Student housing is notoriously a trying experience from start to finish, and the obstacles to enjoying a decent housing experience never seem to end.
Released last month, the National Union of Student’s ‘Homes Fit for Study’ research showed that of almost 3,000 student respondents:
• 61% dealt with damp or mould in their homes
• 53% had experienced delays getting repairs completed
• 52% felt uncomfortably cold in their homes
• 26% reported their landlord or agent had entered their home without notice or permission, and
• 24% reported dealing with an infestation of slugs, mice or other
I’ve dug up some of the worst rogue landlord stories around, which might give you goose bumps – but they’ll definitely make you thankful you aren’t any of these students!
Declan (Anglia Ruskin University): “The house we were in last year had a leaky bath, and these huge, shiny yellow mushrooms began to grow underneath. We asked for it to be sorted right from the start of the tenancy, but it wasn't until the end that he said it was our fault and deducted the repair costs from our deposit."
Rosie (Birmingham City University): “Our landlord used to get a 'friend' to fix stuff in the house. When a British Gas man came around we were told it had all been done so dangerously that the boiler could have exploded."
Dan (Exposed Magazine): “My first student house had damp, mould and on one occasion a small electrical fire. Then when we asked the landlord to deal with the mould, he told us to just open a window. In winter. In a freezing house. In Sheffield."
Jenny (University of Exeter): “Our landlord’s ex-wife came round and said he hadn't been paying the mortgage (it was still in their joint name) despite the fact that our rent more than covered it! She then said we should stop paying him and start paying her as the house was in her name despite the contract being with him... they basically kept trying to put us in the middle of their break up!"
Chloe (University of London): “Three weeks ago our house caught fire due to electrics which we were told were disconnected. The fire destroyed half the house and the landlords didn't have insurance! We had nowhere else to go so are now living in their run down dirty B&B with no cooking facilities and people coming and going at all times of the night - not ideal for the final and most important term of my degree."
Sinead (University of Glasgow): “In our second year at uni our landlord set up a fake robbery on our student house so he could claim back insurance. He 'ransacked' our rooms whilst taking nothing and removed the safe where we kept our rent. It wasn't the most fun experience - he was crooked in almost every way imaginable."
During investigations of student housing in Bristol, Shelter noted the worst cases included a home where 12 years of damp had accumulated and were seriously affecting the tenant’s health. In another home a kitchen renovation left half-incomplete had led to one resident’s electrocution – after which, he was threatened with eviction rather than dealt compensation or an apology. How inhospitable!
Thanks to Student Beans and Exposed Magazine.
Written by Gaia Croston
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