When do students find their houses for the next academic year?
This has changed over the years and has moved further and further back with local student agents responding to when student groups start making their enquiries. We find the ‘Early Bird’ groups start making enquiries as early as mid-October (Over 8 months ahead) and it is at this point that our initial student list starts to form. Certainly, by November we have a healthy student list with the best new stock available. The student groups clearly want to secure the best quality houses early and have the issue of accommodation put to bed. We find that through November and by February most of the group business has been done. However, do not be disheartened if you have not secured during these periods as we still have new stock arriving throughout the year and due to our policy of only adding the better-quality houses this new stock can also be very good.
What is the average rent for Swansea Student accommodation?
The average rent for a student room in Swansea is £300 per calendar month, but it can be as low as £250 or as high as £350 per calendar month depending on the quality, size and location of the property. Most student rooms are plus bills, but we do have what we call ‘Utility Managed’ options available where utility levels are included within an increased rental level.
What must I do if I wish to secure a student property?
You will need to arrange to call into our office to complete information request forms and to pay a non-refundable agency fee in order that we remove the room or property from our marketing. The entire process will be explained to you at our offices before you commit.
What is an administration fee and why do I have to pay one?
The administration fee is due in addition to any bond or rent requirement. When the administration fee is paid the property is removed from our marketing. If the applicant(s) fail in their application or withdraw from the application the fees are not refundable and will cover the costs of the failed application and to contribute to the re marketing efforts. The exact amount of the fee will vary depending on what type of property you are securing. For a typical student house, you will pay £75 (£62.50 plus Vat) per room.
Tenant Liability Insurance Explained
Due to demand from our landlord clients to have greater protection against accidental damage to their fixtures and fittings, ALL of our student contracts now have the requirement for the Tenant(s) to have suitable ‘Tenant Liability’ Insurance in place. There are a number of common accidental occurrences during a student tenancy including burnt kitchen worktops through hot pans, heating tongs burning carpets/furniture or iron burns on carpets and beds. Now although these charges can be made through the bond it is often a delayed process and the level of costs must be agreed long after the event.
We have access to a market leading policy through our preferred partner Let Alliance, which we refer to as a ‘Tenant Bond Protector’. The basic policy that is required will cost an average of just £1.76 per student, per month. There is Nil Excess with the policy, works can be completed by the Fresh maintenance team and successful claims are paid out promptly.
This insurance can be arranged through any reputable insurance company and not just our preferred partner Let Alliance. However, the policy must have a minimum level of £2500.00 to protect the Landlords fixtures and fittings against accidental damage caused by the Tenant(s) and/or their visitors. The policy must also cover all occupiers and not just a single person.
You can also upgrade this policy to cover bicycles, mobile phones and laptops, but this is your personal choice. The ‘Tenant Liability’ insurance will need to be put into place 1 month before the tenancy start date and Let Alliance will contact the Tenant(s) at that time.
If I can no longer take the property, can I transfer my administration fee to a different one?
If you haven’t signed your tenancy agreement yet, and provided it’s been no more than two weeks since you paid your administration fee we will, in most cases, be willing to transfer to another Fresh property. However, please note that we’re only able to transfer a fee once.
What’s a guarantor, and why do student tenants need one?
In essence, a guarantor is a financial backer for a tenant, who agrees to pay the rent if the tenant should fail to do so. They also indemnify the landlord(s) and/or landlord’s agents against all loss, damage, expenses or costs incurred because of the tenant(s) non-performance of any observations and obligations contained in the tenancy agreement.
Most guarantors are the parents or guardians of students, and must be UK residents and have an income in excess of £15,000 p.a. The guarantor paperwork needs to be signed and the original documents provided to us before we make the tenancy agreement ‘Live’.
Parents and guarantors are not the legal tenants of the property and should not communicate with the landlord or agent concerning tenancy related matters.
What if I have no UK based guarantor?
If this is the case we could consider accepting you with a larger bond. However, if you are part of a group tenancy agreement the other student tenants would have to be aware of the risks of having a fellow tenant without a guarantor. The worst-case scenario of this situation impacting on the other tenants are unlikely, but the risks will have to be understood. It will then be for the group decide if they still wish to proceed with the let.
I’m looking for a single student room – Can you help me?
Yes, we let a large number of individual student rooms each year. We generally start to produce our individual student lists from May through to October time of the commencing academic year.
Do we organise individual room lets to just girls and boys?
We always have demand from parents for mainly their daughters to go into a girl only house. As a result, we normally set aside houses to meet this demand. Please just make this specific enquiry with the Fresh office.
What is a holding fee? What happens during this period?
With a high demand for student properties in Swansea most landlords request holding fees if they are to hold a property until September. The only way to avoid this is to secure your property late in the year, but this is risky, as the best quality stock goes early and there are fewer houses to choose from later in the year.
When you pay a holding fee for July and August (Normally charged at half rent value) this will enable you to store your belongings. It does not permit you to stay in the property.
The landlord will use this period to prepare the property for your occupation in September and you should not judge the condition during this period. The landlord or Agent will carry out cleaning and rubbish removal as a minimum and some landlords may choose to do works including painting, furniture replacement or kitchen and bathroom updates. If major works are to be carried out the landlord may insist on all student belongings being placed in one room. As a minimum, all belongings should be put on the bed of each room to enable the landlord to work around your possessions.
What is the difference between a ‘Managed’ tenancy and a ‘Finders Fee’ tenancy?
Just because you are viewing a property through the Fresh team do not assume that we will always be managing the property throughout the tenancy. We are instructed on either a ‘Fully Managed’ basis or a ‘Finders Fee’ basis, so please ask the question and we will confirm.
If we are instructed to ‘Fully Manage’ the property then we will be your sole point of contact for every matter from start to finish. If the landlord is to manage the property we will secure the property with you initially, sign tenancy agreements and guarantor paperwork and then hand you over to the landlord to complete all other requirements. We will provide full details of the landlord on completion of the paperwork.
Will I have to pay a tenancy deposit and how much will this be?
Yes. The deposit will be a minimum amount of 1 months rent and sometimes more depending on what the landlord has dictated to us on instruction. We will confirm this detail with you.
Who keeps the tenancy deposit? What does ‘Deposit Protection’ mean?
All tenancy deposits must be registered with one of the three approved deposit schemes. These include the DPS (Deposit Protection Scheme), TDS or MyDeposits. If the property is managed by Fresh we will register it with the DPS.
Deposit protection was set up in 2007 to protect tenants’ rights, and means that no money can be deducted from your bond without your input. A landlord or letting agent can make a claim for the money and in most cases, will come to a reasonable agreement on any deductions. In the event of a dispute the matter can be referred to a dispute service to make an independent decision.
When will my deposit be returned?
You will receive your tenancy deposit back at the end of your tenancy, but only when we have received all the keys back and when we have proof that all utility bills including water, gas and electricity have been fully paid. The deposit will of course be subject to deductions for cleaning, damage and any rental arrears. We always aim to return any deposits as quickly as possible in order for us to close the account down.
What does ‘HMO’ mean?
It means a house in multiple occupation and is a property rented out by at least 3 people who do not form one 'household', e.g. a family, but share facilities like the bathroom and kitchen.
‘HMO licensing’ is the process by which the local council regulates the standards of houses that are rented out to multiple occupants. It ensures that landlords with student properties in the main student areas have the correct safety measures in place.
What property maintenance are tenants responsible for?
Tenants are responsible for the minor maintenance at the house they are renting. Tenants’ responsibilities are set down in law as the ‘tenant-like manner’. We would ask all tenants to treat the property as their own. See below responsibilities: -
Tenants are also responsible for reporting other maintenance issues in a timely manner, so that the landlord can deal with any issues before they get worse. If it is found that there has been an unnecessary delay in reporting a matter to the landlord or Agent the tenant could be liable for costs.
What do I do if I have a maintenance issue?
If you live in a let-only or ‘Finders Fee’ property, you’ll need to make contact with your landlord, but if you’re in a property managed by Fresh then you will need to report ALL non-emergency maintenance issue through our maintenance software at https://freshsales.fixflo.com.
Thank you for everything. The service, professionalism and effort has been above what would be expected. Thank you. Richard & Laura