Our Advice & Money Team offer tips on what to consider and be aware of when house hunting …
Hopefully, you are now settling in and enjoying life in Halls of Residence. You will barely have finished unpacking. Is your Iron still in its box? BUT Letting Agents are already thinking about next academic year 16/17. The “To Let” boards are already trying to entice you to sign up now and here’s where the Advice & Money Team can help you.
Attend our House Hunting talk
Our Advisers will be offering advice and information at our annual talks, please join us to hear first hand what you should be aware of when house hunting:
- CJ’s Talybont on Wednesday 18th November at 5pm
- The Lounge, University hall on Wednesday 25th November at 5pm
Here’s a quick insight into what the talk covers and the steps you should take when it comes to housing …
Step 1. Before you commit to anything you should ask yourself what you want and need in terms of:
- The location of the property
- The housemates you want to live with
- What furniture and equipment is provided
- How much is it going to cost you and can you afford it?
Step 2. You’ve decided what you want, now the hard work starts – do you know what you should be looking for?
- Damp/mould – can you see it? Can you smell it?
- Is the house secure – locks on doors and windows?
- Does it have a gas and electricity certificate?
- Is there a shower, washing machine, cooker, fridge freezer – do they work? Just because it’s there doesn’t mean it works.
These are just a few of the things that you need to consider. Print out a ‘Viewing a Property’ check list.
Step 3. You’ve found your dream house, but what does the small print mean?
When you first start your house hunting expedition (it can take a while) you will be hearing all these terms that you may never have heard before or if you have heard them you aren’t quite sure what it means and the implications it may have for you.
- Legally Binding
- Joint tenancy
- Small print
- Houses in multiple occupations (HMO)
- Tenancy Deposit Scheme
- Agency fee
- Summer retainers
Step 4. There’s an abundance of housing stock, be careful and don’t rush into anything
- You have only been here for 6 weeks –do you really know anyone well enough to think about signing a legally binding contract with them?
- Would you commit to a long-term relationship this quickly?
- All it takes is a quick squiggle on a piece of paper to sign up to a house, but it can take a lot longer to try to rectify the situation if you decide weeks later that you made the wrong decision.
- The number of student houses in Cardiff outweighs demand so there is no rush to sign up. Save yourself roughly £300 or more by not paying rent over the summer.
Step 5. Come along to our Housing Talk
If you don’t know about deposits, guarantors and bills before you come you will by the time you leave.
- CJ’s Talybont, Wednesday 18 November at 5pm
- The Lounge, University Hall, Wednesday 25 November at 5pm
If you are unable to make these talks but would like to discuss things with the team Drop-in and see us, we are open weekdays all year round.
Contacting the Advice & Money Team
We are available for drop-in and bookable appointments and can be found at:
- Student Support Centre at 50 Park Place, Student High Street
- Student Support Centre at Cardigan House, Heath Park
- Advice & Money also have a dedicated office in Cardiff Business School
Siobhan, Advice & Money Team
Your Student Life, Supported.
The Student Support Centre has a range of services dedicated to helping students make the most of their time at University, including: Advice & Money, Careers & Employability, Counselling, Health & Wellbeing, Disability & Dyslexia and International Student Support.
For further details of services, events, opening times and more find us on the University Intranet.