Housemates Accommodation Operator Terms & Conditions

Last updated 5th November 2020

Introduction

These are the terms and conditions (“​Conditions​”) upon which we provide our services.

When we use words like "​we​", "​our' and "​us​", we are referring to The Mates Group t/a Housemates. We are a company registered in England & Wales. Our registered office is located at c/o Alexander & Co, 17 St Ann's Square, Manchester, England, M2 7PW and our registered number is 10130403. When we use words like "​you​" or "​your​", we're referring to you, an accommodation operator who owns rental accommodation and who would like to rent that accommodation to students.

Please note that our services are provided subject to these Conditions. We hope that you will take the time to read them through carefully. If there is anything that concerns you or that you do not understand, please raise the issue with us before we provide the services to you. Once you have engaged our services, there will be a legally enforceable agreement between us and any further changes can only be made as set out in these Conditions.

1. Interpretation

1.1 We will use a number of words and phrases repeatedly in these Conditions so, to make things a little easier, we will define what we mean when we use them here:

Accommodation ​means rental accommodation that you have listed on the Website.

Accommodation Booking means a booking made by a prospective Tenant in relation to an Accommodation.

Agreement ​means the agreement between you and us, The Mates Group t/a Housemates, on the basis of these Conditions. Please note that any earlier documents that we may have provided to you do not form part of this Agreement and are not binding upon us.

Service Fee ​means the fee that you shall pay to us on completion of an Accommodation Booking, which shall be set at 20% of a single full calendar month of rent.

Business Day means a day other than a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday in England when banks in London are open for business.

Cancellation Fee means a fee equivalent to 4% of one month’s rent, which we shall charge to you in accordance with clause 4.3.

Cooling Off Period means a period of 14 days starting on the day following the day on which an Accommodation Booking is received and ending at 23:59:59 on the fourteenth day following the date on which that Accommodation Booking was made.

Holding Deposit means a sum that can range from £1, €1, or $1-3 week’s rent of the Accommodation that you will pay to us when making an Accommodation Booking.

Parties​, ​Party​ means us and/or you, depending on the context.

Quarter​, ​Quarterly means the three-month period ending on 31 March, 30 June, 30 September or 31 December, as applicable in the context.

Services means the services that we shall provide in marketing your Accommodation and facilitating the completion of an Accommodation Booking between you and a prospective Tenant.

Tenancy Agreement means your tenancy agreement upon which you will rent your Accommodation to a Tenant and which you will transmit to the Tenant for review and completion following the Accommodation Booking.

Tenancy​ means the duration of the Tenancy Agreement.

Tenant means a tenant who rents an Accommodation, a prospective Tenant being an individual making an Accommodation Booking with the intention of renting an Accommodation.

VAT means value added tax charged in accordance with the Value Added Tax Act 1994 or any equivalent sales-based tax at such rates as may apply from time to time.

Website means the website we operate at an IP address corresponding to https://www.housemates.io/ and to any mobile applications that we may provide from time to time that provide substantially the same functionality.

1.2 Any reference in this Agreement to any provision of any Act of Parliament shall include reference to any subordinate legislation (as defined in the Interpretation Act 1978) made pursuant thereto and shall be deemed to be a reference to such Act of Parliament or subordinate legislation as amended, modified or re-enacted (whether before or after the date hereof) and any reference to any provision of any such Act or subordinate legislation shall also include where appropriate any provision of which it is a re-enactment (whether with or without modification).

1.3 In this Agreement words denoting the masculine gender shall include the feminine and non-binary genders and vice versa and words denoting the singular number shall include the plural and vice versa and references to persons shall include bodies corporate unincorporated associations and partnerships.

1.4 Unless otherwise stated, references to clauses and sub-clauses are references to clauses and sub-clauses of these Conditions. The clause headings are for ease of reference only and shall not affect the construction or interpretation of these Conditions.

2. Services

2.1 In consideration of your adherence to these Conditions and your payment of the Service Fee in accordance with clause 5, we shall:

2.1.1  market the Accommodation on the Website and via our marketing channels;

2.1.2  process the Holding Deposit on your behalf;

2.2 In the event that you fail to pay the Service Fee when due or breach any of your obligations under clause 3, we may suspend your account including any or all Accommodations listed on the Website or, at our discretion, terminate your account and remove all such listings without notice to you. Such action will be without prejudice to our right to recover unpaid Service Fees and/or other remedies in respect of your breach.

3. Your Obligations

3.1 You:

3.1.1 will, on entering into the Agreement with us, provide us with evidence of your identity that we consider at our discretion to be satisfactory. You acknowledge that we will not commence the provision of the Services until we have confirmed your identity

3.1.2 will provide us with legal, honest, accurate and genuine details regarding the Accommodations. These details will include, as a minimum, each Accommodation’s location and rent. If we determine, in our sole discretion, that the information provided by you is false, misleading or illegal, we may suspend your account or, at our discretion, terminate the Agreement with immediate effect;

3.1.3 agree that we may use the Accommodation details to advertise and market both that Accommodation and our Services and the Website more generally;

3.1.4 will maintain regular communication with us and to inform us as soon as possible if your contact details change and you acknowledge that for us to provide the Services successfully, we require your cooperation on a punctual basis;

3.1.5 will accept or reject Accommodation Bookings as soon as reasonably practicable after they are made by prospective Tenants and complete Tenancy Agreements in relation to Accommodation Bookings that you have accepted prior to the commencement of the Tenancies in question

3.1.6  will not charge the Tenant a holding deposit independently of our platform; and

3.1.7  will act in good faith towards us at all material times.

3.2 You understand and accept that we provide no assistance or advice regarding the Accommodation’s condition, presentation, tenancy agreements, termination or the Tenant’s queries or complaints.

3.3 Should a Tenant wish to rent your Accommodation, we make no guarantee as to their character, behaviour, financial means or rental history. You acknowledge that we do not carry out background checks on Tenants and that it is for you to carry out such checks as you may feel appropriate concerning their identity, fidelity and finances.

3.4 We may audit rents charged by you to Tenants in order to satisfy ourselves that the Service Fee charged in respect of a completed Accommodation Booking is correct. In doing so, we shall use such means as we resolve to be appropriate at our discretion, which may include making enquiries of other parties and in so doing, you hereby authorise us to make such enquiries and for such third parties to disclose records held or facts known to them concerning the issue. You will maintain true and accurate records relating to rents held and shall disclose them to us promptly upon our request. If our audit reveals that you have underpaid in respect of completed Accommodation Bookings, you shall compensate us for the reasonable costs we have incurred in respect of the audit together with:

(a) a sum equivalent to the underpayment, and

(b) interest accruing on that sum at the rate specified at clause 5.4 from the date that the Accommodation Booking was completed to the date of payment.

3.5 Should you breach your obligation at 3.1.6, we shall invoice you for our Service Fee, such invoice being due for payment 28 days from its date. Furthermore, you will indemnify us for any loss, damage (including damage to our reputation), costs or expenses (including legal Service Fee) that we incur as a result of action taken against us, whether by the prospective Tenant in question or by any third party, that arises as a result of you charging the prospective Tenant a holding deposit in addition to the Holding Deposit that we have collected from the prospective Tenant in accordance with these Conditions.

3.6 Clauses 3.1.6, 3.1.7, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4 and 3.5 shall survive the termination of this Agreement howsoever arising.

4. Our Obligations

4.1 We will:

(a) maintain regular communication with you from the Commencement Date and we will notify you should any of our business contact details change;

(b) not make or give any representations, warranties or other promises to a Tenant concerning the Accommodation unless that information was contained in the details provided by you in accordance with clause 3.1.2.

4.2 We will process Holding Deposits pending completion of the Cooling Off Period. On completion of the Cooling Off Period, we shall remit the Holding Deposit to you for use as the security deposit under the Tenancy Agreement in accordance with applicable regulations and codes of practice.

4.3 If the Accommodation Booking is not completed:

(a) because the prospective Tenant has cancelled the Accommodation Booking within the Cooling Off Period, we will return the Holding Deposit in full to the prospective Tenant as soon as practicable following the prospective Tenant’s cancellation.

(b) because the Tenant has not cancelled within the Cooling Off Period but has either cancelled thereafter or has failed for other (perhaps unknown) reasons to sign the Tenancy Agreement and provide the duly completed guarantor forms (if applicable) (whichever is the last of these to occur) prior to the date that the Tenancy in question is due to begin, we will remit the Holding Deposit to you and cancel the Accommodation Booking;

(c) because you have cancelled the Accommodation Booking during the Cooling Off Period, we will return the Holding Deposit in full to the Tenant as soon as reasonably practicable;

(d) because you have cancelled the Accommodation Booking after the Cooling Off Period or have failed to supply the Tenancy Agreement or failed to sign the Tenancy Agreement prior to the commencement of the Tenancy, duly completed guarantor forms (if applicable), we will:

(i)  return the Holding Deposit in full to the Tenant as soon as reasonably practicable; and

(ii)  charge you for the Holding Deposit and the Cancellation Fee and add those fees to the next invoice we raise under clause 5.2.

4.4 We warrant that we are entitled to enter into this Agreement with you and that we are aware of no facts or issues that may prevent the provision of the Services to you.

4.5 We do not warrant that our delivery of the Services will be uninterrupted or error-free but we shall use reasonable endeavours to minimise any disruption caused to you and to prospective Tenants by unexpected interruptions in the delivery of the Services.

4.6 Clauses 4.4 and 4.5 shall survive the termination of this Agreement howsoever arising.

5. Payment

5.1 You will be liable to pay a Service Fee to us on completion of an Accommodation Booking. You will also be liable to pay us a Cancellation Fee where you cancel an Accommodation Booking after the Cooling Off Period, or fail to complete a Tenancy Agreement failed to sign the Tenancy Agreement prior to the commencement of the Tenancy. Such Service Fees shall be calculated in accordance with these Conditions.

5.2 All fees you are liable to pay to us shall be invoiced in accordance with this clause 5.2.

(a) If you place up to and including nine thousand nine hundred and ninety nine bed spaces with us, we will invoice you on a Quarterly basis for all such fees arising during a Quarter as soon as reasonably practicable following the end of the Quarter in question.

(b) If you place ten thousand or more Accommodations with us, we will invoice you annually on or as soon as practicable following 30 September each year.

5.3 All fees charged under these Conditions are:

(a) inclusive of VAT or other sales tax (unless otherwise stated), which shall be added to the sum in question at the rates applicable from time to time; and

(b) shall be paid in full twenty eight days from the date of the invoice without deductions (including deductions in respect of items such as income, corporation, or other taxes, charges and/or duties) except where you are required by law to deduct withholding tax from the sums. If you are required by law to deduct withholding tax, then you shall cooperate in all respects and take all reasonable steps necessary to:

(i)  lawfully avoid making any such deductions; or

(ii)  enable us to obtain a tax credit in respect of the amount withheld.

5.4 If any dispute arises as to the sums payable, that same shall be referred to an independent auditor for settlement and their decision, save in the case of manifest error, shall be final and binding on both of us.

5.5 If you fail to make any payment due to us under the Agreement by the due date for payment, then you shall pay interest on the overdue amount at the rate of 8% per cent per annum above the Official Bank Rate of the Bank of England from time to time. Such interest shall accrue on a daily basis from the due date until actual payment of the overdue amount, whether before or after judgment. You shall pay the interest together with the overdue amount.

5.6 We may charge for all reasonable expenses and charges, whether administrative and/or legal incurred in the collection or pursuing payment of any sum due under this Agreement where payment of that sum has not been made on or before its due date.

5.7 We reserve the right to withhold remittance of a Holding Deposit at our discretion in situations where we believe fraudulent or other criminal activity to have taken place. In such circumstances, we may refer the matter to the appropriate authorities for investigation and if so, we will be relieved of our obligations of confidence pursuant to clause 6 below.

5.8 This clause 5 shall survive the termination of the Agreement, howsoever arising.

6. Confidentiality

6.1 We both undertake to keep confidential all information (written or oral) concerning the business and affairs of the other that we may obtain or receive as a result of the discussions leading up to, entering into or during the period of operation of this Agreement. This does not include information that:

(a)  is trivial or obvious;

(b)  is already known to the receiving Party or is in its possession before the disclosure hereunder free of any obligation to keep it confidential; or

(c) is in or enters the public domain other than as a result of a breach of this clause.

6.2 Each Party undertakes to the other to take all such steps as shall from time to time be necessary to ensure compliance with the provisions of clause 6.1 above by its employees, agents and subcontractors.

6.3 This clause 6 shall survive the termination of this Agreement howsoever arising.

7. Termination

7.1 We may terminate the Agreement or, at our discretion, suspend the provision of the Services to you (including your access to the Website) with immediate effect by giving written notice to you if:

(a) you repeatedly fail to pay Service Fee when due or you fail to make payment when due and remain in default not less than 14 days after being notified in writing to make such payment;

(b) you commit a material breach of these Conditions that is irremediable or (if such breach is remediable) fail to remedy that breach within a period of 14 days after being notified in writing to do so;

(c) you repeatedly breach any of these Conditions in such a manner as reasonably to justify the opinion that your conduct is inconsistent with you having the intention or ability to give effect to the Agreement; or

(d) we are informed by a Tenant and are reasonably satisfied that:

(i)  you have failed to provide keys or failed to appear to admit the Tenant to the Accommodation at the commencement of the Tenancy;

(ii)  the Accommodation is structurally unsafe and/or unfit for habitation;

(iii)  the boiler, plumbing and heating systems leak or is/are otherwise unsafe or defective;

(iv)  the smoke alarms are inoperable, defective or not compliant with applicable regulations;

(v)  vermin or other pests are present within the Accommodation;

(vi)  gas, water and/or electricity supplies to the Accommodation are disrupted, unavailable or unreliable;

(vii)  you have subject the Tenant (or co-tenants) to physical or emotional abuse;

(viii)  you have misled the Tenant concerning fellow tenants at the Accommodation; and/or

(viii) you take any action aimed at avoiding or evading the payment of the Service Fee.

7.2 Either party may give written notice of termination with immediate effect if any distress or execution is levied against the other or the other makes any arrangement with its creditors or enters into any insolvency proceedings including liquidation (other than a members’ voluntary liquidation), administration or any form of arrangement with its creditors or any receivers are appointed in respect of the other’s business.

7.3 A termination of these Conditions pursuant to this clause 7 shall be without prejudice to any other rights or remedies a Party may be entitled to hereunder or at law and shall not affect any accrued rights or liabilities of any party nor the coming into or continuance in force of any provision hereof which is expressly or by implication intended to come into or continue in force on or after such termination.

7.4 Clause 7.3 shall survive the termination of this Agreement howsoever arising.

8. Limitation of liability
YOUR ATTENTION IS PARTICULARLY DRAWN TO THIS CLAUSE.

8.1 You accept that our role in providing the Services is limited to marketing Accommodations and to facilitating the execution of Accommodation Bookings in respect thereof. That said, however, nothing in these Conditions shall limit or exclude our liability for:

(a) death or personal injury caused by our negligence, or the negligence of our employees, agents or subcontractors; or

(b) fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation.

8.2 Subject to clause 8.1:

(a) under no circumstances whatsoever shall we be liable to you, whether in contract, tort (including negligence), breach of statutory duty, or otherwise, for any loss of profit, loss of opportunity, loss of sales, loss of data or for any other indirect or consequential loss of any description arising under or in connection with the provision of the Services; and

(b) our total liability to you in respect of all other losses arising under or in connection with the Contract, whether in contract, tort (including negligence), breach of statutory duty, or otherwise, shall in no circumstances exceed a sum equivalent to Service Fee chargeable in respect of the Tenancy the arrangement of which gave rise to the loss in question.

8.3 This clause 8 shall survive termination of the Agreement howsoever arising. 9.

9. Force Majeure

9.1 We shall not be liable or deemed to be in breach of our obligations hereunder by reason of any delay in performing, or failure to perform, if the delay or failure was due to any cause beyond our reasonable control, including without limitation, act of God, explosion, flood, tempest, fire or accident; war or threat of war, national emergency, acts of terrorism, sabotage, insurrection or civil disturbance; acts, restrictions, regulations, bye-laws, prohibitions or measures of any kind on the part of any governmental, parliamentary, regional or local authority; strikes, lock-out or other industrial actions or trade disputes (whether involving our employees or those of a third party); unavailability or shortages of goods, materials, fuel, part-machinery, or transportation; power failure or breakdown in machinery; or default of third party suppliers or subcontractors (an ​“​Event of Force Majeure​”​).

9.2 We shall give you notice to each other as soon as we reasonably can on becoming aware of an Event of Force Majeure. That notice shall contain details of the Event of Force Majeure circumstances. If an Event of Force Majeure continues for more than four weeks, you may terminate the Agreement.

9.3 Neither of us will be liable to the other if the Agreement is terminated due to an Event of Force Majeure but nothing in this clause shall relieve you of your obligation to pay the Service Fee if and when due or of the obligations of either of us under any clause expressed to survive termination of this Agreement.

10. General

10.1 These Conditions constitute the entire Agreement between the Parties and supersede all prior agreements, representations, statements and understandings between the Parties in respect of the subject matter hereof. You agree that you have not relied upon any representation or statement not recorded in these Conditions in entering into the Agreement.

10.2 We may amend these Conditions from time to time. If we do so, we will let you know in advance of the date upon which the change will take effect. Such a change will not affect Accommodation Bookings that have already been made when notice is given but the revised Conditions will apply to all future Accommodation Bookings from the date upon which they are effective. If you do not consider the Conditions to be acceptable, you may terminate this Agreement on notice to us with immediate effect but this will not relieve you of your obligations under any clause expressed to survive termination, including your obligation to pay Service Fee in respect of any Accommodation Bookings made before your notice of termination is received by us.

10.3 If we waive your breach or default of any of these Conditions, this will not be deemed to be a waiver of any further breach of the same or other provisions. Likewise, if we delay or do not exercise any right, power or privilege that we may have under these Conditions, this will not be deemed to be a waiver of any breach or default.

10.4 If any court or administrative body of competent jurisdiction finds any provision of this Agreement to be invalid or unenforceable, the invalidity or unenforceability of that provision shall not affect the other provisions of this Agreement and all provisions not affected by such invalidity or unenforceability shall remain in full force and effect. We both agree to attempt to substitute for any invalid or unenforceable provisions a valid or enforceable provision that achieves to the greatest extent possible the economic, legal and commercial objectives of the invalid or unenforceable provision.

10.5 You may not assign this Agreement nor any of your rights and obligations hereunder. We will be entitled to assign this Agreement and any of our rights and obligations at any time.

10.6 Notices will be valid only when given in writing. “Writing” includes email or other equivalent forms of electronic messaging but when that notice is sent by you to us the notice is only validly delivered where it is the subject of an automated read receipt or an express acknowledgment of receipt from the intended recipient.

Notices may also be sent by post or hand delivered at our registered office or by email to Alexander & Co, 17 St Ann's Square, Manchester, England, M2 7PW. We may send notices to the postal address you have registered with us or electronically to the email address or phone number that you have registered with us. We may also deliver notices to you by providing notifications for you on the Website. Usually, we will deliver notices by email and notification but this depends on the circumstances.

A notice sent electronically (including, where delivered by us, a notification on the Website) or delivered by hand will be deemed to have been received at 09:00 GMT/BST on the first Business Day after the day on which it was sent. A notice sent by post will be deemed to have been received at 09:00 GMT/BST on the third Business Day after the day on which it was posted.

10.5 Nobody has any right under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 to enforce or enjoy the benefit of any term of the Agreement provided that this does not affect any right or remedy of third parties that exists or is available apart from that Act.

10.6 These Conditions shall be governed by and construed in accordance with English law and the Parties hereto agree to submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English Courts. These Conditions are © Grange Road Consulting Limited 2020, all rights reserved.

Making student moves smooth

The Mates Group Ltd trading as Housemates.
Registered in England and Wales as The Mates Group Ltd (No.10130403)
17 St Ann's Square, Manchester, England M2 7PW

All Rights Reserved, The Mates Group Ltd 2020

Made in 🏠 in Manchester