In order to help students differentiate between certain Unipol Code properties, Unipol has developed a star rating system. This means that Code properties (with the exception of rooms in an owner's house) will be awarded a rating of one, three or five stars, depending on amenity levels within the property.
Unipol has devised a formula that will automatically attribute a particular star rating to an eligible Unipol Code property, based on information supplied by owners. The higher the number of stars the better the property is likely to be.
Starred properties are advertised on the Unipol website with the number of stars awarded clearly shown.
If one or more of the amenities indicated within the advert are not present within the property at the time the tenants take possession, then they should bring this to the attention of the owner immediately. The existing Unipol Code complaints procedure will also apply.
How the Stars Are Calculated
The Star rating system awards a given number of points for certain amenities. Because the main intention for introducing the rating system was to encourage owners to enhance amenity levels within their property as a whole, the categories that points are awarded for are diverse. However, emphasis has been placed upon energy efficiency, the provision of living space and meeting enhanced requirements of the Code in advance of the given deadlines.
The three star ratings are calculated on the basis of the total number of points that a property is awarded, based on the information supplied in the advert. In order to get a one star rating the property will need to gain at least 12 points, for a three star rating the minimum total is 18 points, and the five star rating requires a minimum of 24 points.
Amenities that points are awarded for:
- A Burglar alarm
- Dedicated secure cycle storage (would not include bedrooms, kitchen or living rooms)
- Dedicated living space of at least 10m2, with additional points if it is 14m2 or more
- Bath/shower ratios of 1:3, with additional points where it is better than this
- A washing machine fitted, and an extra point for a drier or washer/drier
- Double beds in at least 75% of bedrooms
- Provision of contents insurance for tenants
- Double or secondary glazing fitted throughout (all habitable rooms)
- The presence of a combination or a condenser boiler (more points are awarded for the latter)
- Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRVs) to all but two radiators, in advance of the 2013 deadline
- Energy Performance Certificate ratings of a D or above, for both calculations
- Full compliance with the Code's enhanced fire safety requirements in advance of the 2012 deadline
- A broadband connection point in the property
- An aerial that receives freeview or freesat
- A maintained garden/yard area of at least 10m2
- A landlord who has acquired 'golden owner' status, which means they have been a member of the Code for four consecutive years without a complaint being up-held against them.
To see how different facilities effect the stars, use the ready reckoner on the left of this page.