Choosing a Landlord
When you look round a house that you propose to share with other students there are certain things that you should look out for. Firstly, look from the outside, and make sure that the property seems in good repair.
We are extremely keen that any problems are notified to us immediately, so that we can get repairs carried out quickly and efficiently. However, not all landlords feel the same and you can end up nagging just to get your central heating back in working order.
Check that the roof doesn’t have any slipped or missing tiles as misplaced tiles lead to damp. All the downpipes should be securely attached to the wall as otherwise the water from the pipes can penetrate the walls.
If the windows are not double glazed, you need to check that they fit closely, without letting a draft in through badly fitting casements, that they are not rotten and that they open and close properly.
All our houses have double-glazed windows to avoid cold draughts and maintenance issues.
There should be adequate provision for waste storage, including plenty of bins, as Swansea City Council is very particular about waste and recycling.
We supply two green dustbins (for glass and cans in one, and paper and card in the other). We also supply a pink plastics recycling bin and three black bins for non-recyclable waste.
Take a look at the upkeep of the garden. Many landlords will expect you to maintain the garden yourselves, but that is another burden that we remove from your shoulders.
We have a gardener who comes in to mow the lawn and weed during the growing season.
If the garden of your proposed shared student house is a mess before you move in, you shouldn’t be responsible for tidying it up and keeping it under control. However, if you are a keen gardener, and wouldn’t mind the thought of mowing and weeding, make sure that you will be given the necessary tools to do the work.
Inside - are the rooms in good condition with plenty of furniture to house you comfortably?
The minimum you will need in a student bedroom are a bed, a desk, a chair, a wardrobe and a chest of drawers.
Heating - as winters can be very cold in Swansea, you need to make sure that there is adequate heating. Gas central heating is the best, and a combi-boiler is better still as you are then provided with instant hot water on demand and don’t have to wait for an immersion heater to warm up a tank before you can bathe.
All the houses we provide to students have a combi-boiler which gives you instant heating and hot water. It is important to find out whether your prospective student house has boiler cover as plumbers and landlords can often be slow to take action during the busy winter months when you need your heating the most.
All of our student houses in Swansea also have the benefit of boiler cover from British Gas, who guarantee that they will attend within 24 hours if you are left without hot water or central heating.
All gas appliances should also, by law, be covered by a gas safety certificate and you should be provided with a copy on request.
If you ask to look at the Property Log of the house, you should find a record of all the certificates that are legally required for an HMO property. The log book should also contain a copy of the tenancy agreement and instruction books for each of the appliances.