Housing

 

Support for tenants during COVID-19.

The Welsh Government has put together a support document outlining the different assistance and schemes that can help tenants living in Wales during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Read the document

 


 

Looking for university accommodation?

Moving to University is an exciting milestone. The University offers on-site accommodation for those students who want the convenience of living on or near campus. If you would like to contact someone regarding housing or accommodation you can find below the relevant University staff members and contact information.  

Moving into university accommodation

 


 

Living in University Accommodation?

If you're living in university accommodation and have questions or need support, visit the accommodation contact page or speak to your campus porters. 

Accommodation Contact Details

 


 

Useful Information

Download our Housing Guide

Advice from Citizens Advice

Advice from Shelter Cymru

 


 

Contract Advice

Don’t feel pressured to sign the contract straight away! If you find the house of your dreams let it be under your terms, not the landlords’. You have every right to read over the contract before you sign.

Get it in writing

  • you don’t have to sign on the day. Your landlord should give you 24 hours to take the contract away to read it; the property should be held during this time.
  • Are there any improvements or changes to the property the landlord has agreed to? Make sure it’s in writing, dated and signed.
  • Check you and your landlord have identical copies of the contract.
  •  Keep your contract safe, for your whole time at the property.

Type of contract

  • Is it joint or an individual contract? Individual contracts are better, as joint contracts leave you liable for rent or damage by other tenants. If you are on a joint contact make sure it’s with people you trust.
  • Have you been asked to identify a guarantor and do they need to sign a form?

Charges, Fees, Payments

  • Never make a payment (including deposit) before signing the contract.
  • Check if your deposit is going to be protected.
  • Clarify when and how does your rent have to be paid.
  • Have you negotiated a different rate for summer months?
  • Have you checked for any additional charges?

 


 

Keeping your deposit safe

In Wales, deposits must be protected within a Deposit Protection Service. At the beginning of a new tenancy agreement, pay your deposit to your landlord or agent as usual. Within 14 days, the landlord or agent is then required to give information about how your deposit is protected including:

  • Contact details of the tenancy deposit scheme
  • Contact details of the landlord or agent
  • How to apply for the release of the deposit
  • Information explaining the purpose of the deposit
  • What to do if there is a dispute about the deposit

If you do not get this information, ask your landlord or agent the simple question; ‘How is my deposit protected?’

 

The three deposit schemes are:

 

Make sure you ask your landlord about it!

The government wants to make sure your tenancy deposit is protected so that you get all or part of your deposit back when you are entitled to it and any dispute between you and your landlord or agent will be easier to resolve.

 


 

Moving In & Getting Settled

 

Inventory

Your landlord will supply you with a written inventory, a list of the fixture, fittings and furniture within the property. You need to check everything! Ensure you write down notes of any work you think needs to be done. If there are any discrepancies, agree on them with the landlord and get them signed. If you didn’t receive a written inventory then write one and make sure it gets signed by you and the Landlord.

 

Bills

The day that you get the keys to the property take reading from the gas and electricity meters. It is worth getting a file to keep all those bills together. Then you can ensure that if you pay a bill your housemate can record how much and when they paid you.

 

Council Tax

Full- time registered students can apply for an exemption from paying council tax. This can be done by going to see the Registry Department get an exemption certificate.

 

Contents Insurance

Make sure you get contents insurance! This will ensure that your valuables including computers, TV’s etc are protected. Search online to find a policy best fitted for you, your housemates and property.

 

Gas, Electricity & Fire Safety

Landlords are required by law to make sure gas appliances are checked annually by a Gas Safe registered engineers. They are also required to make sure all electrical appliances provided have the CE mark (manufacturers claim it meets European Safety Standard Law). Your Landlord should provide a fire alarm for each floor level and carbon monoxide detector in any room using solid fuel. You can also ask the Fire & Rescue Service to visit your property to carry out a Home Fire Risk Assessment.

www.freservice.co.uk/safety

 

TV Licence

If you own a TV then you will need a TV licence. A Joint Tenancy only requires one licence. Individual tenancy agreements requires separate TV Licenses for each person.

www.tvlicensing.co.uk 

 

Bins & Re-Cycling

Make sure you find out what days your rubbish and re-cycling get picked up. If unsure check with a neighbour or online using your postcode. Keep the outside of your property tidy and clean to avoid pests and a smell which will make you unpopular with the neighbours!

www.gov.uk/recycling-collections

 

Moving Out

  • Read the meters - Electricity and Gas. Inform the providers you want to close the accounts and pay the final bill.
  • Make sure all rent is paid. (this may include the time that you are not there but you’re obliged to fulfil your contract)
  • Make sure the property is clean! This always takes longer than you think so allow a couple of days.

 

Safeguarding your deposit

You have a responsibility to return the property in the same condition that it was let to you, allowing for wear and tear. So it’s a good idea to make sure that when you sign your agreement you:

  • Take pictures of the rooms, any damage, wear & tear before you move in.
  • Keep a detailed list of contents (furniture and fittings)
  • Check the circumstances in which your landlord or agent could claim on your deposit.

 

What should you do if your landlord or agent hasn’t protected your deposit?

You can apply to your local county court; the court can then order your landlord or agent to either repay your deposit to you or put it into a protection scheme.

www.gov.uk/tenancy-deposit-protection

 

Deposit

  • You should get your deposit back within 10 days after the end of tenancy if you and your landlord agree on how much should be paid back to you.
  • The way this works if there is a disagreement depends on the type of scheme your landlord is using (make sure the landlord and the scheme have your correct details such as a forwarding address, email address and telephone number).
  • It is reasonable for your landlord to take money off the deposit to cover, for example, damage to the property or furniture, or missing items which were listed in the inventory.
  • The landlord should not take money off the deposit to pay for wear and tear (damage that has taken place over time through normal use.)

 


 

FAQs

Ending a fixed-term contract

There are special rules on how you can end your tenancy if it’s for a fixed period (such as six months or one year), which has not yet ended. Your tenancy could be fixed term even if you pay the rent each week/month (It’s important you know if you’re in a fixed-term agreement).

 

Can I give the landlord notice and if so, how much?

Many fixed-term agreements (including some assured shorthold tenancies with private landlords) contain a break clause, which allows you to end the agreement before the end of the fixed term. Check your agreement to see if it includes a clause like this. If your agreement does include a break clause then it should also say how much notice is required; if it doesn’t include the break clause, then you cannot end the tenancy early unless the landlord agrees.

 

Can I get someone else to move in?

This may be possible if you have no choice but to leave early and want to avoid paying rent on more than one home. However, you have to get the landlord’s agreement for the individual to move into the property. The landlord may want to take up references for them. The landlord should give the new individual their own tenancy agreement – otherwise, you will still be legally responsible for the tenancy.

 

What if my landlord agrees that I can leave?

It is possible to get out of the agreement at any time if you can come to a mutual agreement. This is called ‘surrender’. To be valid both sides must agree, and is best if the agreement is put in writing to ensure no confusion later on. If you have a joint tenancy, all the joint tenants and the landlord must agree to the surrender.

 

What happens when my agreement runs out?

If your agreement is for a fixed term (e.g. six months), you can leave on the last day of the fixed-term without given notice, but you must ensure you do not stay even one day over, or you will automatically become a periodic tenant and have to give proper notice. Good communication helps things go smoothly, so although you do not have to it is still good to let the landlord know when you move out.

 


 

Checklist

Location of Property

  • Is the outside of the property in good condition?
  • Do you know who maintains the garden?
  • Is there safe access to the property?
  • At night is there good street lighting around the property? Do you know where are the nearest shops around you?
  • Is the property in a good location for Uni?

 

Inside the Property

  • Are the kitchen facilities adequate for all of you? Are the washing and toilet facilities adequate? Is there a shower installed?
  • Is your room sufficient for your needs?
  • Are you happy with the furniture supplied?
  • Are there enough electrical sockets?
  • Is there sufficient lighting, heating, and ventilation?
  • Are the communal areas sufficient for your needs?
  • Is there a lounge or somewhere for everyone to eat/sit?
  • Is there a telephone connection?
  • Are you happy with the overall repairs/decoration?
  • If repairs are required, will the landlord guarantee that they are fixed before you move in?
  • Other than ‘lived in dirty’ is the house generally clean? Is there a working vacuum cleaner?
  • Will it be easy and economical to heat the house?
  • Are the windows double-glazed?
  • Does the house suffer from damp?
  • Ask the current tenants about the energy bills?
  • Can the Landlord show you a gas safe certificate for appliances in the property?
  • Is there a Boiler/cooker/fire etc.?
  • Does the landlord have a fire safety inspection record? Are the furnishings fre safe?
  • Are the doors fire doors?
  • Are there fire extinguishers on each floor?
  • Is there fire alarms or appropriate smoke alarms?
  • Is there a fre blanket in the kitchen?
  • Is the property secure?
  • Solid external doors?
  • Individual room locks?
  • Window locks on ground floor?

 

Management of the Property

  • Are you happy with the arrangement for repairs?
  • Easy contact if there’s an emergency?
  • Are you clear about the rent? What does it include? When it's Due?
  • Is your deposit is held by the Deposit Protection Service (DPS)?
  • Have you been given a contract to check? (You’ll have at least 48 hours to check it over)
  • If the property has more than 3 bedrooms it is a house in multiple occupations (HMO) – Has it been registered?