THE BLOG

Swansea Student Housing: The Dark Side

23/09/2015 11:26 BST | Updated 19/09/2016 10:12 BST

There are many top quality student properties in Swansea that are maintained by kind, caring and helpful landlords. However, there is no avoiding that a significantly high number of students are suffering from sub-standard accommodation that is plastered in mould, infested with slugs and neglected by the irresponsible landlord that owns it.

Welcome to the dark side of student housing.

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Photo credit: www.bfi.org.uk

Unfortunately and unacceptably, the stereotypical thinking when it comes to student accommodation is to expect poor quality and be prepared to deal with it quietly (or more appropriately, suffer in silence). What's the big issue anyway? You'll only be living there for one year. There's no point in making a fuss over poor living conditions, right?

Wrong.

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Photo credit: www.nus.org.uk

In The National Union of Students (NUS) 'Homes Fit for Study' research, the following was found through surveying 1,161 students;

Over three-quarters (76%) of students experienced at least one problem with their housing conditions. The most reported problems were condensation, damp and mould.

Over one-quarter (27%) had experienced more dangerous electrical problems.

Just under one-quarter (24%) had shared their house with slugs, mice, rats, or other infestations.

Unacceptable.

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In Swansea, there's also unfortunately an unnecessary rush to secure accommodation early, which results in a number of negative consequences;

Feeling pressurised into signing housing contracts without giving them the required attention.

Paying a holding deposit much too far in advance, backlashing negatively on finances.

Accepting poor quality housing instead of searching further for better alternatives that are on the market.

Keep calm, don't rent early.

Written in my manifesto, clearly defined as part of my remit, and a topic that I personally feel passionate about, student accommodation and its' direct effects on your welfare are a high priority for me this year. No more poor quality student housing.

Enough is enough.

My goal is to oversee the creation of a website, similar to that of TripAdvisor, where you will be able to review your student accommodation. This will be done through Swansea University Computer Society (SUCS). Ultimately this will allow you to search for properties online and get real student reviews before deciding whether to sign that housing contract.

As well as this, I will also be working to empower you by informing you of your rights as a tenant, as well as providing you with a checklist of what to look out for when deciding on a property to rent.

Housing can be a complicated thing. Make sure you access the advice and support you are entitled to.

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Student Accommodation Services, also known as SAS Lettings is a joint venture between Residential Services and the Students' Union set up to offer you good quality student houses. For more information about SAS, check out http://www.swansea.ac.uk/accommodation/saslettings/sas%20student%20housing/

If you'd like to talk about housing, please email me at welfareofficer@swansea-union.co.uk

Thank you / Diolch :)