Accommodation

Not just a great place to study but a great place to live, too!

We recognise the importance of our students being able to make a home whilst studying at one of our campuses. Our Accommodation team is on hand to help students source accommodation that is right for them.

At ACM we work to offer you a range of accommodation options close to your ACM campus and the surrounding areas. With the mainline train stations and local bus services close to each campus, there are excellent transport links to take advantage of.

Fresher’s relocating nearer campus to start studying with us can choose from the following:

  1. Independently owned and managed student accommodation with Half-Board Catering not far from our ACM campuses.
  2. Independently owned and managed Self-Catering Student Halls
  3. Independently owned shared housing.

NB: The accommodation options listed above are owned and operated by third party companies and individuals.  ACM is, in this way, making an introduction to these organisations in order to assist students in their accommodation needs. ACM has no partnership with these parties and does not receive money or other benefit for signposting students to accommodation.

 

Private Rented Accommodation

The majority of students studying at ACM live in private rented accommodation within a few miles of each of our campuses.

As a guide, average rents tend to be between £450 and £650 (excluding bills) per month per person in Private Rented Accommodation. This is all dependent on campus location and services included.

There are also a number of Estate and Letting Agents across Guildford with a selection of student housing available. Being proactive and clear on what you are looking for is very important when contacting agents and arranging viewings.

Most Letting Agents will require you to be in a group before you register therefore it will be extremely useful to join the campus specific ACM Accommodation Student Group on Facebook (these are closed groups for students and for housing posts only). 

In this group you will be able to meet fellow Freshers, current students looking for housemates, discuss housing options and generally get ready for September 2019. As houses come in they are posted on this site too. All details for local Letting Agents are also posted on the Facebook Pages.

April each year will also herald the start of our Accommodation Networking Events which are held on a Saturday (please keep an eye out for an email/post on the facebook page to let you know of up and coming dates). This is an ideal chance for you to network face to face and it is a lot of fun.

All applications for these events should be confirmed by email to accommodation@acm.ac.uk as there can sometimes be limited spaces.

The networking events are a great way for you to network with fellow students looking to meet prospective, future housemates in order that the group formed can then sign on to letting agents to find a house together.

 

Managed Housing Allocation Policy

Some of our students have characteristics that mean that living in private rented accommodation is more challenging for them.

As such, when considering applications for our managed housing, priority will be given to applicants who meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Under 18s
  • Students relocating from outside the UK
  • Those with a diagnosed learning difficulty, disability or medical condition
  • Care leavers or those currently in care of social services

 

What is a guarantor?

A guarantor is a third party, such as a parent or close relative, who agrees to pay your rent if you don’t pay it. Your landlord can ultimately take legal action to recover any unpaid rent from your guarantor.

Your landlord may want to check that your guarantor is able to pay the rent in the same way that they’ve checked your ability to pay. For example, by carrying out a credit check.

There is a legal requirement for a guarantee agreement to be in writing. The agreement sets out the guarantor’s legal obligations.

 

Is a guarantor only liable for unpaid rent?

It depends on what the agreement says. In many cases, a guarantee agreement also extends to other conditions under the tenancy, for example, any damage caused to the property.

If an agreement does extend to other conditions of the tenancy, then it’s best that the guarantor checks the tenancy agreement. This way they can see exactly what obligations they are guaranteeing.

 

Does the guarantor have to live in the UK?

Landlords will usually want a guarantor who lives in the UK, as it’s easier for them to take legal action against a UK resident if they need to.

This may present a problem for you if you’re an international student, so if you can’t get a UK-based guarantor, you may be asked to pay more rent in advance.

 

Guarantors of tenants who live in shared accommodation

If you share accommodation with other tenants under one tenancy agreement, that is, a joint tenancy, it’s common for the guarantee to apply to all of the rent, and not just your share.

It’s best to check the guarantee agreement carefully and ask the landlord or agent any questions if something is unclear. As soon as the agreement is signed, the guarantor is bound by its terms and conditions.

It may be possible to negotiate with the landlord for a variation to a guarantee agreement. This would ensure that the guarantor’s liability was confined to only your rent payments or any damage caused by you.

 

When does the guarantor’s liability end?

This depends on what the guarantee agreement says and/or what is agreed verbally.

Many guarantee agreements are open-ended and will refer to liability ‘under this tenancy/agreement’. This means that liability could extend beyond the fixed term, to any extension, as well as to certain variations such as rent increases.

If this is the case, the guarantor’s liability may continue for as long as the tenancy exists and will only end if the tenancy is legally ended by:

  • service of a valid notice to quit by the tenant, or
  • by mutual surrender of the tenancy between the landlord and tenant, or
  • a possession order from the court.

It may be possible to argue that an open-ended guarantor agreement is not enforceable, but a court would have to decide this.

 

A variation in the tenancy agreement

A variation in the tenancy agreement could bring the guarantor’s liability to an end. For example, a change to the rent or a renewal of the tenancy would count as a variation unless:

  • the agreement said that the guarantee applies to any future variations or renewals, or
  • the guarantor consents to the variation.

 

Checking the guarantee agreement

It’s always best to check any guarantee agreement carefully so that the guarantor knows how and when their liability ends. It may be possible to negotiate a variation to the guarantee agreement so that the guarantor’s liability is limited. For example, by specifying the start and end dates the agreement applies to, such as the length of the original fixed term only.

 

Unfair terms in a guarantee agreement

If a guarantee agreement is in a standard form rather than one that has been negotiated individually, it may be possible to challenge a standard term if it is considered unfair.

A term may be unfair if it creates a ‘significant imbalance’ between the parties to the agreement. If a term is held to be unfair then it cannot be relied on and has no effect in law.

You can refer a possible unfair contract term to the local authority’s Trading Standards Officer, who should be able to provide further guidance.

Council Tax Discount

Proving you are a Student:

To apply for Council Tax exemption or discounts you will need to provide your local council with proof that you are a student in full-time education. You can request a confirmation letter from Reception or Student Services Hub. You must forward the letter to your local council.

Points to Remember:

  • You should advise the Council of any change of address as soon as possible
  • Do not ignore a Council Tax bill - confirm your student status with the Council
  • Council Tax Student Discounts and Exemptions can be Backdated

NOTE: You will cease to be a student for Council Tax purposes when you have completed your programme / course of study, or if you have withdrawn from it, or are no longer permitted by the educational institution to attend it. It is your responsibility to notify the council if you cease to be a student.

Accommodation Hand Out-Sept2020_21.pdfPreview the document