It probably isn’t news that some landlords and estate agents try to take advantage of students by extremely overcharging them. A lot of of students have reached out for help from the Advice Centre, and we have another successful case to share with you!
On 16 July 2019, first year Royal Holloway student Narjes Dhaif contacted us to raise her concerns about the high amount of money that her landlord was trying to charge her: “Today we received an email from our real estate agency asking us to pay £570. When we first moved in, the apartment’s state was very bad and it was very unhygienic. And now they are asking for a ridiculous amount of money.”
With help from our advisors and only two weeks after her initial email, Narjes informed us that the independent adjudicator would only award the landlord £187!
After reviewing all the charges, Narjes agreed to pay for some of the items, but she didn't agree with the amounts charged for these, as the landlord sent suspicious invoices for unrealistic sums of money. A lot of students aren't aware that it is the landlord's responsibility to pay for some items after check-out, and they can't deduct them from your deposit!
Narjes challenged this, and with the help of an advisor they gathered all the necessary evidence and drafted a response to the estate agent and landlord, asking them to revise the unfair charges they were proposing. Unfortunately, she didn’t receive a response from either one of them, so the Advice Centre had to take the next step and guide her through the process of raising a formal deposit dispute. Raising a dispute requires submitting all evidence to an adjudicator, who then decides what happens with your deposit, but you can read all about how to do this here.
Once the adjudicator saw her compelling response and evidence, they only awarded the landlord £187, saving her an amazing £383! Narjes got in touch to share the good news with us and say that “it was definitely a learning experience!”.
If you've already looked through our web pages and you can't find the information you're after, or if you'd prefer to discuss something face-to-face, it's easy to book an appointment.
• Pop along to the Union Helpdesk on the first floor of the Students' Union and one of our assistants will book you in
• Alternatively, you can call the Helpdesk on 01784 276700
• Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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