Cardiff Houseshare.co.uk
Rooms to rent in high quality non-smoking young professional and postgraduate houseshare properties in central Cardiff
  Dave: 07977 906186
 
 

Bills
Rents quoted do not include bills. All bills typically amount to about £75 per person per calendar month including - including council tax, gas, electricity, water, share of TV licence and share of broadband. A TV package (virgin Medie or Sky) can add another £10 to £15 more per person. In my dedicated postgrad / mature student student houses where no council tax is due it's more like £50 without TV package.

All of my houses now pay all bills with rent to save the hassle of sorting it out among themselves. Included in the amount I quote for bills is a charge of approximately 10% for managing the variable use bills of gas, electricity (and water if a meter is fitted). This charge is in order to reflect the time and complexity involved in managing the variable bills across multiple people, multiple tariff changes and overlapping time periods. In return I manage the bills, take meter readings, collect an equal amount for bills from all tenants sharing, perform all the calculations, source a competitive supplier and tariff, manage supplier transition when significantly cheaper tariffs become available and pay monthly by direct debit with online billing. These measures typically save approximately 20% compared to using the standard tariffs of mainstream suppliers such as British Gas or SWALEC with quarterly paper bills and payment on demand.

Here is a summary of some of the main benefits of this system:

  • Saves the time and hassle of discussing bill payment with fellow housemates
  • It’s easier to budget for as it spreads the cost evenly over the year and evens out differences between winter and summer – avoiding large quarterly sums to pay all in one hit or 6 monthly with water
  • I can get a cheaper price for gas and electricity using online direct debit paperless billing and by sourcing a competitive rate. In comparison, housemates often don’t want to pay by DD so end up paying quarterly with paper bills and don’t bother switching supplier so pay the most expensive tariff.
  • It simplifies the return of deposits – previously when tenants managed bills themselves when a housemate departed sorting out their share of bills for return of deposit was frequently difficult and laborious and delayed the return of the deposit.
  • When housemates change there is no need to get final bills sent out and a new account started in new names
  • Avoids debt collection letters, threats of installation of pre-payment meters, additional debt related charges and the resultant potential damage to a tenant’s credit rating through unpaid bills or by being financially associated with a housemate with poor credit rating when named on a joint bill.

Deposit
The Security Deposit is equivalent to one month's rent plus 1 month's bills. Under normal circumstances the deposit is fully refundable as soon as possible upon completion of tenancy.

The deposit will be protected by a government approved Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme - further detailed information can be found at the Directgov website, produced by the Central Office of Information or the Communities and Local Government website both of which provide detailed information for tenants .

All deposits taken by landlords and letting agents for Assured Shorthold Tenancies in England and Wales, must be protected by a Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme.

There are 3 government approved schemes. I use The Deposit Protection Service (The DPS) - the custodial scheme, the only scheme which requires landlords to hand the deposit over to a government approved agency.

Minimum Tenancy Term
The minimum tenancy term is usually six months, after which the tenancy will roll on a calendar monthly basis. Whilst there may be occasions when I will consider a shorter tenancy term on the whole short-term tenancies do not help a stable social atmosphere within a houseshare. For my postgrad houses tenancy terms are based around the academic year and normally run until 31sst Aug or 30th June. I do also allow students to extend their tenancies to point withinthe academic year where there is reasonable demand i.e which correspond with course start dates outside the main September academic intake - e.g. 1st Jan and 1st April are times when some PhDs commence.

Parking
Please refer to each individual property. You can usually easily park on the street near to most of the houses, however resident permit areas are starting to encroach everywhere in central Cardiff so you may find it helps getting a permit depending on the house location. You can find out more about how to get a permit and costs on Cardiff Council's website under Parking Permits .

Distance to town centre, train stations, bus stops
Please refer to each individual property. Most of the houses are within a 20 to 25 minute walk to the city centre.

What are the other housemates like?
Most other housemates are graduates in their 20s working in professional jobs. The average age of my tenants is 25 - though I do have some tenants in their 30s. Age range in my postgrad houses is similar.

How are new housemates selected?
On the whole existing housemates perform the viewings and get to meet any prospective tenants and to select replacement housemates in order to best ensure a compatible social environment. If I have a postgrad house where not many peopl are staying into the next academic year I will conduct viewings myself face to face or by video call (Skype/WhatsApp).

Partners - can they stay over?
It's fine for partners to stay on an occasional basis, weekends etc. However, partners are not able to stay on a long-term basis as this can create conflict and tension amongst other housemates and put pressure on kitchen and washing facilities.

Do you take students in a young professional house?
The majority of my young professional houseshare tenants are graduate professionals. However, I do take postgraduate or mature students - provided the y are happy to pay a share of council tax as I can not get council tax exemption unless ALL occupants are students. Alternatively, I have 3 dedicated postgraduate houses.

Do students need to pay council tax if they live with young professionals?
Full time students are eligible for council tax exemption BUT the council will only give council tax discount if ALL occupants are exempt. In a house sharing with working people the council will not give any council tax discount even if one or two of the housemates are students and have exemption certificates. Therefore, if you want to live in one of my young professional houseshares and are a student, unfortunately you will need to pay a share of council tax - approximately £29 per person pcm in a house of 5 (though this can vary depending on how the house was rated). Personally I don't agree with the way the discount is calculated, and I think it is wrong to have a system which effectively taxes students, or any exempt person ,when living with working people. It is a socially divisive tax and very unfair, but many students have lived in my houses and £29 pcm may be a small price to pay to be with more mature housemates if you don't want to live in a student house.

Full time students elligible for council tax exemption do not need to pay council tax in my postgraduate houses. Unfortunately I can not take working people in my postgraduate houses as this will result in the house losing council tax exemption.
Can students stay on in a student house after their course has finished?
Ideally I'd prefer to say "no" - I'll explain why:

This is a question sometimes asked by PhD students who wish to stay on to continue post doctoral work. It is a real problem for me as once the tenant loses full time student status their presence in the house means the house loses it's council tax exemption status. This then triggers a large council tax bill and as the non-student is the only person responsible to pay they have to then pay the full bill less a 25% single person discount - approximaterly £110 pcm at 2018 rates.

In addition, I run my student house tenancy terms to dates in the year when courses commence which may not coincide with how long the former student needs a tenancy for. Also once a house loses council tax exemption it is much more of a hassle to manage with the council as they then keep checking other exemption certificates expiry dates throughout the year and I have to re-aply for exemption again in the future when the working tenant finally moves out which is all very time consuming.

For these reasons I prefer my PhD students to move out at the end of their course, but it can be hard to refuse an extension of tenancy to someone I have known a few years!

Bikes
Bikes can usually be stored in the hallway under the stairs, where possible, or in rear outhouses/sheds. If stored in the rear garden/patio shed, I also supply keys for any rear access for ease of entry - including rear lane council gates, the garden rear gate and the rear/kitchen door.

Pictures/wall hangings
If you would like to hang a picture on the wall and there is not already a suitable nail/screw to hang it on, just ask and I will visit your room to fix one.

Redecoration
All of the individual bedrooms are painted white. This gives the room a feeling of light and space, works well with most furniture and acts as a good colour base for wall hangings. It's also simple and cost-effective to redecorate and touch up if necessary. For these reasons I do not allow rooms to be redecorated.

Insurance
As the landlord I provide buildings insurance. However, it is the tenant's responsibility to insure their own contents. From previous research I found the company which offers the most suitable policy for young professional or student houseshare insurance is Endsleigh should you wish to insure your own belongings.

D.S.S.
Unfortunately I do not take tenants in receipt of benefits.

 


   
 
home | © 2006 CardiffHouseshare | contact