Making the move from halls to a home in the private rented sector is a significant part of University life. Supply of student housing in Cardiff is larger than demand, so don’t feel pressured and take your time to find housemates and a home that is right for you. You might be told that you’ll miss out if you don’t find a house early, but this is not true.
Be confident you know who you want to live with. In rented accommodation, you will have to share communal spaces, household chores and responsibilities, and you may be jointly responsible for paying bills. Are you confident the other people will pay their share of bills reliably? You will have to live with their habits, good and bad, so consider whether your potential housemates are a good match for you.
Before you start looking for a property, sit down with your housemates and make a list of criteria you’d like in your new home. Think about…
– Budget and Bills
– Room sizes
– Communal Space and Storage
– Security and safety
– Furniture and fittings
– Double glazing – this reduces heating costs!
Contracts are usually joint, meaning that all tenants who sign it are legally bound by it. You are committed to that house and those housemates until the end of the contract, even if your circumstances and social group change. You will be responsible for each other’s rent and any charges. So take your time and think carefully before you sign. If in doubt, you can seek advice from your University Accommodation office or Student Union Advice Service.
Agencies are no longer permitted to charge administration fees. Holding fees are permitted but are usually fully refundable. If you see a landlord or agency advertising that it will not charge you fees, it is because they are not allowed to.
Deposits are separate and charged as security against the state of repair of a property when you leave or unpaid bills etc. Your landlord must put your deposit in a government-backed tenancy deposit scheme within 30 days of receiving it and inform you where it is being held.