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Housing advice

Services in the Housing Office

In addition to our Head Lease Scheme for students, a number of services are available in the Housing Office:

  • A board advertising available rooms for students in off-campus houses.
  • A 'Rooms Wanted' board, for students looking for an off-campus room with fellow students. You can also use this board to contact others who may want to get into a group and rent a whole property.
  • Lodgings are rooms in a resident landlord's own home, in which you share bathroom and kitchen facilities. This is often a good choice for those working on a strict budget.
  • General housing advice, including advice about different areas and where to look for rooms or properties.

Overview of HMO (Houses of Multiple Occupation)

"If you live in a property in which three or more people live, at least one of whom is unrelated to the others and where you share facilities, your council will call this type of accommodation a 'House in Multiple Occupation' or HMO." Direct.gov.uk

HMO properties will typically have fire doors, hard wired and interlinked smoke alarms, fire extinguishers and so on.

If the property houses five or more people it will also require a license.

In all cases, landlords must obtain and provide current gas and electrical safety certificates for their tenants. Gas certificates must be renewed annually and electric certificates are valid for between three and five years.

For more detailed information on HMO legislation, please see the Letting information page.

Reporting repairs

A repair is not a repair until you report it. Why? If your landlord doesn't know about it, they can't arrange for it to be fixed!

The simplest way to get repairs completed is to have one person from the property liaising with the landlord and not four people ringing about the same repair.

Give your landlord the full details so they can make the arrangements to carry out the repair. If no one arrives on the day to carry out the repair or if the workman tells you he will speak to the landlord about further work or parts, you need to speak to the landlord as soon as possible to find out what will happen next. If the repair is the fault of one of the tenants or their visitors, this will be recharged to either the group as a whole or to the individual responsible.

Reporting repairs - checklist

Be prepared with the following information when reporting all repairs:

  • Your name, property address and details of who to contact to arrange access to carry out the repair, including what times this person is available
  • Details of the repair, eg for a water leak: When did you first notice it? Where is it coming from?
  • Details of any action you have taken, eg have you turned off the mains water stopcock?

If you smell gas, call Transco immediately on 0800 111 999.

The Tenancy Deposit Scheme - what does it mean to me as a tenant?

Tenancy deposit legislation was introduced on 6th April 2007 and provides protection for tenants by preventing landlords and letting agents from unfairly withholding a deposit. The scheme protects all Assured Shorthold Tenancies in England and Wales (covering most tenancies since 1997) - Direct.gov.uk.

What is the Tenancy Deposit Scheme?

The schemes allow tenants to get all or part of their deposit back and encourages tenants and landlords to make a clear agreement from the start of the tenancy on the condition of the property. It ensures that:

  • you get all or part of your deposit back, when you are entitled to it;
  • any disputes between you and your landlord or agent will be easier to resolve;
  • landlords and letting agents who do not protect tenancy deposits will have to pay their tenant back three times the deposit.

There are two types of tenancy deposit protection schemes available for landlords and letting agents. Both provide a free dispute resolution service.

In all types of schemes your deposit must be protected and details of the schemes given to you within 30 days of paying the money over.

More detailed information can be found at direct.gov.uk.

Living in the local community

Our 'Living outside campus' leaflet gives you some hints and tips about living in the community and getting on with your neighbours.

All of our students are Ambassadors for the University, whether you live on campus or off-campus and how you behave reflects on the University’s good name.

Living in the local community brings responsibilities – not only maintaining a house and paying bills, but also in learning how to live amicably and considerately with your neighbours.

Each year there is a small minority who have no pride in Brunel and let down the University and their fellow students, by bringing the name of the University into disrepute through their behaviour.

For this small minority the University will use its full disciplinary powers to restore its’ good name, which could ultimately mean expulsion from the University.

The University works closely with the London Borough of Hillingdon and the local police in monitoring and tackling bad behaviour caused by students.

The Advice and Representation Centre (ARC)

The ARC is situated within the Hamilton Centre and is one of the services provided by the Union of Brunel Students. If you need housing advice, ARC can provide free, confidential advice.