Rogue landlords……

I think it’s important to mention this with regards to following on from my last blog about house hunting.

One of things I didn’t really touch on was about landlords/letting agents (rather than say landlords/letting agents all the way through this blog I’ll just refer to them both as ‘landlords to make it easier!).

In the last few years of being at Edge Hill I’ve heard stories about some great landlords, Landlords that have gone that extra distance because they really value you as their tenants. They’re not in the letting business to swindle as much money out of students as they can, they provide a good service and if you act as responsible and respectful tenants, they will in return be respectful Landlord and will be available when things go wrong, will fix things that get broken etc without much hassle and without much delay.

However, as with a lot of things there are two sides to this coin, and while there are many landlords in the local area that will ensure you’re time in their house and peaceful and enjoyable, there are some landlords that from what I’ve heard from students over the years will be a nightmare for everyone living in that house for the duration of your tenancy. These landlords WILL try to swindle students for as much money as they can, WILL come round to the house without prior notice, WON’T carry out repairs in a reasonable time.

It is important that you are aware that landlords like this are about.

So with that in mind here’s what I suggest. after you look round a prospective house and meet with the landlord for that house, see if you can find out from other students what that landlord was like when they stayed there, or if they had that landlord in a different property.

If you find someone who had that landlord before ask them questions like, do they always give 24 hours’ notice before coming round? Do they carry out repairs in a reasonable time? Do they follow through on promises they make about changes/improvements to the house? Do they treat the students living in the house with the respect they should expect?

Remember, this is the house you will spend a year of your life living in; a year is a long time. Make sure you are happy with the property, and make sure you’re happy with the landlord.

To give you a bit of an insight into exactly what I mean, watch this short clip with comedian Sean Lock, where he plays a rogue landlord in a campaign video for the housing charity Shelter.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1tB9y55UrI

As always if you have any questions or would like to contact me them e-mail me at suvpfas@edgehill.ac.uk or phone me 01695 657311

Thanks again for reading, and good luck with the house hunting

Billy

3 thoughts on “Rogue landlords……

  1. Peter Swindells

    As someone who has rented through 6 different landlords/agents in the past 10 years I’d say that in the end all but one has turned out problematic in the end. There seems to be a general attitude that the deposit is theirs by default and they will do anything they can to hang onto it. By law the deposit is yours by default and they need to justify every penny they wish to keep. They also have to keep it in a Deposit Protection Scheme (DPS) and give you the details (by law if they don’t they actually have to pay you 3x the deposit!). My previous agent even fabricated documents and accused me of lying when I made a complaint about them. Fortunately they made such a bad job of this that there was third party evidence that proved they were fabricating and back-dating letters. I received £150 compensation.

  2. Jessica

    As a first time renter, i’m impressed with my particular landlord, if we report a problem he is around trying to fix it within a 4 hours… today for example the loo was leaking and has shorted some of the fuses in the house, we reported it at 9am and he was here sorting it at 11am.

    Although I have heard problems with getting deposits back off him at one point our money was not protected at all under any scheeme, until someone asked when they can get it back, but im told that is to be expected with landlords.

  3. James

    I’ve noticed that a lot of landlords have now scrapped the deposit and just turned it into a summer retainer which (to my knowledge) they don’t have to give back. If the summer retainer stops anyone from having your room over summer, what’s the point in a contract? Surely signing the contract means that the room is yours, you’ve agreed to pay and nobody else can have it? Is a summer retainer just a way of getting £200+ out of students?

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