By Becky Firth, Editor in Chief at HYBR.
After the first year, many students move out of on-campus university halls and into their local city. Living in rented accommodation is a great way to get to know your university town better, make new friends and experience living away from home.
However, student living can come with its fair share of issues. We’ll break down some of the most common problems that student tenants face and how you can handle them.
When you and your university friends have known each other for a while and are more comfortable around one another, bad habits can start to show. Students often report falling out with flatmates - from mild bickering over household chores to more serious issues.
Whether it’s a debate as to who hasn’t done their fair share of the washing up, or an argument after a night out, it’s important to address issues early. Let your feelings be known from the start - quickly asking someone “Hey, can you take the bins out this week?” can prevent a slow build-up of resentment and reduce the chances of more heated arguments.
Setting house rules is another great way to maintain boundaries - you can even use a chore chart to make sure everyone is pulling their weight. Having clear rules that you all adhere to is an easy way to ensure everybody’s needs are respected, without having to point the finger. Approach conflicts gently and honestly - passive aggression will get you nowhere.
For more serious issues, for example, if you’d like to move out, be sure to know your rights. Check over your rental contract and consult the Citizen’s Advice Bureau for advice.
Student landlords don’t always have the best reputation. When it comes to resolving structural or internal issues within student housing, some landlords can be slow to act.
Remember, your landlord is obliged to keep the property in a decent state of repair - free from hazards.
If, for whatever reason, your landlord isn’t offering to help you resolve any issues within your student home, always contact them in writing. Be sure to detail what the issue is, what you would like them to do to fix it and when by - be sure to date your correspondence too.
Read over your contract - if they’re not maintaining the property appropriately, your landlord will likely be in breach of contract. You can find more specific guidance and support at Citizens Advice, your university’s Student Union and your local Environmental Health Department.
3.Reclaiming a deposit
When you first sign a rental contract, your landlord might ask for a deposit. At the end of your contract, they should repay this money back to you - unless you’ve caused any property damage.
If a landlord refuses to refund you unfairly, you can raise a dispute. Your deposit should only pay for any loss the landlord may suffer as a result of you living there - for example, any damage to furniture. It is not for general wear and tear or for decoration.
If your landlord suggests deductions you don’t agree with, put in writing your suggested deductions and raise a dispute with the protection scheme that holds your deposit. The landlord will have to prove their deductions are fair.
Be sure to treat your student house as you would your home - with respect and care, so you have less reason to worry about your deposit.
Living in a student house is a wonderful experience - it’s great to live with friends and explore your new city. Those are our top tips for dealing with some of the common problems that student tenants face - we hope you have an enjoyable student living experience and enjoy building your new home away from home.
HYBR is a Bristol-based student accommodation platform that cares. HYBR connects students directly to private landlords and supports tenants throughout their rental journey.
HYBR was founded by two university students, keen to disrupt an outdated and inefficient rental system that has taken advantage of students for countless years.
Get in touch with their customer service team, let them know your budget, how many people you want to live with and your preferred location and they will send you a list of options to review based on your criteria. The HYBR team will support you throughout the process.