www.STUDENTROOMS.info Plymouth  
Pencraig Developments Ltd.

External photograph of one of our properties with a red door

Pencraig Developments Limited
PO Box 84
Plymouth
PL3 4BE

mail@studentrooms.info

T: +44 (0)1752 260546

M: +44 (0)7971 431121

get in touch


frequently asked questions

Q. I am not 21 yet. Can I still rent a room in one of your student houses or flats?
Q. Why do you only rent student accommodation to students age 21 and over?
Q. My son/daughter is not 21, is very studious and does not party all the time. We are really keen that they should live in a nice quiet student house. Can they rent student accommodation from you?
Q. I hate tobacco smoke. How can you be sure that everyone in a student shared house is a non-smoker?
Q. How long will my tenancy agreement be for?
Q. Can I move out of my student accommodation before the end of my tenancy?
Q. Do you take up references and make credit checks? Do you require parental guarantees?
Q. Is all student accommodation fully furnished?
Q. Do you provide kitchen utensils or do I need to bring my own?
Q. Do all student houses and flats have a washing machine and tumble dryer?
Q. Can I bring my own furniture instead of using yours?
Q. Can my partner and I share a 1-bed flat?
Q. Are pets allowed in your student accommodation?
Q. Do you charge administration fees?
Q. Will I have to pay a deposit or bond?
Q. How much should I budget for water, electricity and gas bills?
Q. Do you offer student accommodation with bills included?
Q. Do you only rent student accommodation to groups or can I just rent a room?
Q. Do you have any 'student halls' type accommodation?
Q. Will I be able to get an internet connection installed?
Q. I work during the week. Can I view your student accommodation at the weekend?
Q. How long in advance do we need to book if we want to view some of your student accommodation?
Q. Do we meet you at the property or should we come to your office?
Q. Do you offer a Summer discount?
Q. What happens if something in the property stops working?
Q. When and how does the rent have to be paid?
Q. Do I have to pay my rent by bank transfer?
Q. Can my parents pay my rent?
Q. Can I paint my room?
Q. Where can I keep my bike?
Q. Will I have to pay Council Tax?
Q. What happens if I can't pay my rent?
Q. How long does it usually take to get my tenancy deposit refund?
Q. I am an international student. Can I rent student accommodation now and move in immediately I arrive in Plymouth?
Q. Can I rent student accommodation from you for more than one year?
Q. Does your student accommodation have fire detection systems?
Q. Can I have a friend to stay?
Q. Do you provide off-street parking?
Q. What if I've got a question not answered here?

 

Q. I am not 21 yet. Can I still rent a room in one of your student houses or flats?

A. To rent a room in one of the great student houses or flats on this website you must be a full-time student age 21 or over when your tenancy starts. So, if you are looking for a room in one of our student shared houses or flats for next September you will have to be 21 before then.

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Q. Why do you only rent student accommodation to students age 21 and over?

A. We offer quality student accommodation in nice quiet houses for nice quiet students! Our tenants are post-graduate students studying for just one year, final year under-graduate students or mature under-graduate students. Whilst they haven’t forgotten how to enjoy themselves, they prefer to share a quiet house with other students for whom studying is the number one priority.

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Q. My son/daughter is not 21, is very studious and does not party all the time. We are really keen that they should live in a nice quiet student house. Can they rent student accommodation from you?

A. None of us learned how to party while we lived with Mum and Dad! Your son or daughter will enjoy their time at University and benefit far more from sharing with like-minded students of their own age. We don’t want to spoil anyone’s fun; we’re happy for them to party all night every night, but like you, we don’t want them doing it in our house!

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Q. I hate tobacco smoke. How can you be sure that everyone in a student shared house is a non-smoker?

A. We do everything we can to ensure that all of our tenants are non-smokers. All tenants have to confirm that they are a non-smoker before we agree to rent a room to them.

We do not tolerate smoking in our properties. We always deal promptly with any complaints, which thankfully are very rare. It is a term of all tenancy agreements that smoking is not permitted in our properties and any tenant who does so will be served with a Notice and then, if necessary, will face eviction through the Courts. Thankfully, this has never been necessary.

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Q. How long will my tenancy agreement be for?

A. Tenancies are usually for a fixed term of 12 months (52 weeks) from September.

We will normally offer tenancies less than 52 weeks only when we are re-letting a room that for some reason has been vacated part way through the academic year.

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Q. Can I move out of my student accommodation before the end of my tenancy?

A. You can move out whenever you like, but you still have to pay the rent until the end of your tenancy! Under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement you are legally bound until the end of your tenancy. If for some reason you have to leave early we will be happy to try and re-let your room, but you must continue to pay the rent until a new tenant is found. We also make a reasonable charge to cover our costs in preparing the tenancy agreement for the new tenant, checking the inventory and other essential administration that is caused by your early departure.

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Q. Do you take up references and make credit checks? Do you require parental guarantees?

A. We may request a reference from your previous landlord or check your credit history, but we will always tell you before doing so. We rarely require parental guarantees.

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Q. Is all student accommodation fully furnished?

A. Yes, all of our student houses and flats are furnished to a good standard. All bedrooms have a bed (usually a double), bedside cupboard, wardrobe, desk, chair and bookcase plus fitted carpet (or polished wood floor and a rug), curtains and lampshade. Kitchens are fully equipped.

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Q. Do you provide kitchen utensils or do I need to bring my own?

A. Our properties are fully furnished, and kitchens are fully equipped. All houses have just one kitchen, with at least one oven and hob, a microwave oven, kettle, sink and draining board. Houses with 6 bedrooms or more have 2 ovens, 2 hobs and 2 sinks. All properties have a fridge and a freezer or 2 fridge/freezers, so that everyone gets a fridge shelf and a freezer drawer. All kitchens have enough cupboards so that everyone has one base cupboard and one wall cupboard. We provide pots, pans, cutlery, crockery, tea towels and just about everything you will need except sharp knives.

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Q. Do all student houses and flats have a washing machine and tumble dryer?

A. Yes. Our 1-bed flats have a washer/dryer, but all larger (shared) student houses and flats have a separate automatic washing machine and tumble dryer. All properties also have an outside washing line.

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Q. Can I bring my own furniture instead of using yours?

A. We will not remove any of our furniture from the property but if you wish to supplement what we provide (for example, whilst we do not always provide them, many of our rooms are big enough to accommodate a sofa or armchair), you may do so as long as the furniture you bring meets the appropriate regulations (fire retardant covers and cushions etc.). However, you must get our written permission before bringing any furniture into the house. Please also make sure that you take the furniture with you when you move out!

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Q. Can my partner and I share a 1-bed flat?

A. Yes. Our 1-bed student flats have a double bed and are suitable for occupation by a couple. The advertised rents for our 1-bed flats are for the flat and not per person. Please note that if you are renting just one room in a larger student house or flat the advertised rent is for occupation strictly by one person only.

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Q. Are pets allowed in your student accommodation?

A. Definitely not; not even a goldfish!

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Q. Do you charge administration fees?

A. No, we do not charge registration fees, administration fees, inventory fees or make any other charges when renting student accommodation. We are not a rental agency or property management company but only rent student houses and student flats that we own. The only fee that you have to pay is the one-off tenancy deposit protection fee of £20 to protect your £300 tenancy deposit. This is collected with your first rent payment.

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Q. Will I have to pay a deposit or bond?

A. Yes. When you reserve a room in one of our student houses or flats we require a non-refundable holding deposit of £300 per person. At the beginning of your tenancy this becomes your tenancy deposit and so it is fully refundable at the end of your tenancy.

Your tenancy deposit will be protected in a government approved tenancy deposit protection scheme. The tenancy deposit protection scheme that we use is run by my|deposits. For more information see http://www.mydeposits.co.uk/tenants.

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Q. How much should I budget for water, electricity and gas bills?

A. In all of our student shared houses and flats the rent includes all utility bills up to a generous maximum of £12 per person per week. Look for 'bills included' in the list of student houses and flats here.

Although broadband internet is networked through every property and is included in the rent, in our 1-bed student flats water, gas and electricity charges are not included. Plymouth University recommend that you budget up to £10 per person per week for these bills.

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Q. Do you offer student accommodation with bills included?

A. We offer bills inclusive rents at all of our student shared houses & flats. Follow this link and look for properties with bills included in the list of our student accommodation here. At these properties the rent includes water, gas, electricity and WiFi up to a generous maximum of £12 per person per week. So in a 7-bed student house over 52 weeks this allowance equates to a total of £4,368.00. In the unlikely event that this limit is exceeded (it never has been!) any excess will be divided equally between all student tenants and deducted from your tenancy deposit.

In our 1-bed student flats our tenants must make their own arrangements for paying for the electricity, gas and water that they use. Plymouth University recommend that you budget up to £10 per person per week for these bills.

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Q. Do you only rent student accommodation to groups or can I just rent a room?

A. We prefer to rent accommodation on a room-by-room basis rather than to groups. If you are renting a room in one of our student houses or flats you will be given your own tenancy agreement. Unlike many letting agents and other private landlords we do not expect you to sign a joint tenancy agreement with people you do not know.

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Q. Do you have any 'student halls' type accommodation?

A. No, we do not. We specialise in providing quality student accommodation in shared houses and flats. Our tenants prefer quiet student houses to the hustle and bustle of halls of residence like Mary Parker House, Beckley Point, Aspire House, Astor House or the many other tower blocks that have appeared recently on the Plymouth skyline.

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Q. Will I be able to get an internet connection installed?

A. All of our student properties have superfast 200Mbps broadband internet networks already connected from the day you move in, so you can get a WiFi connection as soon as you arrive. Most properties also have wired (Ethernet) networks. All properties have WiFi.

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Q. I work during the week. Can I view your student accommodation at the weekend?

A. We can arrange viewings most days but to minimise disruption to our student tenants we try not to do any viewings on a Sunday, except during September. We always give our tenants at least 24 hours notice before showing people around their home, so please be sure to call us before you arrive in Plymouth.

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Q. How long in advance do we need to book if we want to view some of your student accommodation?

A. We need a minimum 24 hours to inform current tenants of any viewings. Please arrange viewings before travelling to Plymouth. To arrange viewings please call Jeremy on 07971 431121 (+44 7971 431121).

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Q. Do we meet you at the property or should we come to your office?

A. We will normally ask you to meet us outside the property.

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Q. Do you offer a Summer discount?

A. Very few landlords in Plymouth offer discounted rents in the summer. As our tenancies are for 12 months (52 weeks), the rent is the same during the summer months.

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Q. What happens if something in the property stops working?

A. We are professional full-time landlords. You will be given an emergency contact number, which is available 24/7, to report anything that requires attention. So whether it's a noisy washing machine, blocked loo or just a light bulb that needs to be changed, you can contact us immediately and we will deal with it; and as we live in Plymouth ourselves we are able to deal promptly with any issues that arise.

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Q. When and how does the rent have to be paid?

A. Rent must be paid by bank transfer direct to our bank account termly in advance. The first instalment is due on the first day of your tenancy, which may be before the start of the term (and therefore before you receive your student loan!). Subsequent payments are on the first day of term after the Christmas holiday and the first day of term after the Easter holiday. If you are on a gap-year placement or for some other reason are being paid monthly we will be happy to discuss alternative arrangements for paying your rent, but please discuss it with us BEFORE you reserve a room.

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Q. Do I have to pay my rent by bank transfer?

A. Payment by bank transfer is the most efficient way of paying your rent. It is also the cheapest for us, which helps us to keep your rent down! You will be able to arrange a bank transfer very easily via telephone or internet banking from all cheque accounts. There is rarely any reason why the rent cannot be paid in this way. Once you have set up the payments (usually set up as a bill payment via internet or telephone banking) your rent is paid directly from your bank account into our bank account automatically on the day it is due. If there is a genuine reason why you are unable to set up these payments we will be happy to try and help you, but please discuss this before you reserve a room.

You should not confuse these payments with a direct debit. The rent payments that we ask you to arrange with your bank are usually a simple instruction to your bank to pay three specific amounts on three specific dates. Unlike a direct debit, it is not an authorisation for us to dip into your account to take whatever money is owed to us whenever we wish. So, even if you are nervous about signing a direct debit, there is really no reason why you should not set up direct bank payments.

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Q. Can my parents pay my rent?

A. Anyone can pay your rent on your behalf. Just tell us who is going to pay your rent and we will send them our bank account details so that they can arrange the payments with their bank. However, please remember that you will be signing the tenancy agreement, not your Mum or Dad, so it is your responsibility to ensure that the rent is paid on time.

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Q. Can I paint my room?

A. No. Your favourite colour may never appeal to anyone else. You can decorate your room with pictures and posters but painting is not permitted.

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Q. Where can I keep my bike?

A. Many of our properties have an outhouse where your bike can be securely stored (see the detailed property description on the properties pages). You will have to provide your own padlock. Please note that bikes cannot be stored indoors or wheeled through the house or flat (bike stores, where they are provided, are accessed from the rear lane).

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Q. Will I have to pay Council Tax?

A. As long as you remain a full-time student during the whole of your tenancy you are exempt from Council Tax. If one of the other tenants in a student shared house ceases to qualify for Council Tax exemption you will still not have to pay anything. BUT, if you cease to qualify for the student exemption (if you are no longer a full-time student) you will become personally liable for the whole amount of any Council Tax bill, which will be at least £1,045.65 per year!

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Q. What happens if I can't pay my rent?

A. If for some reason you cannot pay your rent on the due date (if for example your student loan is delayed) please speak to us before rent day. We will be far more sympathetic if you speak to us before rent day than if we have to chase you for payment afterwards!

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Q. How long does it usually take to get my tenancy deposit refund?

A. We always repay tenancy deposits as quickly as possible. We aim to repay all tenancy deposits within 6 weeks of the end of the tenancy; most tenants who rent 'bills included' accommodation from us receive their tenancy deposit refund in their bank account much sooner than this (because the most common cause of delays - sorting the final utility bills - is avoided). All tenancy deposits are protected by my|deposits, who provide a free dispute resolution service in the unlikely event a problem arises. For further information see http://www.mydeposits.co.uk/tenants.

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Q. I am an international student. Can I rent student accommodation now and move in immediately I arrive in Plymouth?

A. Yes. If you are happy to rent student accommodation without coming to Plymouth to view our student houses and flats, you can do a 'virtual viewing' and we can deal with all of the paperwork before you arrive. However, rooms are only reserved once we have received your deposit. You can pay the deposit by bank transfer or via PayPal® using your credit or debit card (fees apply to PayPal transactions). You will need to sign a tenancy agreement before you move in, but we can usually deal with this via email before you arrive in Plymouth.

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Q. Can I rent student accommodation from you for more than one year?

A. Yes. Your initial tenancy will be for 52 weeks, starting in September 2018 and ending in September 2019. If you are studying in Plymouth for more than one year you will be given first refusal on your room for the following academic year. However, as students in Plymouth start looking for accommodation in November for the following September, if you want to rent your room again for another 12 months, you will have to pay a further non-refundable holding deposit and sign a new tenancy at the end of October.

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Q. Does your student accommodation have fire detection systems?

A. All of our student accommodation complies with the standards required by Plymouth City Council and Plymouth University. At the very least every student shared property has mains powered and interconnected smoke detectors on each floor and a heat detector in the kitchen. Some properties have full fire alarm systems. All properties also have a carbon monoxide alarm and a fire blanket in the kitchen plus also a fire extinguisher on every floor.

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Q. Can I have a friend to stay?

A. As long as your housemates don't mind, you can have a friend to stay from time to time. However, you cannot let someone else move in with you on a permanent basis.

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Q. Do you provide off-street parking?

A. Very few student properties in Plymouth have off-street parking. All of our student houses and flats are in streets where on-street permit parking is available. You will need to buy a permit from Plymouth City Council, for which they charge a small fee (currently £30 for 12 months). As the parking restrictions apply for a maximum of three hours every day (Monday – Saturday) it is possible to park your car at most times of the day without the risk of a parking ticket.

However, as the minimum fine for parking in the street without a permit is £35 and the annual permit is £30, we strongly urge our tenants to buy a permit. To do so you must have your vehicle registration document (foreign ones are acceptable) and your signed tenancy agreement. We will be happy to advise you further if you are planning to bring your car to Plymouth. Follow this link to find more information about Plymouth City Council parking permits.

Plymouth City Council now exclude many student properties from their permit parking scheme. All of our properties are eligible for parking permits and all of our student tenants can obtain a parking permit. Before renting accommodation from another landlord you should first check that the property is not on Plymouth City Council's list of excluded properties.

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Q. What if I've got a question not answered here?

A. Please contact us and we will be happy to offer as much help as we can.

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