The University of Sussex Students’ Union (USSU) has released the Rate Your Landlord report [pdf]. This examines students’ experiences before, during and after a tenancy, and identifies both good practice and a range of problems in the sector.
Ratings of students’ experience with their property manager were split evenly.
24% of students rating their experience very good and 24% as very poor. There is likewise an even split between students who agreed and disagreed that their property is comfortable and safe, and between those who did and didn’t feel that their property manager acted in a timely and reasonable way to resolve problems.
There are some worrying trends, both with the condition of the properties and the behavior of property managers.
When they moved in, 40% of respondents stated that the property was not the condition that they expected. Overall, students did not feel as though their property was particularly well-insulated.
The vast majority of students who had all or part of their deposit withheld felt that the explanation given was unreasonable; with 68% of students who faced deductions reporting that they had received no explanation at all. This occurs against a background of a general shift towards students paying more rent this year than last.
38% of students reported that they experienced pressure from their landlord or letting agent in order to secure their accommodation, a 5% increase compared to last year. The majority of property managers in which properties had a gas supply had not shown students a copy of the gas safety record.
Abraham Baldry, Sussex Students' Union President, said
Finding good quality, affordable housing is a real problem for students living in Brighton. Too often, letting agents and landlords fall well short of what is acceptable. Now is the time for better regulation.
USSU and BUSU are organising a student housing forum on November 13th at Sallis Benny Lecture Theatre, 6-8pm. Brighton and Sussex students are invited to attend to contribute to a ‘Brighton Students Housing Manifesto’ to take to candidates in the general and local election next year.
You can download the Rate Your Landlord report [pdf] or read it online.
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