This is the official ranking of Bristol student letting agents, according to Unirent
Digs scored an average rating of 2.1 across 39 reviews
As all the Bristruths keep reminding us, it’s that dreaded time of year again where you have to start finding a house for next year. The time where you are forced to latch on to a group of people you have only known for two months, or get out of your grotty second year flat with an awful letting agent.
However, this year is a bit different, with many letting agents doing online viewings, and lockdowns restricting access, there is a chance you won’t actually see your new house in person until after you sign the lease. Thankfully Unirent, a new site where students can post reviews of the houses they have lived in, have ranked Bristol’s letting agent’s for us. Although review sites are usually saturated with people expressing grievances, lots of happy tenants have also left reviews.
This is a list of the worst to best letting agents in Bristol, according to Unirent.
Digs came last with an average of just 2.1/5 across 39 reviews. One of the reviews for the property said it had a “Severe mice infestation and the walls are filthy”. The previous tenant also said they are “without a shadow of a doubt” the worst letting agent at communicating, and to “steer well clear at all costs”.
Another review said, “Digs made one tenant move out of his room into the living room for almost three months before temporary accommodation was set up”.
We contacted Digs for comment over these reviews, but they did not reply.
Digs have quite the monopoly over Bristol housing, as their slogan “we’ve got Bristol covered” gloats, but there are some good reviews. A review for a seven bed property said that their flat was “nice and modern and pretty well equipped. Bathrooms are nice and showers are good. Really enjoyed living here!” and gave the flat a four star average.
Flatline came second to bottom with an average of 2.9/5 after 31 reviews. If you are a first year, you might recognise this agency from your bus journey into uni. It is located at the top of Whiteladies with a big red sign above its doors which, according to Unirent reviews, should be seen as a warning.
The reviews for Flatline are mixed, but this one says “there was damp throughout the house” and “the kitchen sink has been blocked for most of the year, flatline said they wouldn’t fix it as it would have been our fault”.
We asked Flatline if they would like to comment on these reviews, but did not receive a reply.
Another review for a Flatline 10 man house was positive, and said “In general I’d recommend this house. It’s really big which is nice because it means that you can have your space even though its a 10 man.”
7. Jackson Property
Jackson Property Management on St Michaels Hill scored an average of 3.1 on Unirent, after nine reviews. With one review saying that Jackson Property “were awful” and their “roof collapsed twice”, not good news if you’re having to study from home because you’ve used up your 14 hours of library time for the week.
Jackson Property was contacted for comment on these reviews, but we did not hear back.
On the otherhand, another Jacksons property was given an indvidual rating of 4.5, and the tenant left a glowing review saying: “Very good house, clean and modern. Basic but not missing anything. Agents were very useful responded to issues quickly and were incredibly Helpful. Quiet road in great location.”
6. Anthony James (Ant Jam)
Anthony James scored 3.1 out of 5 from 16 reviews. Anthony James are hidden away on Cotham Hill. If you live in Redland, you’ll have probably walked past their offices without noticing.
You might not meet your landlord before you sign the lease this year due to Covid restrictions, but according to this reviewer this is how Anthony James has operated before: “Estate agents claim you’re not allowed to know who the landlord is”. The review also said, “they have absolute contempt for students and took five months to fix a rotting window which gave my flatmate pneumonia”.
In response to these reviews, Anthony James told The Bristol Tab: “We typically ask students to leave reviews for our company on Google where our reviews are currently at 4.1 out of 5 stars.”
“In general, we will always look to act on reported maintenance as soon as possible, however we will always require authorisation from a landlord before instructing work.”
“The tenant is always entitled to have their landlord’s address but the majority of landlords that employ an agency to look after their property do so because they wish to have the agent as the point of contact.”
Abode received 3.6 out of 5. If you’re after decent neighbours that won’t report you to the noise pages then Abode seems to be the lettings agents to choose: “old man next door is a great laugh and loves a pint!”
4. Bristol SU Lets
Bristol SU Lets got 3.8 out of 5 after 10 reviews. According to Unirent: “Bristol SU Lets generally provide a very good service and look after their tenants.”.
Bristol SU Lets are based on campus next to the ASS library. Unlike other letting agents they don’t charge agent fees and they say they’ve “saved Bristol students thousands of pounds in agents costs over the years.” So if you’re saving the pennies they might be the agency to choose.
3. Flats for Students
Now we’re into the top three, in third is Flats for Students who received 4.1 out of 5 after 9 reviews.
One reviewer raved about their house, stating that the landlord “gets stuff fixed really fast”. Flats for Students clearly have an eye for perfection though, as one review said they “did deduct small amounts from deposit for not dusting the tops of doors”.
We contacted Flats for Students for comment on this, but they did not reply.
2. PJ. Reynolds
PJ. Reynolds received an average of 4.8. PJ Reynolds got good reviews with one reviewer commenting “PJ Reynolds are a great lettings agent who were very quick to address any concerns”. Another reviewer saying “our letting agents are genuinely lovely”.
If you are looking for a house to show off to your friends then PJ Reynolds have you covered: “we always have compliments when we show friends around”. Someone else commented “its great for hosting or having people round”.
According to Unirent, HYBR are the best letting agents, and scored an average of five after six reviews. HYBR was launched by an ex Bristol Uni student, Hannah Chappatte, to help support first time renters. Hannah told The Bristol Tab: “I decided for too long the industry has been serving the needs of the same people and it is time for a challenger brand with a fresh outlook to raise the standards of student renting”. HYBR have since been into halls to hand out donuts to freshers to “cheer them up” and to raise awareness for their new, student friendly letting service.
One reviewer ticked the box that said “they went above and beyond”.
Don’t agree with the ranking of a letting agent? Leave a review for your student property on Unirent or keep an eye on their Facebook page to be alerted when new properties become available.