What your landlord really thinks of you

‘The worst thing we’ve ever found was the Vomitorium’

Skateboard ramps in the living room, tenant requests to build stables and a room dedicated just to being sick in – landlords see us at our very best and worst.

They fix our stuff and send people round to view the house at the most inconvenient times, but what do landlords actually think of us?

We spoke to Charlie Vaughan-Lee, the CEO of accommodation company Student Cribs to hear his views on student housing, the new subletting start-up Unlease, and the strangest requests he’s ever had.

The best tenants make tea and send thank you cards

If you want to get on your landlord’s good books, it might help to buy them a present.

Charlie told The Tab: “The best tenants are the ones who make us tea when we visit and send us thank you cards at the end of their tenancies. The majority of our tenants are all great. They are all really friendly and kind.”


CEO of Student Cribs Charlie Vaughan-Lee quite likes us really

The worst tenants are the ones who use their houses more creatively

Rather than the noisy ones or the house of boys who fill their kitchen with cones, Charlie says it was the more inventive use of his rooms which stuck out as the worst.

He said: “The worst thing we’ve ever found was the ‘Vomitorium’. This was a room that the tenants had used as somewhere to be sick in. They then just covered the sick up with old pizza boxes.

“One tenant built a skateboard ramp inside his bedroom in his brand new crib. It took up nearly all of the room and he was quite literally bouncing off the walls.

“We generally pride ourselves on returning as much of our tenant’s deposits as possible, but in this case we needed to re-plaster the room!

“We once had a serious request for stables from some students in Cirencester so they could keep their horses at home.”

Don't leave your flat like this and you should get your deposit back without any problems

Don’t leave your flat like this and you should get your deposit back without any problems

House hunting tips

If you’re in Manchester or Leeds then it’s better to get your house sorted early, whereas in London you can afford to wait until much later to get the best deal.

Charlie warned: “Be wary of agency fees – these are often extortionate and are a sneaky way to catch out renters (we don’t charge any at Student Cribs!)

Another useful service he recommends in Unlease – a start-up that makes it safer and easier for students to sublet.

One of their co-Founders is a student from Oxford, where rents are some of the most unaffordable in the UK.

Subletting your flat is actually fine

Renting out a flat you’re already renting from somebody else has usually been frowned upon, but new government plans mean this is all set to change.

Charlie explained how new legislation in the April budget means students will be allowed to sublet over Christmas, Easter and summer holidays – so when you’re away then your rent isn’t wasted.

Charlie said: “It’s definitely on the rise – I think it’s helpful to students who need to fund their University Ski Trips or buy Christmas presents for parents. Plus it makes sure the rent gets paid.

“I haven’t sublet my own home before but have looked into it, if Unlease had been around then I probably would have done!

“The biggest risk of subletting is probably not getting paid, especially if you’re collecting rent in person rather than doing it online through something like Unlease.

“Subletting is common mostly over Christmas, Easter and summer holidays when students go back home to visit their families or travel.”

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Oxford student Jess sublet this room last summer