Private Sector Accommodation
Deciding where to live can be a big decision. If you don’t want to live in University Accommodation then you will need to look in the private sector for a place to live. However, Aberystwyth University guarantee accommodation in university owned or managed residences for 1st year students*. We can also continue to provide you with University accommodation throughout your time here, so if you would like to live with friends then apply to live together!
Traditionally house hunting starts in November, prior to the start of the following academic year, which is when applications for University accommodation open for current students and also when the Students’ Union Housing Fair takes place. 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.
Keep Calm and Don't Rush!
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Does the property need a HMO Licence? Ceredigion County Council holds a register of Houses in Multiple Occupation.
- By law, all landlords and agents in Wales must register with Rent Smart Wales, and if they manage their own properties they must also have a licence from Rent Smart Wales.
- Check if the property you are considering renting is at risk of flooding. Visit the Natural Resources Wales Flooding webpage to find out and register for free flood warnings.
- Check when your bin days are by using the Post Code search. In private accommodation your waste will be collected by Ceredigion County Council. Read the Student Guide to Recycling to check that you have everything you need to make the most out of the service.
Where to look?
The Students’ Union (SU) advice service provides information, advice and support on all aspects of housing in University accommodation and the private sector. Take a look at the AberSU Housing Guide available on the SU housing and accommodation webpage, which is designed to help you when looking for a house in the private rented sector, pointing out the things to look out for and your rights as a tenant.
The SU can advise you regarding finding a new place, reviewing contracts prior to signing as well as common issues that occur during a tenancy and moving out.
Each year the SU host a Housing Fair event around November, which provides you with the opportunity to chat to local letting agents, the University Accommodation Office, Student Support and Union’s Advice Centre to help you choose the right place to live - all under one roof!
There are a number of letting agents in Aberystwyth. Unfortunately, we cannot give names or recommendations of specific letting agents. However, if you search the web for ‘Letting Agents in Aberystwyth’ you will be provided with a number of options.
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.
*Terms and Conditions apply - please see our Priorities Policy for additional information.