own your landlord

Next year may seem a long way off, but soon the pressure to look for student housing will kick in.


For some there is no issue of budget and a townhouse in Jesmond complete with wall size TV, floating breakfast bar and en-suite rooms awaits.

For others the absolute nightmare of finding something on budget, in the right location and not a massive risk to health will be very real. I have lived in three student houses thus far, and the third is the first one I have managed to find without a serious mould problem. I only managed to attain this grail on budget by moving into professional accommodation outside of Newcastle.

The treatment of many students by landlords is dire, many of you will be discovering this now and experiencing the toils of trying to get the owner to “please please please” replace the bed with the broken springs (2nd year, 3 months to fix) and “possibly maybe” do something about the dodgy looking mould in the bedroom (3rd year, never resolved).

Suspicious bath stain last year

Others will enjoy the ever present landlord who enjoys popping round without any notice other than a quick “see you in 10” text.

No matter how illegal the bandito landlords are, most of us don’t want to be rude and allow ourselves to be walked over. Student housing is often debated but nothing seems to change.

Although there is a clear landlord responsibility to keep the tenant safe and maintain students are regularly stereotyped as ‘feckless’ and therefore not worth looking after.

So this year try to be firm, know your contract and ask for what you deserve.

Take pictures of issues, consult with the housing service at the University and make sure that – despite your studently impulses to destroy their property – the landlord actually treats you with some respect.

Remember that if all else fails, you can at least have fun disposing of the newly replaced furnishings.

Ridin’ dirty