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Housing Matters

2009 - 10 edition

A students guide to housing in Dundee.

Dundee can be a great place to live but finding suitable accommodation can
sometimes be a nightmare. The city is alive and vibrant with a continual buzz of
students which means there is a vast range of property available. The immediate
surroundings of the University offer a variety of student friendly residences and in
prime locations. But how do you know who to contact, which agencies are reliable,
or when to start looking? Here at DUSA we understand these problems. The major-
ity of us have been through the same scenarios. Because of this, we want to help.
We want to help you find safe and adequate accommodation. In the last year we
conducted a survey amongst students who had been through the processes of
trying to find private accommodation; we asked crucial and astute questions
about their respective landlords and agents.
Questions ranged from issues surrounding value for money, deposits, to landlord reliability. The results
were insightful. They provided us with the ability to collate the data and put together DUSA’s first Top Ten
Landlord List. This list will be updated on an annual basis using updated survey figures. Of course our help
doesn’t stop there. If you would like one to one advice about accommodation, come and visit me on level 4
of the Union or send me an email on
Vice President of Student Welfare, Janine Ewen
House in multiple occupation (HMO)
House in Multiple Occupation is a term that was been created by local authorities in order to regulate properties
that are occupied by a certain number of unrelated people. This is because, statistically, it has been proven that
hazards and accidents are more likely to occur in these properties than in any other. In order to attain an HMO
licence a landlord must achieve a specific standard of accommodation that must be complied with. This standard
predominantly concerns fire safety and property management. The HMO licence must be renewed every three

The following types of property, commonly used by students, are likely to require an HMO license
1. Shared flats and houses
2. Bedsits
3. Hostels
4. Halls of residence for students or nurses

It is likely that if you fit the following criteria then you will be living in an HMO

1. You live with at least 2 other people who are not family members
2. You share a kitchen, bathroom or toilet
3. The accommodation is either your main, or only, home address. For students your term time address will
count as your main address.

If you need clarification about whether or not you live in

an HMO, then simply contact your landlord or alternatively
the local council who have a list of all licensed landlords in
the area.

For more information please visit:
Tenants Rights and Responsibilities
When moving in to any new house it is important to ensure you know your own rights and responsibilities as a
tenant and have a good idea of what to expect from your landlord.

Rent and Deposits:

• It is the responsibility of the tenant to ensure that rent is paid in full and on time.
• Any regulated tenant who has difficulty paying rent may be able to apply to the local council for housing
benefit. The landlord doesn’t need be told that the tenant has applied for housing benefit. Contact Dundee
City council to find out if you are eligible.
• Most landlords or housing associations charge rent either weekly or monthly.
• A tenant cannot be required to pay the rent before the start of the rental period to which it relates.
• The landlord has the right to ask for a returnable deposit to cover damages to the house or its contents
or to cover unpaid bills.
• Deposits must not exceed 2 months’ rent.

Repairs and Damages:

• The tenant or their guests must not cause any deliberate damage to the property.
• It is a good idea for tenants to take a note of any damage done to their flat before they move in;
furthermore it is good practice for new tenants to take photographs of any damage so that they can show
their landlords.
• If the tenant damages the property or notices that something is faulty, they should report it to their
landlord immediately to prevent it from getting worse.
• Do not try and repair anything yourself unless you know what you are doing. However, if the tenant has
caused the damage it is up to him or her to pay for the repair of the damages.
• The tenant is responsible for looking after the property and keeping the house in a clean and reasonable

This includes:
• Keeping the fittings, appliances and furniture in good condition – with the exception of normal wear and
• Carrying out minor maintenance e.g. checking smoke alarm batteries and changing light bulbs.
• Making sure the property is kept well heated; especially in the winter when it is important the pipes don’t
freeze and burst.
• Ensuring that communal areas such as stairwells, kitchens and gardens are kept clean and tidy.
Tenants Rights and Responsibilities

• The landlord must have a valid gas safety certificate from a registered CORGI gas engineer for each
appliance in the property.
• The landlord must provide smoke alarms and should ensure there are no fire hazards in the property. Any
furniture provided by the landlord should be fire resistant.
• In a house of multiple occupation your landlord may be obligated to provide adequate means of escape
in case of a fire, and fire precautions such as fire extinguishers and fire blankets.

• Both the tenants and the landlords have to be given the correct notice to end the tenancy
• Once the tenant has been given the correct notice to quit, landlords usually have to get a court order to
• If you are renting from the council or from a housing association you may be able to pass your tenancy
on to someone else. As a private tenant you may be able to assign your tenancy on to someone else if you
can come to an agreement with the landlord.
• If your landlord decides to sell the property you may want to end your tenancy first. If your landlord sells
the property to a new owner without giving you notice to quit, the new owner will have to honour the
terms of the lease.
• If your landlord wants to visit or check the property, he or she must provide correct notice, usually 24 hours
but it would depend of the terms of the lease.

Tenancy Agreements:

• If the landlord breaks the tenancy agreement by failing to carry out necessary repairs, restricting your use
of the property or harassing you in some way then you are advised to get in touch with the local council.
In extreme cases you may be able to take your landlord to court; the Citizens Advice Bureau may be able
to put you in touch with a solicitor.

Your landlord cannot change the terms of your tenancy agreement or add new terms and conditions without your

For more information please visit:

Or contact for more information

Recommended Landlords
In May 2009 DUSA carried out an electronic survey relating to student housing in Dundee, the survey asked
questions relating to the efficiency of landlords, the condition of the flat, the security of the flat and whether the
property represented value for money. Having combined the results of the 725 responses we have drawn up the
following top 10 list. If you would like to see a breakdown of all results please visit or email
Janine at

1 Hamish Robbie lettings 6 Belvoir! Dundee

2 Jack Reavley 7 John Baruffati
2 I.B Murray and Son 7 Tayside property management
4 Capetown Properties 9 Rossclare lettings
5 AKG Property Group 10 Sanctuary Management Services

This information supplied from individuals who have contacted us in answer to a survey. DUSA has no formal or
legal relationship with the owners/occupiers of the properties appearing on this list. Whilst every effort has been
made to ensure the information supplied is correct at the time of being published, it is based on the information
received from those who responded to the survey themselves and is their personal opinion. You are advised
therefore to check that the accommodation is suitable for your own requirements prior to accepting a place
there or entering into a lease or contract.

Contact Details
1. Hamish Robbie Lettings 2. I. B. Murray and Son

44 Dudhope CR Road 87 Perth Road

Dundee, DD1 5RR Dundee, DD1 4HZ
01382 220005 01382 221016

2. Jack Reavley 4. Capetown Properties

Cultural Quarter

07740419673 07831 468380
Contact Details
5. AKG Property Group, 9. Rossclare Lettings

169 Blackness Road, 8A Springfield

Dundee, Dundee, DD1 4JE
DD1 5PH 01382 205 319

6. Belvoir! Dundee

33 Union Street, 10. Sanctuary Management Services

Dundee, DD1 4BS
01382 228437 Management Office 75 Old Hawkhill
Dundee, DD1 5EN
7. John Baruffati 01382 573111
Broughty Ferry, Dundee, DD5 3NX sanctuary%20Management%20Services
07778 175 192

8. Tayside Property Management

75 King Street
Dundee, Angus DD1 2JY
01382 877 878
Landlord Map

1. AKG Property Group 5. Hamish Robbie Lettings

2. I. B. Murray and Son 6. Jack Reavley
3. Rossclare Lettings 7. Belvoir! Dundee
4. Sanctuary Management Services 8. Tayside Property Management

John Baruffati and Capetown are located in Broughty Ferry and Newport. See contacts pages for
telephone numbers.
International merchants
We know it can be hard moving to a new place from far away so we have put together a simple list of
local international merchants. Many larger supermarkets also have international sections.

Bismillah Halal Food Store Polish Healthy Foods

122A Hilltown 140 Victoria Road
Dundee Dundee
01382 202 786

Continental Food Store Zamzam Halal Butchers and Grocers

166 Hilltown 65 Perth Road
Dundee Dundee

Chinese Supermarket
Matthews Foods Ltd Dundee
17-19 Gellatly Street
Tel: 01382 226 628
Fax: 01382 223 882

Shop Africana
262 Hilltown
01382 221 055
Top Tips

1. It might seem obvious, but read your lease. Make sure you know it inside and out. It might not
be as simple as you think.

2. Take meter readings and get in contact with your suppliers immediately to alert them of the
change of ownership. Don’t leave yourself liable for someone else’s debts and don’t leave
someone else paying for yours. Make sure the bills you receive are accurate as well.

3. Inform your landlord immediately if the flat is not clean when you move in. It certainly should
be. Just because you’re a student doesn’t mean you have to live in a fleapit.

4. Keep a record of all repairs needed and when they are carried out within the property.

5. Document as much as you can and pass it onto your

landlord. Photographic evidence is useful as well,
taking pictures of any damage when you move in can
save you your deposit.

6. If you’re having problems with your rent, let your

landlord know. Don’t let it build up without any
contact. Hiding from it doesn’t make it go away.

7. Get proper receipts for everything, rent in particular.

Saying you’ve paid on a torn off bit of paper is not a
Top Tips

8. Don’t use your deposit as your last month’s rent. Any issues which arise after you leave can lead
to you being taken to court for additional expenses.

9. Dundee City Council is there to help. Get in touch with them if you are having a dispute which
is not being resolved.

10. Make sure your landlord is registered with the Council. Again, Dundee City Council can help you
check this.

11. Council tax exemption. As a student, you should not be paying council tax. The letters and the
figures are terrifying, but a letter from the registry should be sufficient evidence to claim your
exemption. This can be a full exemption or a discount if you are living with non students.

12. Be considerate! You will almost certainly have neighbours and remember that while you love
turning it up to eleven all night long, they might not…

13. Be sure you have all the details of any emergency numbers
you need. From your landlord to your parents to the local
noise wardens.

14. If you’re planning some DIY, make sure you have permission
from your landlord. You might enjoy purple wallpaper, your
landlord might have other ideas.

15. Crime is not restricted to family homes. Students often have

valuable electrical goods and equipment. Make sure your
home is secure with locks on doors and windows. For aditional
advice, contact local Crime Prevention Officer, PC Colin Brough
on 01382 591887 or e-mail
Useful Contacts: DUSA Executive contact details:
President - Andrew Smith,
Dundee University Students Association:
01382 386 011 01382 386002
Deputy President - Rimple Palana
Dundee University Student Services:
01382 384 007
01382 386007
01382 343 538
Vice President of Communication - Graeme
Landlord Registration: 01382 435424 Thewliss
HMO Licensing: 01382 435416 01382 386003

West End Community Council: Vice President of Student Activities - Kirsty Brown 01382 386004
Tayside Police: 0845 600 5705
Vice President of Campaigns - Craig Kelly
Noise Wardens: 01382 436 260 01382 386040
Vice President of Student Welfare - Janine Ewen
Dundee Citizens Advice Bureau: 01382 307 494 01382 386040

TV Licensing: 0844 800 6790 Honorary Secretary - Gary Cocker
01382 386004

This booklet has been produced by DUSA. Contact Vice President Student Welfare,
Janine Ewen, or 01382
386040. DUSA is a Registered Charity No SC016047