On Tuesday 15th January, Cardiff Digs joined South Wales Police and the Landlord Accreditation Scheme at Cardiff Metropolitan Universities Housing Fayre. The fayre was an all day event and had information stands for many organisations including Housing Advice Unit, Trading Standards, Fire Service, Student Services, Accommodation Services and Travel Line Cymru.
Students were able to pick up and access the new edition of the housing list, which only promotes accredited landlords in the area, as well as useful information and advice on renting a shared student house in the private sector.
Emma Robson, Student Liaison Officer, said ‘The day was very successful; we spoke to over 150 students who were looking to access the private housing sector for the first time. We gave them advice on where and when to start looking for a house, things to look out for, and information relating to deposits and accredited landlords. For example, many students did not know their deposit had to be protected by a registered government scheme’. Over 150 free Cardiff Digs canvas bags were given out which included copies of our 'Avoiding the Pitfalls' leaflet (found here http://cardiffdigs.co.uk/hallstohouse.htm), Student Safety advice from PC Tim Davies, You're in Now What leaflets and much more.
In November, it came to Emma’s attention that students were rushing to look for houses as they believed there would be no houses left after Christmas. Consequently, a warning to students was put on each Universities Student Union website and was circulated to students via social networking sites. This warning explained to students that houses become available all year round and there are more student houses than students themselves in Cardiff, so plenty of choice and no reason to rush!
Emma said, ‘It is so important that students take their time and understand everything involved with looking for a house. A tenancy contract is legally binding; once this is signed it is almost impossible to get out of. Students need to be sure about what they are looking for in a house and how to ‘avoid the pitfalls’. At the fayre, the majority of Cardiff Metropolitan students we spoke to had seen the warning and as a result, waited to get advice at the fayre before they started looking for a house. I was so pleased to hear this.’
The housing list will be updated regularly after the Fayre and the Accommodation Services are available to advise all students on Tenancy Agreements, Tenants Rights, Landlord Responsibilities, and general information on renting off campus.
If you were unable to make the Fayre, you can access the housing lists via the Cardiff Met Student Portal Homepage. For further information contact Accommodation Services on 02920 416188/6189, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For information on 'Avoiding the Pitfalls’go to http://cardiffdigs.co.uk/hallstohouse.htm or for advice on living in the private rented sector go to http://cardiffdigs.co.uk/living.htm