No matter the size and shape of your student digs, your landlord is required by law to ensure they are safe and comfortable to live in.
You’ve probably heard a fair few horror stories about student accommodation, but providing you are renting from a reputable letting agent or student landlord, you should be able to resolve any problems you encounter within a reasonable timeframe.
In this article, we find out more about the most common student accommodation problems and how best to deal with them.
Conflicts with housemates
Living with other students isn’t always plain sailing, especially if you’re not all on the same page.
From stealing food to all-night partying, you may not find out until after you’ve moved in that some of your housemates have annoying or anti-social habits.
It can be beneficial to sit down as a household and set boundaries, expectations, and cleaning rotas together when you first move in. Remember, you’ve got to live with these people, so try to stay calm and keep communication open and respectful.
If one of your housemates is breaching the terms of the tenancy agreement and cannot be reasoned with, then your student landlord or letting agent may be able to intervene.
Damp and mould
Damp and mould can be caused by a variety of structural problems including poor ventilation, condensation, leaks, or a defective damp course.
As well as being unsightly, damp patches and mould can also be hazardous to health and cause damage to personal belongings.
There are several steps you can take while living in student accommodation to minimise the amount of moisture in the air and help to prevent damp problems, these include:
- Opening windows to allow air to circulate
- Setting heating to a regular low temperature
- Avoiding hanging wet washing around the house
- Using extractor fans
- Keeping the bathroom door shut and opening the window when showering
- Keeping doors to the kitchen shut and opening the window when cooking
If you are still having problems with damp or mould, or if you don’t think the problem is being caused by condensation, then you should contact your student landlord.
Your landlord is required by law to carry out repairs to fix damp problems if they are being caused by structural problems or inadequacies.
Moving into accommodation that is infested with bugs or rodents is every student’s worst nightmare.
Any kind of pest infestation is unhygienic and could pose a risk to human health, so should be reported to the student letting agent and landlord as soon as possible. It is your landlord’s responsibility to make sure your student accommodation is safe to live in
Students can help to prevent attracting pests to the property by keeping it hygienic, clean, and tidy, and by avoiding leaving food or rubbish out.
Damage to fixtures, fittings, and furniture in your property can be inconvenient, but more serious damage to a property’s heating, water supply, or structure could negatively impact your comfort, health, and wellbeing.
If anything becomes damaged or broken while you’re living in student accommodation you should report it to your letting agent or student landlord as soon as possible.
Regulations laid out in the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 state that it is the landlord who is responsible for organising any repairs to the building’s structure, fixtures, and fittings.
Noisy neighbours are enough to cause anyone a headache, especially if your bedroom is reverberating from next door’s bass all night long the day before your final exam.
Usually, a knock on the door and a calm and respectful conversation is all that is required to get the noise shut down.
However, if the door is shut in your face or you find yourself up against someone unreasonable or unpleasant then you can find more help and advice on the government website about resolving neighbour disputes.
If your accommodation payments are not all-inclusive of bills and unlimited broadband, then you may find budgeting more challenging in today’s economic climate.
The current cost-of-living crisis means bills are constantly rising, putting students at risk of under budgeting for essentials like gas and electric.
If you can, you should always over-budget for bills so that you’re not left short if costs rise.
Be sure to check if you are entitled to any help with paying your energy bills from the government.
You may be able to claim a non-repayable £400 discount under The Energy Bills Support Scheme.
Renting accommodation from a student letting agent like Student Haus serving Salford, Liverpool & Bolton offers a tenancy agreement that is all-inclusive of bills and broadband can provide students with better financial security.