Sorry Housemates Cardiff Council have Shrunk the Bins

cardiff bins

Landlords and housemates be warned!   Your black general waste bin is getting smaller. This is happening right across Cardiff so if you own, manage or live in a Cardiff house share disposing of your general waste maybe about to get a lot more difficult.

General waste black bins are currently 240 litres buy are being replaced by a smaller 140 litre version.   This was brought to my attention last week when I put the bins out at a house share on North Road, Cardiff currently home to 5 house mates.

Five housemates produce a fair amount of general waste over a 2 week period and to be fair they all do their bit for recycling, utilising green bags and food waste brown bins, but now there has been a slight of hand and the bin has transformed from a just about adequate 240L to a worrying small 140 litre bin.

I have spoken to Cardiff Council about this as I am worried about other house shares across Cardiff with 6 or more people and was informed that letters have been sent out to all households and those with 6+ housemates should contact the council to stop their existing black wheelie bins being replaced.

So if you own or manage or live in a house share in Cardiff with six or more people make sure you contact them ASAP to ensure your bins don’t shrink!

Here is a link containing a contact number for Cardiff Council Waste & Recycling Team

House Sharing A Tenants Guide

House Sharing is becoming more popular across all demographics of the UK population, from fresh graduates who have just planted their foot on the first rung of the career ladder, under 35’s who are being forced to house share due to changes to housing benefits or more mature members of society who are no longer able to afford to live on their own.  Demand for house sharing is only going to increase as our islands population continues to grow and place an extra strain on our limited housing stock.

House Sharing main benefits are it is a great way to meet people if you are new to an area. House sharing offers a social life as well as place to live (we recommend multi let properties with a communal area) and financially it makes sense as bills are either included in the monthly rent (easier to budget each month) or split between all tenants.

Where to find a House Share

There a huge number of online mediums to find a house to share, sites include:

www.spareroom.co.uk

www.uk.easyroommate.com

www.gumtree.com

www.housepals.co.uk

www.roombuddies.com

www.kangaroom.co.uk

There are also sites geared toward specific geographic locations in the UK, such as:

www.intolondon.com

www.housesharewales.co.uk

As well as sites offering specific ethnic, gender and other preferences:

www.indianroommates.in

www.gayflatshare.net

So whatever you’re chosen location there will be a site and house share to suit your specific needs.

House Sharing: Arranging a Viewing

It is very important to view the property before committing to enter into a house sharing agreement.  When viewing a property it is now law that you are shown a copy of the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).  An EPC contains information about a property’s energy use and energy costs and provides recommendations about how to reduce energy use and save money.  An EPC provides an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient).

Even if bills are included in the monthly rent and EPC will provide a snap shot at the overall condition of the property as often a more energy efficient house will have a modern boiler and double glazed windows which will be of benefit in the winter.

Other certificates to look out for are a Gas Safety certificate (renewed annually) and Electric Certificate (Valid for 10 years) and HMO License (mandatory if the property is 3 or more storey and houses 5 or more people) any House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO) you visit should have a notice board containing the landlords contact details, house rules and certificates on display.  This is a good indication the Landlord understands and takes their responsibility to tenants seriously.

 What is the ideal number of Housemate

When embarking on your house sharing journey it is important to meet your potential housemate and decide upon which house share best suits your needs. Although there is no absolute “best” number of housemate when house sharing it is good to avoid two or three together as two housemates can create an intensely inwardly-focused and dependent situation, and falling out or pairing off in other relationships often happens.

Three same sex housemates can lead to accusations of favouritism or ‘ganging up’ against one housemate.  House sharing with four, five and even six mixed-sex housemates often promotes an environment that is high on flexibility and offers non-intense rapport that helps avoid dangerous arguments and fallings-out.

Obviously when house sharing with five or six housemates amenities need to be taken into account and I would recommend looking for a house share with more than one shower room and a separate WC or a house share that offers ensuite facilities.

Questions to ask potential housemates

What time do you get up in the morning?

What time do you go to bed?

Do you smoke?

How often and how would you clean a toilet?

What is the price of a large sliced loaf/jar of coffee?

What experience have you had of working in a team?

 House Sharing Legals

You’ve found the perfect house share; you spoken with the landlord and housemates, now the fun begins.  As previously mentioned you should have already seen a copy of the EPC during your viewing as well as the Gas safety Certificate.  Other factors to consider are a bond.  If the landlord or agent offers an assured shorthold tenancy (AST) and requires a bond legally they are required to protect your bond within one of the following tenancy deposit protection (TDP) schemes:

Your bond must be protected in one of the above within 30 days of receiving the bond payment and  the landlord or agent must provide you with a Prescribed Information Certificate containing the Terms and Conditions of the chosen TDP scheme.

More information about TDP Scheme can be found on the Government Gov.uk site:

https://www.gov.uk/tenancy-deposit-protection/overview

AST or License

If you are house sharing with a live in landlord chances are you will be provided in a License rather than an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) as a form of housing contract.  Please be aware a housing license offers less protection from eviction than an AST.

If your chosen house share doesn’t have a live in landlord and you do not have a main UK residence other than your new house share the landlord or agent has no option other than provide you with an AST whether it be a written or verbal contract.

The charity shelter provides a wealth of information relating to AST and Licenses her:

http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/renting_and_leasehold/renting_agreements

Rooms in Cardiff in a specialist provider of HMO and multi let services to landlords and property investors in Cardiff and throughout South Wales.

We are also a source of information for those interested in house sharing and a great place to come if you are looking for a housemate or Rooms to Rent in Cardiff  and across South Wales.

HMO Cardiff For Sale

Earlier this month we wrote a blog post titled “Cardiff Student Housing or Professional House Share?” which discussed the fall in student numbers for the current academic year and the number of empty HMO and Multi Let properties available for rent and for sale across the Cathays, Gabalfa and Heath areas of Cardiff and whether landlords should be diversifying and looking at the professional house share market.

Well today I am writing about the current valuation of HMO and Multi Let properties in Cardiff after being contacted by a Cardiff estate agent with an all too familiar story.

Here is the situation the landlord has always provided Cardiff Student Housing in Cathays and Heath areas of Cardiff and I am sure they have done very well over the years but now the Cardiff student housing market is changing as large corporates are providing housing, such as Student Castle, student numbers have dropped and the student accommodation is not filled.

What Are The Landlords Options?

Well there are four main options:

  1. The landlord can rent the whole house to a family
  2. The landlord can look to continue down the multi let route and provide a professional house share
  3. Contact a specialist HMO Rent Guarantee provider
  4. Sell the property

Sounds straight forward, but many of the properties for sale and to let geared towards the Cardiff Student Housing market need a large amount of investment to bring them to a standard required for options 1,2 and 3, so the only option is to sell!

Option 4: For Sale

This sounds a logical option for the landlord who may not wish to spend £20-30k on their property so a “For Sale” board is put in the front of the house.  A few viewings later and an offer is accepted the landlord has the price he wants, but it’s not that simple.

These HMO and Multi Let properties which are geared for the Cardiff Student Housing market are often set up with locks on doors so straight away you can no longer arrange a standard BTL mortgage the buyer will have to look at a specialist HMO mortgage or commercial finance which is considerably more expensive to arrange than you high street BTL.

Secondly even if locks aren’t on internal doors and there is no whiff that the property is set out as a HMO or Multi Let the rental income versus interest only mortgage payments will no stack up unless a hefty deposit is put down which is also required for HMO and commercial finance as often the property is overvalued in today’s market.

So that’s why I am hearing the same story over and over from Cardiff estate agents, the vendor agreed a sale price but the deal has fallen through as the purchaser cannot raise the required finance.

So as we pass Fresher’s Week and all students are settled for the 2012-13 academic year how many HMO and multi lets will be left untenanted and let standing for sale? Quite a few as many need £10-30K being spent on them.

What’s The Outlook?

If you are looking to sell your Cardiff student housing and it requires substantial work you are probably going to have to be prepared to lower your expectations when looking for a sale as often a deposit of £50K is needed and hefty fees are incurred when raising HMO or commercial finance.

Rooms in Cardiff is the place to go for those looking to house share in Cardiff and further afield in South Wales. Whether you are looking for Cardiff student housing or a professional house share, Rooms in Cardiff is your number one resource for private landlord lettings, house of multiple occupation (HMO), multi let property and to find your next housemate.

You can contact Rooms in Cardiff via email info@webletz.co.uk

Telephone 0845 496 0000

House Share in Cardiff and Beat Fuel Poverty

Figures released today highlight the extent of fuel poverty across the UK since 2010 In Scotland, 28% of the population were fuel poor, Wales was at 26%, and England stood at 16% as Gas and Electricity prices have continue to rise since 2010 then you can bet your bottom dollar fuel poverty has taken a wider grip on the UK population.

At Rooms in Cardiff we always advise tenants looking for a professional house share or Cardiff student housing in a HMO or multi let property to look for private landlord offering monthly rents including utility bills, this way you are sheltering yourself from further utility price rises as well as ensuring you are able to meet you monthly rental obligation and not find any financial surprises at the end of the month.

Rooms in Cardiff is the place to go for those looking to house share in Cardiff and further afield in South Wales.  Whether you are looking for Cardiff student housing or a professional house share, Rooms in Cardiff is your number one resource for private landlord lettings, house of multiple occupation (HMO), multi let property and to find your next housemate.

You can contact Rooms in Cardiff via email info@webletz.co.uk

Telephone 0845 496 0000 or via the contact form below

Waun Fach, Pentwyn, Cardiff CF23 £310-£355 PCM INC BILLS

Rooms in Cardiff are marketing this Large 3 bedroom house located in Waun Fach, Pentwyn, Cardiff which is available immediately.  This substantial property has 2 Double Bedrooms and 1 Single (including beds and wardrobes) with huge living room (sofas included), large modern kitchen (Fridge, Freezer, washing machine, microwave, oven and hob) and bathroom (including bath and shower).

You can easily budget your monthly finances as ALL BILLS are INCLUDED! No need to worry about paying the GAS, Electricity, Water Rates or Council Tax, plus WiFi Broadband is also included in the monthly rent.  So the double bedrooms are priced at £355 PCM and £335 PCM and the Single just £310 PCM.

The property is situated on a corner plot so offers excellent outside space for entertaining and socialising with housemate on hot sunny days throughout summer!

Rooms in Cardiff believe the house is an excellent  professional house share as it boasts plenty of off street parking and is located close to the A48, Eastern Avenue and Pentwyn Drive so easy access to public transport to Cardiff Park Ride, Cardiff City Centre, Cardiff Bay, M4 and Newport.

Local amenities are plentiful with Pentwyn Leisure Centre on your doorstep and shops including Waitrose close by.

This is a large 3 bedroom house with excellent outside space (maintained by landlord) in a location that has great transport links to Cardiff City Centre as well as being a stone throw away from A48 and M4To arrange a viewing contact Rooms in Cardiff ASAP! info@webletz.co.uk

North Road, Cardiff, CF14

Rooms in Cardiff is pleased to announce that a huge 6 Bedroom house share in Cardiff will be available for viewings shortly.  This multi let property is currently being refurbished and will boast 6 huge double bedrooms, a modern fitted kitchen including 2 fridge freezers, washing machine & dryer, dish washer, integrated electric oven, gas hob and microwave.

This house share in Cardiff boasts two shower rooms, two separate WC’s and a spacious living room including 3 seat and 2 seat sofas, fibre optice wifi broadband and wall mounted LCD TV, a great space to kick back and relax with your new housemate.

Due to the location of the property being in walking distance to University Hospital Wales, Companies House and Cardiff City Centre and also great transport links to the A48 and M4 this will make a great professional house share.

Alternatively it could also make a great Cardiff student housing as it is also located close to Cardiff Metropolitan University (Llandaff Campus),The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and Cardiff University.

The private landlord has informed us that completion will be by the end of May with viewings beginning in June.  Photos will be available shortly, but if you are interested in this property please contact Rooms in Cardiff via info@webletz.co.uk