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Frequently Asked Questions


The Most Common Questions About Your Student Home In Hull


Q.What will I need to do before moving into my Unicom home?

A.To ensure a smooth move in process please ensure you and ALL your housemates have completed the Move In Check List - please go to our "Knowledge Bank" on our home page, select "Check In Procedure" to find all details on what to do before moving in. If, for any reason the Move In Checklist has not been completed by the day the tenancy begins, Unicom will be unable to supply any keys to any tenant until all requirements are completed. Please can we also remind you to provide us with your student enrolment number as soon as possible so we can inform the council that you are exempt from council tax. If you do not provide this information in a timely manner you may receive notifications for payment from Hull City Council directly. We hope you have a wonderful time in your new property, if you have any queries please contact Unicom on 01482 491009.

Q.How do I move into my new house and collect keys?

A.You will need to ensure that every member of your house has completed the Move In Check List. Your contract will start at 3pm on the day of commencement. Please call our Move In Team to book an appointment to meet them at the property to complete check in and receipt of keys on: 01482 491009. We recommend that you book your appointment a few days in advance. We will meet you with keys at the property, and run through a quick check in process. You will be required to sign a check in paper stating that you are satisfied with the property. For further details please see our "Knowledge Bank" tab on our home page, then go to "Check In Procedure".

Q.How will I be expected to pay my rent?

A.We take payment by Direct Debit.  During your signing consultancy session a tailored payment plan will be devised for your group taking your student loans into account.   Normally, 4 payments via Direct Debit will be set up to cover the year of your tenancy (and correlate with your student loan).  The deadline for all signed Direct Debit forms to be handed in is 1st June before your contract starts; any delays on this date may cause problems with the commencement of your contract.  If you did not sign a Direct Debit form when signing your house contract please call us and we will email you a form to print off, sign, and post back to us at the following address: Accounts, Unicom, 208 Newland Avenue, Hull,  HU5 2ND. If you are abroad or are having problems obtaining a Direct Debit form please call our office to arrange an alternative method of payment before 1st June. For your peace of mind we understand that student loans can be delayed so you can inform us in writing that your Direct Debit payment needs to be held for a certain amount of days until your loan clears (10 days maximum hold, otherwise you may be expected to pay an interim payment).  Please email accounts@unicomproperty.co.uk  detailing your name, telephone number, house address, date and payment amount, and how long you wish the payment to be held for.

Q.Your payment plan explained:

A.During your signing consultancy session a payment plan will be devised to suit your group.  Depending upon the start date of your contract there will be a small payment in summer to cover any months before you receive your student loan in September.  We advise that you save some of the funds from your previous April loan in preparation for this summer payment.  Your first Direct Debit payment will be dated 10 days before your contract is due to start as it takes upto 10 days for a Direct Debit to clear, and all funds must have cleared before your contract commences and keys can be handed out. Thereafter payments will be due in October, January, and April to correlate with your student loan. If you are experiencing problems adhering to your payment plan please call our office to discuss on 01482 491009.

Q.Joint and several contracts

A.All our contracts are joint and several meaning you are jointly liable for everything in the house – including rent arrears, damages, etc.  With this in mind if you feel that one particular tenant is abusing his contract terms and conditions you are obliged to address it as it may affect you in the long term.

Q.I can no longer move in

A.CANCELLATION POLICY In the event of a single member or the whole tenancy group is/are unable to take up residence as per this agreement then Landlord offers a cancellation policy. If the party or parties find someone or a group to replace themselves on the same terms then there is a re-let fee of £200.00 payable straight away. If the person or group wish to walk away from the agreement without further liability at any time prior to 90 days before the start date of this agreement then a one off “cancellation fee” equivalent of 50% per person of the total yearly rent is payable. The “Cancellation fee” increases to a payment equivalent of 70% per person of the total yearly rent if notice to cancel is received less than 90 days prior to start date. If the tenancy date has commenced then all parties are liable for the full contract value. All notices to cancel should be given by email to enquiries@unicomproperty.co.uk and are only valid if a confirmation receipt response has been sent from Unicom confirming receipt of your email.

Q.Renewing your contract for another year

A.Make sure you rebook your property as soon as possible to avoid disappointment, we will endeavour to give you first refusal.  In previous years people start to rebook their home from as early as October for the following academic year. We want you to stay with Unicom so we will offer you a preferential deal.   It does get very hectic at this time of year for us so please ensure that you have signed a contract in order to hold your chosen house as they become in high demand at this point. Please call us for more information on 01482 491009. Don't forget you will not have to pay another agency fee if you stay with us for another year (either in the same or another house).

Q.What do I do if I know my rent will default or cannot be paid on time?

A.If you are aware that your cheque/payment will default you must call our accounts department immediately to inform us (01482 491009).  If enough time is given we may be able to devise a more suitable payment plan for the due rent (subject to landlord permission).  Please note that it is your responsibility to keep us updated if your payment is late.  It is not acceptable that you do not keep in regular contact with us. It is in your favour to keep in frequent contact with us to inform of us of the state of your finances.  This will show willing and in return we can grant goodwill in many instances. Charges will be applied for bounced cheques, rent collection calls and visits, as well as interest charges: ) Returned Direct Debit or cheques will carry a surcharge of £35.00. The Landlord will accept no responsibility, irrespective of cause, for costs incurred by the tenant with regards to any returned payments. All requests which are made in relation to the date which payments are taken are to be in writing or by email with a receipt response to enquires@unicomproperty.co.uk. All requests for altering rent payment dates are to be 10 days in advance of their due date. (b) The Landlord reserves the right to charge interest at 6% per month above Lloyds Bank base rate, on unauthorised late rental payments which fall beyond a 30 day period from the agreed payment date. (c) Any late rent payment outstanding beyond 14 days of its due date will be subject to an administration charge of £30.00. (d) There is a charge of £25.00 for each time we have to make a rent collection visit. (It is the responsibility of the tenant to make sure that rents are paid on time, if they are not, an authorised person will be entitled to visit the Premises to peaceably collect the due payment) Unicom will send text and emails if rents are late.

Q.What charges will be applied if my rent is late?

A.At Unicom we do not aim to issue charges, this is to deter late or no payment.  Please help us to avoid issuing such charges.  Please see charges below as per your contract: a) Returned Direct Debit or cheques will carry a surcharge of £35.00. The Landlord will accept no responsibility, irrespective of cause, for costs incurred by the tenant with regards to any returned payments. All requests which are made in relation to the date which payments are taken are to be in writing or by email with a receipt response to enquires@unicomproperty.co.uk. All requests for altering rent payment dates are to be 10 days in advance of their due date. (b) The Landlord reserves the right to charge interest at 6% per month above Lloyds Bank base rate, on unauthorised late rental payments which fall beyond a 30 day period from the agreed payment date. (c) Any late rent payment outstanding beyond 14 days of its due date will be subject to an administration charge of £30.00. (d) There is a charge of £25.00 for each time we have to make a rent collection visit. (It is the responsibility of the tenant to make sure that rents are paid on time, if they are not, an authorised person will be entitled to visit the Premises to peaceably collect the due payment) Unicom will send text and emails if rents are late.

Q.How to report a repair

A.We prefer repairs to be reported through our website. Please report your repair on our website on the home page "Report a Repair" section.  You will receive an email to confirm that your repair has been logged.  Once your repair has been completed you will receive another email to inform you of this, and ask for feedback should the repair have been unsuccessful (occasionally without living in the house it is difficult for the Repair Team to ascertain if a permanent solution has been found, particularly for plumbing items, and so your feedback would be appreciated).

Q.Bills inclusive related questions

A.If you have joined our utility contribution scheme your gas, electricity and water bills will be paid by ourselves. Please see our fair usage policy below: Tenant agrees: - the heating at the Premises will be on a timer and controlled by a thermostat and not (except at times of extreme weather conditions be used between the hours of midnight and 7:00am.) The Tenant agrees: - i.) The heating at the Premises will be on a timer and controlled by a thermostat. ii.) to produce all and any utility bills on request iii.) To take meter readings when they move in, twice during their tenancy or when requested by the Landlord and at the end of their tenancy. 1 THE TENANT’S OBLIGATIONS 1.1 As part of this Tenancy Agreement, the Landlord agrees to include energy and water services (the “Services”) to the Tenant as part of the fixed price rental charge at the Property (“Rent”). The Landlord will provide the Services through a contract with a third party service provider - Glide Utilities Limited, a company incorporated in England and Wales (company number 06194523) whose registered office is at Alpha Tower, Suffolk Street Queensway, Birmingham, B1 1TT (“Glide”). 1.2 The Tenant acknowledges and agrees that in order to be eligible for the Rent at the fixed rate in relation to the Services at the Property, the Tenant shall be obliged at all times to comply with the usage allowances set out at clause [3] below (“Bills Inclusive Policy”). 1.3 Should the Tenant fail to comply with the Bills Inclusive Policy, additional fees may be payable to the Landlord. 1.4 The Tenant agrees that to the extent that there is more than one tenant at the Property, the obligations and liabilities of each of the tenants in relation to any additional fees payable to the Landlord shall be joint and several obligations and liabilities of those tenants. 1.5 From time to time Glide may request certain information about you from the Landlord including: 1.5.1 your name, mobile number and email address; 1.5.2 copies of the tenancy agreements; 1.5.3 information about the arrival and departure of any tenants at the Property. You agree that the Landlord shall be entitled to pass the above information to Glide provided that any such information will be held by Glide according to Glide’s Privacy and cookies policy at glide.co.uk/policies/privacy. 2 VARIATION A person who is not a party to this Tenancy Agreement shall not have any rights under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 to enforce any term of its terms. This does not affect any right or remedy of a third party which exists, or is available, apart from that Act. 3 BILLS INCLUSIVE POLICY If the bills are included within your Rent, then this policy will apply to you. This is to ensure that your energy and water usage is sensible and reasonable. There are allowances below to limit the amount of energy and water that you can use when bills are included within your rent. The allowances are generous but it is important that you and the other tenants in your home are sensible with your energy and water usage throughout your entire tenancy agreement. If you go over the allowances, you will be charged for the additional usage. The energy tariffs applicable to the Services are set out at glide.co.uk/tariffs. The allowances are for the 12 month period so if your tenancy agreement is shorter or longer, we’ll adjust the allowance accordingly. Yorkshire Region Number of tenants Gas annual allowance per property (£) Electricity annual allowance per property (£) Water annual allowance per property (£) 1 £879.84 £846.04 £471.90 2 £900.64 £864.24 £491.40 3 £911.04 £887.64 £507.00 4 £1,127.36 £992.16 £542.88 5 £1,170.00 £1,177.80 £561.60 6 £1,254.24 £1,276.08 £617.76 7 £1,339.52 £1,474.20 £655.20 8 £1,530.88 £1,684.80 £748.80 9 £1,722.24 £1,895.40 £842.40 10 £1,913.60 £2,106.00 £936.00 11 £2,104.96 £2,316.60 £1,029.60 12 £2,296.32 £2,527.20 £1,123.20

Q.How to set up your own bills

A.Gas Utilities 08706081524 Electricity Utilities 08453300889 Yorkshire Water 08451242424 These numbers are for those of you who are responsible for your own bills. On the day your contract begins you need to call these automated numbers with your post code, and they will inform you of your gas/electricity suppliers, their telephone numbers, and your meter serial number. You will need to ring your suppliers to set up a new account in your names providing accurate meter readings, to ensure you are billed correctly. On the day your contract ends the same should be done to close your account and you will be sent a final closing bill. There is only one water supplier so they can be called directly on the number above. Karoo – Kingston Communications – 01482 602300 This number connects to KC who will arrange your broadband set up. Please note the connection can take up to 10 days.

Q.I am not receiving notices/correspondence from Unicom

A.We communicate predominantly through email – this includes all house updates, repairs updates, special offers, 24 hours notice for visits etc.  It is your responsibility to keep any changes in your contact details up to date with us.  If your details have changed please email amanda@unicomproperty.co.uk Please put subject as “Correspondence detail changes”

Q.Old post for old tenants

A.If you receive any post for ex tenants please simply write across the letter “Not at addess” or "RTS" (Return to Sender) and put back in the post box.

Q.Council tax

A.You are exempt from council tax as a student.  Upon signing your contract you should have provided your student enrolment number which we will send to Hull City Council to ensure your exemption.

Q.Bin Guidelines  

A.Please see the website address below for Hull City Council for all details on your bin collection days.  On moving out your Unicom home we suggest that you start disposing of rubbish a few weeks before to make sure it has all gone in time.  Please note that Hull City Council will not empty the bins if the wrong items have been put in the wrong bin, and they will not remove any items that are not inside the bin.  http://www.hullcc.gov.uk/portal/page?_pageid=221,610509&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL Please copy and paste this address to find out your various bin collection days - you will need your postcode to hand.

Q.Internal politics/arguments within your house

A.With over 20 years experience we are aware that disagreements can occur in households.  We ask you all to have mutual respect for each other but understand that sometimes help may be needed.  Unicom has a dedicated Tenant Liaison Officer who can be contacted with your concerns.  In case of severe circumstances please contact The Scheme at Hull University who are an accredited body who aim to mediate any student housing problems: http://www.the-scheme.com/Home The Scheme Address: Student Support Services 2nd Floor University House Hull HU6 7SX Tel:01482 465665 Fax: Email: thescheme@hull.ac.uk

Q.How to make a complaint

A.If you are in anyway dissatisfied with the service you have received from Unicom we want to know, and we shall do our utmost to resolve any issues. Please contact Amanda Freeman at the Newland Avenue office, or write to amanda@unicomproperty.co.uk We take your concerns very seriously and wish for you to have a pleasant stay with Unicom.

Q.Vacating your Unicom Home

A.Please go to the "Knowledge Bank" tab on our website, and select the "Check Out Procedure" option for a full description.

Q.Jobs available at Unicom?

A.We often need a team of students from September to December, and January to February to help with a variety of jobs. Hours are very flexible, and we are looking for bright, and bubbly individuals. To apply for jobs please send your CV to amanda@unicomproperty.co.uk