Private Sector Accommodation
Choosing student accommodation at Aberystwyth University can be a big decision. If you don’t want to live in University Accommodation as a returning student you will need to look at private sector student housing.
Please don’t worry as you are not alone and we can help with your search as much as you need. If you are in doubt about anything to do with renting private accommodation, check with the Accommodation Office, Aberystwyth University Students Union or the Aberystwyth Citizens Advice Bureau.
Don’t rush to arrange your accommodation, there is plenty of student housing in Aberystwyth so take your time. It’s so important to make sure you are happy with who you want to live with, where you want to live, and how much you can afford to pay.
You may want to consider the following when looking for private accommodation:
- Can you afford the rent? What is included in the rent? Be realistic – don’t take on more than you can afford.
- Additional costs may include gas, electricity, water, internet, phone, TV licence
- Get Insured
- Is the tenancy agreement (the contract) joint and several? All people named on the tenancy agreement have equal responsibility for the terms of the contract including rent (i.e. if one person leaves the others have the responsibility to pay their share).
- Always read and understand the tenancy agreement before signing.
- When does the tenancy start and end? Remember the end date of where you are currently living to coincide.
- Do you need a guarantor? Someone who will have to guarantee that your rent is paid and if it isn’t then they are responsible for payment, normally a parent (must live in UK)
- Be careful who you decide to live with – will you still be friends in 6 months’ time?
- How much is the deposit? You should not be asked to pay a deposit without having also seen the tenancy agreement. Make sure you get a receipt.
- Ensure that your deposit is held in a Tenancy Deposit Scheme
- Is there summer rent?
- Is there any administration fees? Normally non-refundable.
- Council tax – if all occupants are students then the property is exempt from Council Tax.
- Never view a property alone – take your time, view a selection of properties to get value for money. You can use our Private Sector Accommodation Checklist
- Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions – that’s what the agent/landlord is there for!
- Location of the property – travelling time/costs?
- Is the property safe? Don’t be afraid to ask to check safety certificates.
- Is the property registered with us? Properties are checked to ensure they meet standards - Private Sector Accommodation Database
- Know who the landlord is?
- See an Energy Performance Certificate – typical property energy use and costs / ways to save money!
- Ask the current tenants what it’s like!
- Know your rights and the landlords' obligations.
When to look?
Traditionally house hunting starts in November/December which is also when we release a list of private sector student accommodation via the Private Sector Accommodation Database as well as opening applications for University Accommodation (so look out for updates!).
Each year we provide short presentations for students to attend which give advice on looking for private sector accommodation. Look out for updates on when and where these will be held.
Where to look?
Private Sector Accommodation Database
The Accommodation Office maintains an online private sector accommodation database which includes a list of properties in the town and local area. This includes a search facility for you to look for various types of private accommodation.
Details of available properties are maintained and the properties are checked to ensure that they comply with a number of necessary standards such as HMO Licensing and electrical and gas safety requirements. Landlords are required to re-apply for registration of their properties on an annual basis with the Accommodation Office.
Please note that properties included on the database are not inspected by the Accommodation Office.
The list of private accommodation is intended only as a guide for prospective student tenants to enable them to decide whether or not to make further enquiries with prospective landlords. Neither the University nor any member of University staff has any authority to make or give any representations, recommendations or warranty whatsoever as regards to the properties listed or otherwise and in particular cannot guarantee that such properties comply with current Fire Regulations, Building Regulations, the Planning Acts, Health and Safety legislation and Licensing Schemes or whether rent levels are accurate.
Students can satisfy themselves about the status of property by telephoning Ceredigion County Council, Department of Environmental Services and Housing: 01970 633386/53. Prospective student tenants should satisfy themselves by inspection or otherwise as to the adequacy of the accommodation offered. Students living in private sector accommodation are requested to exercise their rights to have sight of the relevant Gas Safety Certificate (prior to taking up a tenancy) and sight of the relevant License (if applicable). Students are advised to be sure that they can meet contractual obligations before tenancy agreements are signed.
Check out our Facebook page dedicated to all things 'Accommodation'! Use this to share any vacancies you might know of, discuss issues you've had and share your experiences of searching for private accommodation. It's also a great way to meet people who might also be looking for someone to share a house/flat with. We also post regular updates on the page so it's a great way to keep in touch with us.
Further guidance on what to look for in the private sector can also be found at:
The Accommodation Office, Campus Services, Y Sgubor, Fferm Penglais, Aberystwyth, SY23 3FH
Tel: 01970 622984 | 24/7 Campus Life Helpline: 01970 622900 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org