Are students being taken advantage of?

By Sam Coleman

Student accommodation has never been known for being luxurious, however at what point do landlords and letting agencies begin to take advantage?

Leicester is a thriving student city with lots of student accommodation for all budgets, but those with small budgets can often end up in very poor housing.

Charlie Baskott, 21, a third year finance and accounting student at De Montfort University expressed ‘disgust’ and ‘anger’ at the way his landlord had treated him and his flatmates.

He said: “I don’t think they take us seriously because we’re students, I can’t imagine a family being treated the way we have been, we all pay the same money it shouldn’t matter.

“Our oven hasn’t worked for two weeks now and we’ve spoken to him every day yet nothing, there’s only so many meals I can make without an oven and I definitely can’t afford to eat out every day.”

Mr Baskott pays £105 a week for his accommodation so is paying a lot more than the average student.

James Evans, 29, a Markfield resident and graduate of the University of Leeds lived on a far lower budget whilst at university.

He said: “My rent was £70 a week so as you can imagine it wasn’t the best, there was always problems from leaking sinks to no water but that didn’t bother me.

“That’s what university is supposed to be like, you’re not doing it right if you’re living in luxury what does everyone expect?

“Saying that from some of the stories you told me that’s not right, I rent out a few properties now and if my tenants have an issue I sort it straight away.

“Students, families it doesn’t matter if they’re paying they deserve to be treated right.”

There are numerous different letting agencies specifically for students such as letting4students and codestudents, however when looking for the cheapest option going elsewhere often offers less support and so companies may take advantage.

Mr Evans said: “Always read the fine print of the contract before signing so you know what you’re entitled to, you don’t want to be left responsible for sorting the issues yourself.”

 

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