As a PhD student, please can you clarify some points regarding your referencing form?
I am a prospective tenant who has been asked to complete a referencing application with you. I am uncertain as to how some of the sections apply to my situation so am getting in touch to request clarification. I am a DPhil (or PhD) candidate at the University of Oxford, moving into a flat in London with my partner, an accountant.
Your Current Address
I am currently residing with my parents at my family home in Kent. The form asks whether I have been at this property for three years or more and I’m uncertain as to how to respond. This has been our family home for around twenty years and has always been my permanent address for official correspondence such as bank statements. However, during the last three years I have also rented properties on a short-term basis. During the last two years I rented properties through my College at Oxford, though these were 42-week lets and I was back in Kent in the interim and during vacation time. (Hence keeping my family home as my permanent address.) My previous tenancy ended in July 2016. Prior to joining the University of Oxford, I also lived at a flat for six months in London, leaving in summer 2014.
Do you wish me to log my family home as my address for the last 3 years or list these other properties? On Step 3 of the form, where I am asked to provide a rental reference, I’m intending to supply the details of the Accommodation Department of —- College. They have indicated they would be happy to provide me with a reference.
Education/ Employment Status
Step 4 of the form asks whether I am a student or in employment – from looking at the standardised questions, I am not sure which to select. I am on a PhD research project at the University of Oxford. I am therefore in graduate study – though I receive a research studentship from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (which covers tuition fees and gives me a living stipend) rather than a student loan/bursary. My income is not in the form of a loan. These questions seem to imply undergraduate study, whereas I have worked for several years and then returned to graduate research. However, I could log this all as a bursary if you wish. I am also able to supply my supervisor as a reference, though the ‘Student’ section does not give you the opportunity to log a professional referee.
As part of being a PhD candidate, I also take on temporary teaching responsibilities. From January-March 2016 I worked as a Graduate Tutor at my College and from October-November 2016 I will be a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the English Faculty (both short-term, temporary work). The former paid a small hourly salary (in addition to the stipend), the second has a £100 payment attached. I am not sure whether to log these, as these are in addition to my full-time research and the casual nature doesn’t seem to fit the bill of describing employment status.
How would you prefer me to register my situation?
Finally, in the interests of clarity, when asked my Relationship Status (step 2), I assume I log myself as ‘Single’ as I am at my current address (in Step 3 I would list myself as sharing with relatives – my parents own our family home). However, in moving to the new property, I will be living with my partner.
I am happy to discuss my situation via phone, however I would also like written confirmation as to how to proceed. This is because I wish to be as clear as possible with my situation so I do not incur any additional referencing fees during the application process.
I am keen to proceed as soon as possible with the application. However, I have found the form difficult to complete as the questions are not all visible at the outset and, in moving through the form, you cannot save any progress made. Without knowing how to respond to these sections, I will therefore need to resume the process from the beginning.
Thank you for your enquiry and I will address it as follows:
Current Address – What we need is for you to include which property your bank accounts are addressed and also what your present living arrangements are.
– your CURRENT address and presumably bank account address would be at the property of your parents
– your PREVIOUS address would be the one at the College and the property we would seek to obtain a reference from.
Education & Employment Status:
As you’re a PhD student and the recipient of a stipend/studentship, this will be deemed as income. Furthermore, the teaching positions you will hold irrespective of duration should be noted if they are paid, as this is again a source of income.
We can only stress and encourage you to provide any supporting documentation that will help to substantiate your affordability of the property that you are applying for. We simply collect and analyse the data we receive and obtain on yourself and then report those findings to the landlord who will then make a decision.
In addition, since PhD positions are paid with a duration of 3+ years (depending on field) you can upload your supervisor as a reference in the employer’s section and in the comments box specifically state what the reference is and anything else to provide clarity on your own circumstances.
I hope this helps, but if you would like to discuss it further please don’t hesitate to get in contact again.
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