It can be hard to move to a new city and have no idea where to rent a house. I used to be a letting agent in Swansea for many years and saw lots of people moving to the city who had no idea where to live so thought I would give you all a helping hand.
Which Area Should I Live In?
When you start looking for a property one of the most important factors in Location! there are many things to bare in mind E. g. : how close is it to work, what are the schools like, does it have a history of crime, what council tax band is the property in and so on. Before you start your search you need to write down a few key attributes your potential property must have. Otherwise it is easy to get blinded by a house with a lovely decor and it's not until a few months of living there you realise you are too far from your family and friends.
In my opinion it's all about Location, location, location! If you don't have a car live close to town. If you like surfing live near the sea.
During my time as a letting agent I rented property all over Swansea in loads of different areas. But this list of areas is by far the most popular
Rental areas in Swansea
Blackpill, Brynhyfryd, Brynmill, Caswell, Cockett, Craigcefnparc, Crofty, Cwmbwrla, Derwen Fawr, Dunvant, Fforest, Fforestfach, Gorseinon, Gower, Gowerton, Hafod, Langland, Llangyfelach, Manselton, Maritime Quarter, Mayals, Morriston, Mount Pleasant, Mumbles, Murton, Newton, Penclawdd, Penllergaer, Penyrheol, Plasmarl, Pontarddulais, Port Tennant, Ravenhill, Sandfields, Sketty, St. Thomas, Swansea, Uplands, West Cross.
Brynmill: Is probably the most popular student area in Swansea as it is walking distance to the University and is the home of many HMO properties (houses of multiple occupation) ranging from 5 -14 bedrooms. As well as many student properties Brynmill is also home to many families and young professionals.
Uplands: Is most popular area for the average buy to let landlord. It is close to town with great transport links and has a popular small but unique night life scheme.
Mount Pleasant: Is a popular area for students from Swansea metropolitan university but is quite a distance from Swansea University. Student rent in this area is a fair bit cheaper than Brynmill and Uplands.
As with all cities there are a few large council estates mostly in Swansea East the main ones are Townhill, Mayhill, Blaen-Y-Maes, Bon-y-maen, Penlan, Clase. Swansea West has West Cross but a large proportion of this is now privately owned.
The M4 is the main motorway in South Wales running from London to Carmarthen. The areas which are in close proximity to the M4 are - Birchgrove, Fforestfach, Gorseinon and penllergaer
Holiday Lets & Expensive Areas
The Gower peninsula is an area of outstanding natural beauty and no doubt the jewel in Swansea's crown. The Property prices in Gower and The Mumbles are a lot higher than other areas of Swansea and this reflects in the rental prices. But if your budget allows it is “The place to live".
Mumbles, Langland, Caswell, Bishopston, Pennard, Gower
Where to start my property Search?
I am no longer a letting agent in Swansea so I won't plug my old business lol. By far the best place to search for property to rent in Swansea is Swansea2let.com it features all most the main letting agents and also allot of landlords properties.
Right I Know What Area I Want To Live In, What Next?
Your budget as a tenant is very important. You need to be able to not only pay your rent but your council tax, utility bills, TV licence, phone/TV/internet, food and not to forget your social life!
Once you have sat down and worked out what you can afford to rent then you can start your property search. It is very easy to go over your budget but I would really advise against this! I have seen many tenants stretch there budget go into debt get evicted and get a CCJ for their troubles and not to mention a mountain of money owed to creditors!
What to look out for:
There are a lot of great landlords in Swansea letting property and a lot of great properties to rent. However as with everything in life there are a few bad apples or in this case properties!
1)Letting agent or landlord?: A very important thing to ask when renting a house or flat is whether the property in managed by a letting agent. Just because a letting agency is advertising a property doesn't mean they manage the property. The good thing about renting a fully managed property is that you can put pressure on the letting agent to fix any faults on the property like a broken window or a leaking tap. The downside to renting from letting agents is that most charge a contract arrangement fee usually between £50 - £200. Landlords don't tend to charge contract arrangement fees but on the downside if your landlord is tight, lazy or hard to get hold of it can be a nightmare if something goes wrong.
2)Tenancy deposit scheme: By law every deposit taken since 6th April 2007 must be held with the tenancy deposit scheme and not your landlord/agent. Make sure this is the case! It was put in place to protect tenants from unfair landlords keeping tenants deposits at the end of a tenancy.
3)Damp: Damp can cause huge problems to a property and your health. Make sure you check the property before you sign! What to look for.
4)Fair price: Make sure you do plenty of research into rent prices in the area to ensure you are paying the going rate.
5)Haggle: I was always amazed at the amount of people that never tried to haggle with our landlords. If a property is on for £500 pcm offer £475 there is a good chance the landlord will accept. Alternatively you can ask for upgrades to the property E. g: new sofa, washing machine or a new carpet. Remember your potential landlord is just as keen as you to rent his/her property!
6)Contract length: I advise a 6 month contract. Sometimes a house just doesn't feel like home or you might have bigger issues and if you have signed a year or longer contract it can be hard to get out of.
7)Always pay on time: Remember just because your landlord owns the property you live in does not make him rich. He/she might rely on your rent to pay a high mortgage on the property so be a good person and manage your finances efficiently.