All the lies you’ll hear from student letting agencies
You are not a two minute walk away from everything
Viewing season in Southampton has begun. The time when all students flock to Portswood for the Winter. Letting agencies will often say anything and everything to get you to a sign a contract. Here are some of the most frequent lies you will be told when looking for a house.
Sainsbury's is just a five minute walk away
It doesn't matter where you're looking for houses, the agent will always boast about the great location. The truth is that they've taken you down so many back streets that you know longer know where you are. Maybe you have stumbled upon a mystical location where Aldi and Sainsbury's really are a five minute walk away, despite being at opposite ends of the High Street? (Spoiler: You haven't.) It's a good idea to check on your phone. Agencies lie, but Google maps doesn't.
This is much cheaper than any other house you'll find
The rent seems extortionate but they promise you that it's much cheaper than any house you'll find with any other company. Maybe they're right. After all, what do you know?
There are loads of people interested in this house
The classic scare tactic to push you into signing the contract. Think of the agent like the MC at a concert brought in to fill the gaps. They hype the audience with the promise that the star will be on soon. In reality, they haven't even arrived at the venue yet. An hour later and you realise that you definitely could have gone to the loo.
The house will be cleaned before you move in
They wave away your concerns about the dirty carpets by promising they will be cleaned before you move in. The oven is broken? Don't worry, it will be fixed. There's a door missing? It will be replaced. It is all a lie. When you turn up on move in day, it will still be in the same decrepit state as when you first saw it. When it comes to student housing, what you see is definitely what you get.
The house is 'Recently refurbished'
As you stare at the mouldy carpet and the curtains that look like they belong to a Soap from the 70s, this seems hard to believe. Translation, they've plastered a hole in the wall and painted over it. Sometimes not even with a colour that matches.
The room is fully furnished
This isn't a total lie, but there are some crucial omissions. Sure, the room comes with a desk but they don't tell you that it doesn't include a desk chair (Which seems kinda like providing a bookcase with no shelves!?) This leads to much confusion on move in day. There was a chair when you viewed the house but, mysteriously, it has disappeared. You are forced to make an emergency trip to IKEA, where you find 99% of the student population. Good luck.
You will get your deposit back
The carpets were stained before you moved in but, at the end of the year, you're being charged to clean them. It doesn't matter that you deep cleaned the oven, scrubbed the bath and even bought a new microwave, they will find a way to keep your deposit. Be prepared to be charged £100 for a pea that fell behind your desk.
If you have any maintenance issues we will come and fix it straight away
It won't be long until you laugh at your naive first year self who actually believed this. After the third month without a working fridge (It's not a 'priority') you will learn that the only way to get things fixed is to phone up and agg at them. You're more likely to get Nick Knowles to come round and fix your leaky tap before your letting agent will.