Regulation and standards in student accommodation

If you are a student and have a private landlord or you are in university or college accommodation in Wales, there are a number of regulations which apply to your accommodation.

Rent Smart Wales registration and licensing

Any landlord who has a rental property in Wales which is rented on an assured, assured shorthold or regulated tenancy must be registered with the Rent Smart Wales scheme. In addition, agents and landlords who undertake letting and management tasks at their rental properties in Wales must be licensed with the scheme.

Before they can be given a licence the landlord or agent must show evidence that they have been on relevant training, covering the main rights and responsibilities of renting and managing properties in Wales.

A landlord can face penalties, including prosecution, if they are not registered and/or licensed with the scheme

For more information and details of how you can check if your landlord is registered, click here.

House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) licensing

If you live in a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) your landlord has extra responsibilities to ensure that the property is kept in a safe and decent condition. Take a look at our page on HMO’s for more details on what your landlord should do.

Your landlord must pay a fee to their local council to obtain an HMO licence if the property has 5 people or more, and 3 or more storeys. A landlord can be prosecuted and fined for renting out an unlicensed HMO.

Anybody can report to the council a house that they think ought to have an HMO licence, or report landlords if they are not fulfilling the terms of the licence.

Housing Health and Safety Rating System

Your local council has powers to force landlords to comply with health and safety measures using the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS). This applies in university halls and to private landlords.

It is very important to remember that if you think your health is in danger, you should report your university/college or private landlord to the local council.

Codes of Standards for halls of residence

There are management guidelines for halls of residence in Wales (universities and colleges). These are voluntary codes of standards for institutions to follow.

It is important you know what code your institution is signed up to. If unsure, ask your students’ union to support you if you have an issue with your hall of residence. Breaches of the code should always be reported through the institution’s complaints’ procedure.

If you believe a university or college is behaving really badly and providing terrible accommodation to students, it is crucial you inform your local students’ union about it. They will be able to help you rectify the situation.

Other pages in advice for young people

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This page was last updated on: February 1, 2018

Shelter Cymru acknowledges the support of Shelter in allowing us to adapt their content. The information contained on this site is updated and maintained by Shelter Cymru and only gives general guidance on the law in Wales. It should not be regarded or relied upon as a complete or authoritative statement of the law.