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
- 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.
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
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
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.
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
Please refer to each individual property. Most of the houses are
within a 20 to 25 minute walk to the city centre.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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 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
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.
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.
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.
Unfortunately I do not take tenants in receipt of benefits.