My house was broken into before I even got there – and it still isn’t fixed

Nobody needs this aggro


Over three quarters of students have serious issues with their privately rented accommodation.

Up until now, I would have never put myself in that category, but on 16th September, me and four other final years moved into a house on Radford Boulevard – a property that was a complete dive.

When we turned up, the backdoor was ajar and had been smashed into splintered stakes. The area was boarded up with a flimsy bit of wood that even I could’ve probably kicked through… so had our house been broken into then?

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Yes it had, over the summer holidays and we hadn’t been notified. That explained why we had no backdoor, no TV and no internet router. It took three weeks for a TV to arrive, and five weeks for the internet and a backdoor.

The place was filthy – we were promised a professional clean before we arrived, but there were cobwebs, filthy floors and sticky surfaces everywhere. There was substantial mould in both bathrooms, which only got sorted last week.

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There were so many other problems. In Bedroom 1 there was a unusable wardrobe, that looked like it had been put together by a 5-year-old.

There was a curtain pole that was straight-up broken in half and an old, moth-eaten, uncomfortable mattress, which Kieran (my housemate) is still sleeping on.

12 out of a possible 24 lights didn’t work. We had to buy replacement light bulbs and it took six weeks for the several faulty light fittings to be fixed.

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The kitchen, can be clearly seen from the main road because we have not been provided with any blinds. This is such a huge security threat and is also pretty unnerving – this still hasn’t been sorted.

The most unforgivable issue in my eyes, is that there is a burglar alarm installed on the house, but it doesn’t work. How ridiculous, given that the property was only burgled a couple of months ago.

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So I do have to beg the question – why do letting agents think it is perfectly acceptable to mug off students time and time again, who are getting into debt paying to live in these shitholes?

I find it hard to believe that there are people my age who are naive enough to live in conditions like these for the entire year, but I’m sure it does happen.

But landlords are certainly not naive, and are aided by letting agents to continue the same scam, year in, year out. They are having a field day.

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Rent is expensive – collectively we are paying £1600 a month.

On top of other absurd payments, such as ‘administration fees’, summer rent (when you are essentially paying for an empty house),  and the deposit (that you rarely receive back whole), your landlord is laughing all the way to the bank.

Whenever we enquire about when outstanding works are going to be seen to, we are given crappy responses: “it takes two to four weeks” or “we are in the process of getting a quote”.

Our managing agents have been using these empty phrases ever since we moved in. It’s so frustrating knowing that you are constantly being fobbed off – that feeling of complete powerlessness is soul-shattering.

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We have sought help from the Student Services in Portland, who have been amazing. We have been given some truly great advice.

We asked the managing agents for our summer rent back (£320 each), which has been denied to us, and now we are looking to take our case to small claims court.

Nobody needs this kind of aggro, especially in final year.

Landlords and estate agents like this are hugely negligent and in  breach of contract.

I would like to think that eventually this kind of cheating will stop, but it won’t.

Until students, collectively, pursue what they are owed, rather than leave the problems because they’ll be gone in nine months, these crooks won’t get the message.