A. Swansea has a wide variety of student accommodation ranging from single rooms in shared houses to houses for up to 10 people. The rental prices range from approximately £65 to £150 per week, depending on location and quality. The properties are normally owned by private individuals or larger national companies. Whilst most of the properties currently on offer are shared houses, there have recently been some quite major developments in the city, converting old commercial units into large residential accommodation. One of the most significant being the Portland House development, in the heart of the city centre, which provides executive studio apartments specifically for students. Some students like to spend their first year in student halls of residence before moving out into private rented accommodation in their second year. However these days many students, especially late arrivals, are moving straight into a shared house from the outset.
A. Students attending Swansea University prefer to rent property in Brynmill, Uplands, Sketty & Sandfields. Students going to the newly named Swansea Metropolitan University tend to rent accommodation in Mount Pleasant and the City Centre. However, as many students now have cars, properties further out are now being considered that would not have been feasible several years ago.
A. What you get will obviously vary from landlord to landlord: some landlords offer high quality, well maintained accommodation, others less so. When choosing your accommodation you should consider not only your budget, but also the way you want to live your student years. If you choose a house that has just been newly refurbished then we will expect it back in similar condition when you leave. We all expect to enjoy our youth and this is taken into account when renting to a group of students but always remember that someone has spent thousands of pounds getting the house to a standard so that it can be let out and we will expect the property to be regularly cleaned and kept in good repair throughout the tenancy.
Most importantly, ALWAYS READ THE CONTRACT PRIOR TO SIGNING IT. Various laws and obligations will be written into the Tenancy Agreement to protect all parties concerned. Please read and understand fully the commitment you are making and what is expected from all parties. For example, the tenants have an obligation to their neighbours when it comes to noise levels and putting out the refuse bags on time. It may seem obvious, but if you're a smoker, don't go for a house that has a smoking restriction. If you miss something such as this when signing up, you're going to have to live with it.
A. All landlords must by law have a current Gas Safety Certificate relevant to the property. In addition, you can also ask whether there is a current Fire Equipment Inspection Certificate and an NICEIC certificate (for Electrical Safety lasting 5 years).
A. There are a number of different people to talk to. Both Swansea University Accommodation Office and Swansea Metropolitan University Accommodation Office have their own student advice centres that give free advice on what to expect from landlords and how to go about selecting the right accommodation and other services.
A. Once you have found a suitable property you will have to book an appointment to fill in the various paperwork and read through the Tenancy Agreement at the Studentdigz office. You will be required to nominate a suitable Guarantor (An income earning UK Resident who is willing to guarantee your rent or any debts as a result of you not being able to pay – normally a Parent or Guardian). You will also be required to pay the Agency Fee and Deposit your Bond at this point. All bond monies are entered into the Deposit Protection Service (DPS) in accordance with the law introduced in April 2007.
Tenant Fee (Student) £75.00
Tenant Fee (Residential) £125.00 (incl. Credit Checks & References)
Re-sign Fee £50.00**
Landlord Fee (Let Only) 2 weeks rent + vat
Landlord Fee (Fully Managed) 10% + vat of the rent collected (plus 1 weeks rent + vat set up fee)
** Re-sign Fee - a reduced fee for tenants who want to stay a the same property for another year.
A. The Bond is normally equal to 1 months rent per tenant, depending on the landlord. Some landlords with high quality properties may ask for a slightly higher Bond to protect their investment against damage that may be caused by the tenant. The money will be deposited with the Deposit Protection Service (DPS) which is one of the government approved schemes introduced when the law regarding the holding of tenants bonds was introduced in April 2007.
A. If you cannot provide a UK based Guarantor then you may have to provide a larger bond in order to give the landlord some security. This will still be held by the Deposit Protection Service (DPS) and is fully refundable in the event that the house is returned in good condition, all bills and rent are paid up to date and in full.
A. Due to the high demand for student accommodation in Swansea most landlords still request a summer retainer if they are to hold a property until September. The only way to avoid this is to reserve late in the year but then you run the risk of only having the pick of the few houses which are left and they may be of a lower quality.
A. If the house is returned to us in good condition, all utility bills and rent are paid up to date and in full then your bond will be transferred out to you or your guarantor within 14 days. You must provide evidence from your utility supplier that you have paid up in full before we can release the bond. If you do not provide the evidence to ourselves or the Deposit Protection Service then you will delay the processing of the payment.
A. If the house has a TV then you will have to have a Licence for it. If you share a house then you will have to have individual TV Licences for each room that has a TV. These can be purchased online or at your nearest Post Office.
A. As a student you are only exempt if you study for 25 hours or more per week. You will have to provide Studentdigz with your Student Number and Course Details in order for us to apply for exemption on your behalf. Failure to provide your details could result in you being charged the full amount.
A. No. Each tenant is responsible for arranging their own contents insurance. It is vitally important that all tenants have contents insurance. Please ask at the office for assistance in finding an appropriate insurance provider.
A. Mainly in the Brynmill area, the council have restricted the parking permits to 2 per student house in a bid to ease the congested parking situation and to keep the other local residents happy. You can apply for a permit at the local council offices.
A. Some small pets may be accepted by certain landlords but cats and dogs are definitely not allowed under any circumstances in a shared student house.
A. It is vital that you book your moving in appointment in advance. A member of staff will be present to open up the house and give you a key to both the front door and your bedroom. An inventory will also be produced which you will have to check over, sign and return to the office within 48 hours of arriving. The inventory is in place to protect you as well as the landlord and it is in your best interest to make sure you have a signed and dated copy produced at the earliest possible opportunity.
A. Yes. If your tenancy agreement is from September through to June then you have to pay rent whether you stay at the property or go home during your break.
A. Our aim is to provide a first class service and to do everything we can to ensure you are satisfied. If you feel that we have fallen short of this standard and you wish to complain, we ask that you first telephone or email the person who has had conduct of your matter and explain that you are dissatisfied with an aspect of the service you have received. If you remain unhappy with the way your complaint has been dealt with after speaking to the person with conduct of your matter then you should set out your complaint in writing to:
Studentdigz Complaints Procedures
Unit 2, Churchill Buildings
128 Walter Road
And/or by email at:
Please use the subject title “Complaints Procedure” when emailing.
In order to resolve your complaint, we would ask that you include the following information and evidence, if applicable:
Including, but not limited to:
On receipt of a complaint, we will investigate the issue(s) you have raised on your complaint fully and respond to you accordingly. The timescales for dealing with a complaint are as follows:
• You will receive an ‘acknowledgement of receipt’ of your complaint from us within 3 working days of receipt of your complaint.
• Within 10 working days of the acknowledgement, you will receive a full response.
• If we are unable to resolve the matter within the 10 working days as stated above, we will provide you with reasons why we could not meet this time frame and provide you with an estimate of when a full response will be received
• After our final written response, we may deem the complaint closed. If we deem the matter closed then we reserve the right not to enter into any further correspondence.
We are members of the Property Redress Scheme. If you remain unhappy with the response received from us and have exhausted our complaints procedure, you can contact the Property Redress Scheme to ask them to investigate your complaint. In order to take your complaint to The Property Redress Scheme you must first have carried out the following:
• You have waited 8 weeks from the date of your written complaint to us for a response; and
• It is still within 6 months from the our last communication with you regarding this complaint
The Property Redress Scheme is a government approved Redress Scheme who resolves complaints between Members and their consumers. The complainant must have exhausted the Member's internal complaints procedure and remain dissatisfied with the Member's response. The Property Redress Scheme is free to use for the complainant and further information and guidance on how to resolve complaints is available via their website. In order to make a complaint, please contact the Property Redress Scheme directly or alternatively, visit their website and fill out a Complaints Form.
The Property Redress Scheme contact details are as follows:
By Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
By post at: The Property Redress Scheme Ground Floor, Kingmaker House Station Road, New Barnet Hertfordshire EN5 1NZ
Alan W, Portland House