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Student rental through an agency

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SheilaryallSheilaryall Forumite
3 posts
First Post
MoneySaving Newbie
My son is currently in halls at his first year at university.  He has got together with a group of four friends and they have seen a 5-bed house through an agency they would like to share next academic year. However they have already been asked to pay £60 each (total of £300) to the agency as a 'holding fee' to ensure the house gets 'taken off the market' and not shown to anyone else.  And they are being asked to pay a months rent in advance (£2,245) NOW, within the next 7 days to guarantee the house is theirs, and sign a tenancy agreement.  Is this normal to ask students to pay a months rent so far in advance?  They have only just paid a security deposit of £250 each at their student halls.
I am really worried about them paying all this money so far up front and the security of the whole situation. Help/advice anyone?

Replies

  • bradders1983bradders1983 Forumite
    5.7K posts
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    My memory of doing this is that yes, it was done that far in advance. But this was in 2002.  It may differ by agent to agent anyway.
  • SheilaryallSheilaryall Forumite
    3 posts
    First Post
    MoneySaving Newbie
    I actually (much to the disdain of my son, its not hip or cool for a parent to intervene when they are trying to be adult but where money is concerned sometimes you have to) phoned the estate agent and managed to negotiate for them to pay just half the rent for now, and then the other half at the end of Feb 2021. Yay, it helps to be a parent when it matters I think.  It also lets the estate agent know that they are being monitored and watched and they are not just dealing with excited students.
  • MalMonroeMalMonroe Forumite
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    I'm a bit worried that covid may scupper teaching face to face plans completely. Maybe that's what the estate agent is hoping, to gather all the funds in now before everywhere is locked down even tighter. 
  • SheilaryallSheilaryall Forumite
    3 posts
    First Post
    MoneySaving Newbie
    I certainly hope not. I believe the rush to secure accommodation so early on is based on the best and biggest houses (they have managed to secure a 5 double-bedroomed house) get snapped up fairly quickly.  I would imagine and would sincerely hope that universities could not continue to teach online much beyond early next year.  Otherwise they would probably have to reduce fees, wouldn't be able to attract foreign students,etc and would run into big financial problems to keep going.  I also think the govt. is behind the continuation of education, as it shown by the current lockdown not including schools and universities.
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