As students started to move to their private rented homes, the Advice Centre became flooded with complaints about what students found when they checked into their homes. Unfortunately, we see this every year and the main reason why it continues is that not enough students take action.
As students started to move to their private rented homes, the Advice Centre became flooded with complaints about what students found when they checked into their homes. Unfortunately, we see this every year and the main reason why it continues is that not enough students take action. This year, we want to make sure that you’re equipped to challenge unfair treatment and get what you’re paying for: a decent home!
Here are some of the issues we’ve been helping students with:
If you don’t deal with issues now, they could deteriorate, making you responsible for the cost to repair them. If you don’t report issues as they arise, your landlord could be justified in making deductions from your security deposit at the end of your tenancy.
If your landlord is not dealing with problems in your home, it can get a little complicated, so you should seek professional advice. Luckily, the SU Advice Centre can guide and support you, and they can even refer you to solicitors if necessary - all for free!
The first and most important thing is understanding what are yours and your landlord's responsibilities in terms of housing disrepair.
Urgent problems should be actioned within 24 hours and less urgent ones within a few weeks. Landlords often delay dealing with issues too long, but you don’t have to put up with this. If your landlord is not being prompt in their responses, ask an advisor for guidance straight away.
Even though dealing with landlords and estate agents can get frustrating, please remember that being impolite will only make things worse. If you find that you are getting irritable when dealing with landlords/agent, then it’s definitely time to ask for support. You can vent with an advisor in one of the Housing Drop-in sessions listed on our Events Calendar. An advisor can also proofread your emails and messages, or help you draft them. If you’re overwhelmed, you can give them consent to advocate for you so you can step back.
If your landlord is not dealing with serious problems such as electrical safety or heating, then you can ask the council’s Environmental Health team for help by emailing email@example.com. If necessary, they will inspect the property and order the landlord to make necessary repairs.
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