Aberystwyth Students' Union has published a critical report on student accommodation in Aberystwyth.
Using data collected by 308 students living in private acccommodation around the town, the report highlights problems with:
- Condition of properties, damp being a particular problem
- High rents – they varied between £48 and £160p.w.
- Charging full summer rents whilst not allowing the property to be occupied
- High admin fees – up to £200 non-refundable
- Pressure to sign contracts quickly.
The agency with the highest proportion of positive comments, out of the 12 reported upon, was Aber Student.
The report hopes that rents will decrease in future with a lower intake of students this year and new accommodation becoming available in Northgate Street.
The Union now plans to work towards a Good Landlords Award this year and, in the longer term, the setting up of a Student Union Letting Agency by awarding accreditation to landlords. The Union’s current policy is to not recommend one agency over another in the interests of fairness.
Student Union Support Officer Laura Dickens says in the report,
“It is my intention to ensure that future accommodation campaigns focus on the standard of accommodation and that we maintain a good working relationship with Ceredigion County Council and the Citizens Advice Bureau.”
“This report has highlighted a need for the University and Students Union to work together to provide more support and training for students when it comes to the private sector. The more educated students are when it comes to housing, then the better the treatment they are likely to receive.”
The Students' Union welcomes responses from landlords and letting agencies to the survey, particularly ideas for how things could improve. They can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org