different university. They are looking for someone to take over their tenancy and replace them.

Here is how to protect yourself against paying other peoples rent:

  • Read the contract
  • Ask the letting agent or landlord
  • Make sure there are guarantors – you will usually know this because you will be asked for one.

Don’t get confused with not wanting the property at an earlier stage because you have found somewhere else. If you haven’t signed an agreement, paid the deposit, or moved in and got the keys. You have no reason to feel pressured into taking that house. Obviously, don’t tell the letting agent that you are definitely taking this house and 1 week later you find a better one and decide to go for that one. This situation is when you have done one of those things. If you HAVE signed an agreement, contract, paid the deposit (you may still be able to leave, but you will lose your deposit), and finally if you have got the keys. If a housemate has signed or done one of these things and wants to leave, this is when you need to know who picks up their rent.

My Experience

This situation happened to me once, I was going in to my second year of University in Lincoln and I was looking at changing houses. I hadn’t lived in Halls because I was too late to book, but fortunately knew some good friends through the hockey society who had a spare room in a house. I signed the paperwork and at the end of my first year I thought it might be good to live with people who were my age and doing a/same similar course, so, I went off with my friends in search of a house. We went round to view the property, I was picked up in a transit van and climbed in the back where there were three seats (not dodgy at all) and went to view this property.  However, I had changed my mind because I quite liked it where I was. There were many reasons that I wont go in to plus it was the better choice in the end. I had verbally agreed with my friends that I would move in with them, but not the landlord, nor had I signed the contract or given a deposit. This meant that I wasn’t bounded by an agreement to take the house.

If I had done one of those parts, it would have been up to me to find a replacement to cover my rent or my housemates would have to cover it.

If you are a first year moving in to halls, then it is unlikely that you will see this situation as you are only paying for a room, however you will get this when looking at private landlords, not all will use this rule but some will.

Please make sure that you understand what is in the contract because it can have a big effect on you and put a lot of pressure on others as well.

Discover. Trust. Review.