What does Swansea offer for student accommodation?
Swansea has a wide variety of student accommodation ranging from single rooms in shared houses to houses for up to 10 people. There`s a variety of rental prices available depending on location and quality. The properties are normally owned by private individuals or larger national companies. Whilst a lot 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.
What are the usual areas for student rental in Swansea?
Students attending Swansea University Singleton Campus prefer to rent properties in Brynmill, Uplands, Sketty & Sandfields. Students going to the newly built Swansea Bay University Campus tend to rent accommodation in the City Centre, Port Tennant, St Thomas and Sandfields areas. Students studying at University Of Wales Trinity St Davids Campus tend to look for properties located around the City Centre, Mount Pleasant, Sandfields and St Thomas areas.
What should you expect as tenants?
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 TENANCY AGREEMENT 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.
What documentation can I ask the landlord for?
All landlords must by law have a current Gas Safety Certificate relevant to the property. In addition, you can also ask to see the current Fire Equipment Inspection Certificate, Electrical Fire Safety Certificate and the current HMO Certificate (where appropriate).
What is the process once I have found a suitable property?
Once you have found a suitable property you will be sent a link to regsiter your own "Goodlord" account. Goodlord is an online tenant application process we use to make the whole process of signing up more efficient. You will be required to nominate a suitable Guarantor (an income earning UK based home owner 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, First Months Rent and pay your Bond Deposit at this point. All bond deposit monies are entered into the Deposit Protection Service (DPS) in accordance with the law introduced in April 2007.
What are the fees to use your services?
Fully Managed Service - 1 week's rent + VAT (tenancy set up fee), plus 12% + VAT of all rent collected each month.
Let Only Service - 2 weeks rent + VAT (deducted from funds collected)
Below is a list of what you can expect to pay for the most common certifications and services:
Annual gas safety certificate - £65 + VAT
- Annual gas safety certifications & service - £95 + VAT
- Electrical safety certificate (EICR) - £125 + VAT
- Fire alarm safety certificate - £125 + VAT
- Energy performance certificate (EPC) + £65 + VAT
- Legionnaires disease risk assessment - £85 + VAT
- HMO application assistance & processing - £65 + VAT
What are the charges for tenants?
Tenancies signed after 01st September 2019 (in Wales) will no longer incur an administration charge to the tenant as per the terms of the Tenant Fees Act 2019.
- Refundable Holding Deposit - Equivalent to 1 weeks rent to allow all parties to complete the tenancy agreement paperwork. The property will be marked as “Let Agreed” during the 15 day deadline for agreement period.
The RHD will form part of the first months rent upon successful completion of the tenancy agreement within the deadline period.
All paperwork must be completed within 15 days or the property will be re-advertised and the RHD may be forfeited.
If the tenant decides to withdraw from the tenancy agreement during the deadline for agreement, provides misleading information or unnecessarily delays the completion of the paperwork the RHD is automatically forfeited and will not be returned.
Refundable Tenancy Deposit (Bond) – Equivalent to 5 weeks rent maximum
This will be protected via a tenancy deposit protection scheme for the duration of the tenancy. This is a fully refundable deposit as long as the terms of the tenancy agreement have been met.
If you would prefer not to pay a tenancy deposit we have a deposit free option via a third party (subject to their terms and conditions). Please ask a member of the Studentdigz team for details.
Changes To The Tenancy Agreement - £50.00
This is the cost to change details of the tenancy agreement if requested by the tenant.
Early Tenancy Termination Fee - £75.00
The cost to process the early termination of a tenancy at the request of the tenant.
Please note, the remaining rent due up to the end of the agreed tenancy will still be payable to the landlord even if you leave early.
Late Rent Payment Charge - £15.00
This charge will only come into force if the rent is more than 14 days late. We reserve the right to charge interest on the outstanding amount in line with the terms of the Tenant Fees Act 2019.
We suggest you contact us at the earliest sign you may not be able to pay your rent so we can look to help you and make sure the landlord is kept informed.
Replacement Key or Security Device - £15.00 (plus the cost of the replacement item)
This is the cost to cover the time taken to place an order or get a copy of the lost item during office hours.
Out Of Hours Services – These will be charged at the out of hours call out rate charged by the chosen Contractor. Always check the price before you proceed as in most cases the problem can be dealt with during office hours at a much-reduced cost.
Out Of Hours Services and Emergency Call Outs are two different things. Emergency Call Outs are situations where the safety of the occupants or the building will be compromised if the problem is not resolved immediately. Emergencies must be reported immediately using the Emergency Out Of Hours numbers provided.
(all prices above include VAT where appropriate)
How much is the Bond and where will it be held?
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.
What if I DO NOT have a UK based Guarantor?
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.
Will I have to pay a Summer Retainer?
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.
Will I get my Bond back in full when I move out?
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 via the DPS bond return application process. 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.
Will I have to have a TV Licence?
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.
Do I have to pay Council Tax?
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.
Are my belongings insured on the landlords policy?
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.
Can I get a Parking Permit?
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.
Are pets allowed?
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.
What are the moving in procedures?
It is vital that you book your moving in appointment in advance. This will allow us prepare all the paperwork in advance and also to make sure the landlord has finished any repairs or cleaning required prior to you moving in. If you are living in one of our managed properties we will arrange a key pick up and prepare an inventory for you to sign. you will have 7 days to alert us of any items on the inventory that you feel need changing. Once the 7 days have passed the signed inventory stands as it was when you signed it if you have not made us aware of any changes required.
If I go home for Christmas or Easter do I still have to pay rent?
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.
What are your Company Complaints Procedures?
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: email@example.com
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:
- An outline of your complaint explaining why you feel that we have fallen short of our first class service.
- What you would like us to do to resolve it.
- Any specific details that you feel would assist us with resolving your complaint, including, but not limited to:
- Names of Advisors you have spoken to in connection with the complaint.
- The Branch Name in connection with the complaint.
- Time(s) and Date(s) of the incidence(s).
- Telephone number(s) and or Address(es) you have used to contact us.
- Any written correspondence in connection with your complaint.
- Any other document in support of your complaint.
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:
- Website: www.theprs.co.uk
- By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- By post at: The Property Redress Scheme Ground Floor, Kingmaker House Station Road, New Barnet Hertfordshire EN5 1NZ