Examples of ridiculous things landlords have done to students renting - and what readers had to say

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Students as private renters have the same rights - but still have to deal with landlords - what you had to say

Students in university housing and private renting are often dealt a bad hand. However, those not in university housing have the same rights as a private renter or lodger - but this often comes with its own share of problems - including landlords

We asked users across social media platforms what the most ridiculous thing landlords had done to them especially while they were students. One Twitter user told NationalWorld: "my housemate's window FELL OUT cos of the poor structural integrity of the flat during the big freeze of Jan '19, landlord leaves him w a hole in the wall letting in the snow for a week, then turns up w some plyboard to board it over - it stayed like that for a MONTH.

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“[That] flat also had a horrendous damp problem with huge orange coloured mould on the walls & none of the windows closed properly so the doors would always swing open and there would be a big gust of wind [through] the main corridor”. 

George Carden, 23, told us: "My landlord didn't provide us with bins so we had a back garden full of bins".

Students as private renters have the same rights - but still have to deal with landlords - what you had to sayStudents as private renters have the same rights - but still have to deal with landlords - what you had to say
Students as private renters have the same rights - but still have to deal with landlords - what you had to say | NWLD/KM

A Facebook user told us: "The ceiling of the upstairs bathroom collapsed into the downstairs bathroom (proper sinkhole-style) and he didn't have it fixed. At all. I left 2 months later and the sinkhole was still there."

Teresa Edison said her landlord: "[They] lied and said we broke the toilet (which had a crack alongside the base). No one stood on that toilet or weighed a lot & they kept the whole deposit."

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Teresa Edison on Facebook talks about her ex-landlord's behaviourTeresa Edison on Facebook talks about her ex-landlord's behaviour
Teresa Edison on Facebook talks about her ex-landlord's behaviour | NWLD/Teresa Edison

Another Twitter user told us: “In second year, we had water coming through all of our light fittings on the ceiling. which then set off all the smoke alarms. which then got broken and never replaced. then they tried to charge us for it. I think they also charged us £15 cos we accidentally left an empty black rubbish bag behind a sofa.”

Sarah Potts, a former Manchester student told us their student landlord: "Tried to keep my £520 deposit cos I left some blue tack on the wall. I replied by sending him the video of the family of rats living in our wheelie bin right outside our front door and he soon transferred it back. I actually can't believe landlords of all people are being protected here!!!"

Manchester University recently evicted rent strikers who refused to pay in protest of high costs. They had occupied the University's Simon Building and said they had regretted the action but the protest "has been going on for a significant amount of time." Around 250 student protesters cancelled their payments in January and demanded a 30% reduction in rent at halls of residence - stating the soaring cost of living meant they were struggling to buy food. 

Students leading the strikes tweeted: "Shame on @OfficialUoM that they would rather do this than consider basic demands for affordable rent."

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A University of Manchester spokesman said: "This morning officers of the High Court attended the Simon Building to enforce a court order, on a small group of students who had been illegally occupying rooms there since 13 February 2023."

The action followed "multiple requests to those occupying the building to leave" along with court hearing papers served on 15 March. The court granted the university a possession order on Monday, and copies of the order were served to the occupiers. We very much regret having to do this, but the situation has been going on for a significant amount of time and has caused ongoing disruption to students and the people who work in the building."

The National Student Accommodation Survey 2023 found that energy bills cost on average of £85 per month for students - an increase of £276 per year compared to last year. The average rent is £535 for students, and in London, the average is £663. They also found that two in five students gave thought about dropping out of university due to rent or bills with the proportion of those struggling with rent increasing from 53% to 63% - a 10 percentage point rise. 

Around half of the students who completed the survey worried about the student housing shortage crisis and 72% say their health is affected by rental costs too.  Most notably, the survey also found the vast majority of students in halls and around half of those with private landlords have not benefited from the £400 discount on energy bills. Information on student rights can be found on the National Union of Students website to give help and advice for students struggling with rent and bills.

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