Snug scheme & Housing

Snugstudent rights

What is Snug?

Snug is a property inspection standard which is awarded when homes meet the required standard of property and tenancy management, and the landlord is considered ‘fit and proper’. The scheme is promoted by Sheffield City Council, both Universities and Students’ Unions, as the best way for students to make sure that their home and landlord are approved.

The guidelines for Snug properties span across all areas that affect a home and its occupants. Split into Property Standards and Management Standards, guidelines include but aren’t limited to:

Property standards

  • Gas safety
  • Electrical safety
  • Doors, windows and frames
  • Fire safety
  • Specific guidelines for family homes
  • Furniture and decoration
  • Heating and water
  • Kitchen specifications
  • Bathroom and toilet facilities
  • Security
  • Gardens, bins and rubbish disposal
  • Energy efficiency

Management standards

  • Tenancy management
  • Equal opportunities
  • Marketing and letting
  • Tenancy agreement
  • Inventories
  • Managing repair obligations
  • Safety
  • Respect for privacy and right to quiet enjoyment

Find our more about the Snug guidelines.

Why does it exist?

Snug exists to help create better quality housing for students across Sheffield. Having guidelines that go above and beyond statutory requirements means that students have more protection against bad living conditions. The scheme aims to reduce the amount of bad experiences students have in their accommodation and in turn, give a better Uni experience.

What are the benefits? Why should I choose Snug?

There are a whole range of benefits of choosing a Snug property including:

  • Because your house is guaranteed to be in good condition at the end of your tenancy, it’s less likely that your house will need repairs throughout the year
  • Landlords voluntarily sign up to the scheme which means they’re invested in providing good quality housing
  • You’re less likely to experience bad housing conditions
  • You’re more likely to have a landlord who is proactive and has a genuine duty of care for tenants
  • Because Snug holds landlords accountable, your landlord is more likely to want to resolve any issues quickly should they happen
  • Because management standards are regulated, you’re more likely to get all of your deposit back

Above all, perhaps the biggest benefit of choosing a Snug property is that no matter how cheap your rent is, you’re guaranteed to receive good quality accommodation and a good level of service from your landlord.

How does it work?

1. Landlord applies for Snug status

If a landlord is interested in their property being a part of the scheme, they can apply by completing an application form on the Council’s website, which asks questions about how landlords meet the Snug standards. Landlords are encouraged to thoroughly read the Snug standards to ensure they understand and are able to meet them. The application form includes questions about how landlords meet the Snug standards

2. Council processes application

Once an application is submitted, the Council will look at it to see if sufficient information has been given about the property. If they’re happy with the application, they’ll progress to the inspection stage.

3. Inspection takes place

To ensure properties meet all the standards required to be Snug, a Council representative will carry out a thorough inspection before approving an application. Inspectors are experts in what they do and are trained specifically to assess against Snug guidelines, covering every aspect of the scheme. Landlords pay for their properties to be inspected as part of the application, with fees ranging from £50 to £500 depending on the type and size of property.

4. Snug awarded or not awarded

Following inspection, Snug status will either be awarded or denied. If approved, the landlord will receive a certificate to display in their property and both Universities will be notified. Once awarded, Snug status lasts for 2 years, at which point the application process will start again.

5. Promotion

Now it’s over to the landlord to promote their Snug property and for students to find their next home. If landlords want to advertise their property through Hallam or Uni of Sheffield’s accommodation services, they’re required to be a part of the scheme. Similarly, only landlords with Snug properties are invited to take part in Housing Fairs at each University, so this is an ideal place to look for your next home to make sure you get a decent house and landlord!

Who keeps landlords in check?

Sheffield City Council have a dedicated Snug team who are experts in ensuring landlords meet the rigorous Snug standards. From application through to property inspection and management standards, the Snug team’s role to work with landlords to make sure the level of service expected is maintained.

What happens if landlords fail their Snug obligations?

If reports are received that a landlord is failing to fulfil obligations in the Snug guidelines, the Council will take action to investigate. If it’s evident that there are issues with a property, the landlord will be given time to improve. If no improvement is seen, the landlord and property will lose their Snug status, meaning:

  • They can’t advertise or promote their property as Snug
  • They won’t be able to advertise through University Accommodation Services
  • They won’t be able to attend University housing fairs

What should I do if my Snug house is s**t?

  1. Raise with landlord. If you're having issues in your student house, your first call should always be to your landlord. If it’s a simple fix they might be able to sort it out before it becomes a bigger issue.

  2. Student Advice Centre: Speak to student advice centre for guidance if your landlord isn’t responding as you’d want them to. Specialist advisors will listen to the issues you’re facing and be able to guide you through the next steps towards a solution. Issues can usually be resolved at this stage.

  3. Private Housing Standards: If issues aren’t resolved and things escalate, your advisor may deem it necessary to inform the Private Housing Standards team at Sheffield City Council. This team is dedicated to ensuring landlords are carrying out their statutory duties to their tenants, and will take into account the property’s Snug status and refer to the Snug team if appropriate.

How can I find a Snug house?

How can I find out more?