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Why student landlords are THE WORST

Brought to you by the girl with a puddle in her room

Student housing is a notoriously shady business. There’s just something about the fact that we’re young and inexperienced that encourages landlords to basically not give a shit.

As my dad wisely said during a phone call-cum-rant about my current living situation: "they don’t do anything because you give up and go to the pub."

But is this really an excuse to allow us to live in frankly inhumane conditions? I’m gonna go with no.

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One student found their accommodation in this state after it had supposedly been professionally cleaned

This year, my final year at this some-what prestigious university, I am living with a puddle. That’s right, a puddle. It started off as a small damp patch in the corner of my wardrobe and has expanded into a mouldy lake which now covers half of my (admittedly tiny) bedroom.

Luckily, I have a dark carpet, so instead of seeing the problem I get to feel it between my toes. We all expect damp and a little mould in our student flats, it unfortunately comes with the territory. But I was shocked and saddened to find that, my health aside, something very valuable of mine had fallen victim to the mould.

Something so important to me that it feels as though part of my personality has rotted away. That’s right, the mould got my favourite shoes.

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Gone but not forgotten

Since the deterioration of my room has been on my mind (and lips) pretty regularly this week, I have received a lot of feed back from other students about other similarly horrific (and heart-breaking) instances of flats not quite living up to expectations.

One guy was left waiting almost two months for his subsiding ceiling to be fixed, with promises that it would be done over the Easter break. He returned from his holidays to find his room still full of building equipment, and his ceiling sinking ever closer to his bed.

Another girl regaled me with horror stories of her mouldy bathroom. By the end of the year the entire ceiling was covered in black mould, when asked to fix this issue the landlord implied that it was just part of the bathroom. Nice.

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One Bristol student household took their letting agent to court — and WON

She said: "The bathroom was bad, but it was nothing compared to the mice. It took forever for pest control to be called. I thought we’d never be able to use the kitchen again. Then when they did come they tried to use humane traps, which is all well and good if they work, but they didn’t."

You need only glance at a google search for "student housing horror stories" to realise that this is a problem which spans the entire country. In every city where there’s naïve students, there’s an unscrupulous landlord willing to screw them out of their money.

Gone are the days of nice first year accommodation

As for me, my rent is staying unpaid until the puddle is gone. If they won’t give me a house I can live in, then I certainly won’t be paying them for one.

If you’re having problems with your flat, if there’s leaks and mould or any other possible maintenance problem, do not let your landlord off the hook. Students deserve decent housing too, demand that you get it.