FINDING YOUR HOME
The key information you need to help you find your perfect student home.
We understand the financial burdens that students face and therefore, we do not charge any holding deposits or fees when you take a property. We can also offer an alternative deposit option upon moving in.
‘Student Living by James Douglas’ is exclusively partnered with the University of South Wales Students Union, so you can always be certain of getting a fair deal. We are bound by principles set by the SU.
Tips for Student House Hunters
Being partnered with the Students’ Union we are keen to ensure that tenants’ find a property in the right location, that suits their requirements and meets current safety regulations. Our advice is to take your time before signing up to anything, there is plenty of good quality properties out there and there is no need to take the first property you see.
We list properties as and when we know if they will be available, so if we don’t have the right thing for you when you see us, we can register your details and we will notify you by email when anything new comes in.
Our top tips are:
- Don’t rush, there are more than enough houses for everyone so take your time. We will have new houses coming on with us throughout the year.
- Make a checklist of what you need from your accommodation; rent, location, facilities, condition etc.
- Come see us first, we will have a vast amount of quality properties available and we do not charge holding deposits
- If you use an external letting agent before you sign anything, check they are a licensed agent via Rent Smart Wales.
- Ask to see the tenancy agreement before you sign it and if in doubt get the Student Union Advice Centre to look over it for you before signing.
- Make sure you are happy with who you will be living with. Once you sign the tenancy, you have entered a legally binding agreement.
Types of Property Rental
Like most letting agents, Student Living by James Douglas offers the landlord two letting services, ‘Managed’ and ‘Let Only’ It is important that you understand the differences between the two and which service your new landlord has chosen as this will dictate whether you deal directly with the landlord or with Student Living by James Douglas after you have moved in.
You always deal directly with Student Living by James Douglas and our sister company Seraph Property Management. Any problems, maintenance queries etc. should all be reported to us.
Student Living by James Douglas will provide the initial tenancy agreement (contract) for you and collect the first month’s rent and bond before passing it over to the landlord.
Once you have moved in you will be given your landlords contact details and any problems, maintenance queries etc. should all be reported directly to your landlord. Your bond will either be held by your landlord (but securely protected by an insurance-based scheme) or held by the Deposit Protection Service until the end of the tenancy. You will be provided with full details of where your bond is held and the return procedure.
You will pay a security deposit to the agent once you have signed your tenancy agreement. Within 30 days the agent must provide you with certain prescribed information including:
- Which of the three authorised schemes they are using
- How to apply to get your deposit back at the end of the tenancy
- An explanation of the purpose of the deposit
- What to do if there is a dispute
We also offer an alternative deposit-free option, where you pay one week’s rent (non-refundable) which acts as a security deposit on the property. Please ask your agent for more information on this.
Referencing and Guarantors
All of our tenants and their named guarantors must complete our online referencing application form. The majority of students will require a guarantor to cover their liability as they are unlikely to be able to prove an income. A guarantor is a person that will sign to say that they will cover any rent arrears or damages in excess of the bond held. This is someone who lives and works in the UK. They must be able to provide us with:
- Proof of Address: ie bank statement, utility bill.
- Proof of ID and signature: Copy of Passport or Driving Licence
- Proof of Income:
- If you are employed by a company, please provide one of the following:-
- Employers letter showing annual wage
- Copies of the last 3 consecutive bank statements
- If you are self-employed please provide one of the following:-
- A letter from the company accountant stating income in the last 2 years
- The last consecutive 6 months bank statements.
Tenancy Contract Explained
Your tenancy is a legally binding agreement and for a fixed term. The landlord is under no obligation to release you from the tenancy should you change your mind. You will remain liable for the rent even if you never move in.
However, in certain circumstances your landlord may agree to release you from the tenancy but only if and when you find a replacement tenant. Only once all tenants have signed the revised agreement and the new replacement tenant has paid the deposit, rent, signed the tenancy and returned the guarantor form will you be released from your original agreement.
If your landlord does agree and you find a suitable replacement, we can draw up the revised agreement. Please refer to your tenancy agreement or speak to an agent for further information.
Different landlords have different rules and regulations when it comes to pets, which are typically set out in your tenancy agreement. Some will explicitly forbid it, some will take a more flexible approach, some may allow certain types of pets but not others, and some may be completely open-minded.
If you’ve been told by your landlord that pets aren’t allowed, it’s important that you don’t flout these rules. If you’re unsure, or if your tenancy agreement doesn’t make it expressly clear about what the position on pets is, contact Student Living by James Douglas or your landlord beforehand.