Accommodation: Looking for Accommodation

  • Find flatmates whose lifestyles are compatible with yours.
  • Use trustworthy sources to search for a home.
  • The University has a list of trustworthy landlords.
  • Use a Check List when viewing a flat, to make sure you don’t forget to ask / look for something important.

Who to Live with

Choosing who you live with may sound simple, but you will be stuck with your housemates for some time. It could prove costly if you have to move out during the course of the tenancy.

  • Try to share a flat with people you know
  • Consider their lifestyles: shared living works best when everyone in the shared house has compatible habits.
  • If you are moving in with strangers, ask them about their lifestyles and expectations.
  • It might not be the best idea to move into a house share with someone you fancy (or who fancies you)

Searching for a Home

  • Accommodation Services have a registered landlords scheme for landlords whose properties comply with all applicable standards.
  • Unilife Marketplace – you can often find listings for spare rooms on Unilife Marketplace. You can also publish your own advert to tell people if you are looking for a place (or a replacement flatmate).
  • Agencies – Some lettings agencies charge (prospective) tenants fees. It is very important you check with the agency what its fees are before signing any contracts. Top Tip: ask your friends which agency they used, and what their experiences were like. Some lettings agencies don’t offer great service once tenants have moved in!

Once you have found promising listings, it’s time to visit the properties.

Viewing a property

Contact the people advertising the property and ask for a viewing. Try and arrange a time that all potential house mates are able to attend. While you are viewing the property, keep in mind:

Personal Safety:

  • Take someone with you. If that’s not possible, tell someone where you are going and when you’ll be back.
  • Imagine what the area will be like at night. Is it safe (and quiet)?
  • Do not give out unnecessary personal details when arranging to view a property.
  • Try to arrange the viewing during daylight.
  • Trust your instincts. If you have a funny feeling about something, leave straight away

Property Check List

Download a Property Check-list and take it with you when viewing a property.

Outside the Property

  • Is it in a good state of repair on the outside?
  • Does it have a burglar alarm?
  • Is the guttering intact?
  • Are there any missing slates on the roof?
  • How about the windows – do they look sound?
  • Do the doors look secure with good locks?
  • Is there a garden? Who is responsible for maintaining it?
  • Is the property licensed? There is a duty on local authorities in Wales to license houses in multiple occupation (HMOs). The local authority is responsible for checking standards in private rented accommodation.

Inside the Property

  • Are there any disrepair issues e.g. damp, mould, leaks, exposed wires etc?
  • Is the property in good decorative order?
  • Is it centrally heated?
  • Are there adequate heaters?
  • Are smoke detectors fitted and working?
  • Are there any other fire safety devices?
  • Does the furniture comply with fire safety regulations? Check to see if it has a label.
  • Is the property licensed? Any 2 or 3 storey property that is occupied by 4 or more persons must be licensed with the local authority. Have you seen the licence?
  • Do the gas/electric fires work?

If you and your fellow house mates are happy with the property it might be time to move to the next step and discuss Contracts.