We spoke to Sussex students about their housing nightmares
Let’s face it, landlords are the worst
As the weather gets colder, days get darker and deadlines get closer, students are dealing with all kinds of issues and injustices within their Uni homes. We spoke to a few of you about your housing nightmares and the results were pretty shocking.
Boiler on the blink
More than a classic case of no heating or hot water for a day or two, some students living near Elm Grove have had a concerning and confusing experience with their boiler situation.
Upon noticing a leak, they went straight to their landlord. After days of complaining, a plumber was finally sent over. According to the first plumber, he had fixed the issue and would be installing a new boiler soon as the current one was very old.
However, over that weekend the leak came back.
The second plumber came to inform the students that they did not need a new boiler, and taught them a little trick involving tugging at some levers to relieve the water pressure, bringing the heating and hot water back on.
“I don’t know what they’re playing at, trying to give us this short term solution to what is clearly a long term and probably quite serious issue. What if, after enough tampering, the boiler bloody explodes!”
“How many times have WE got to mess with the boiler, we aren’t plumbers, how could we be trusted to fix this.”
Now, the students anxiously await the landlord’s next big idea as they continuously ‘fix’ this problem themselves whilst the leak causes their kitchen to reek more and more of dampness.
Unwanted household pets
Another group of students living near The Level found shortly after moving in that they had mice in their kitchen. All five of the tenants have seen mice in the house on multiple occasions, one mouse even made its way up the stairs into a bedroom, showing that as time goes on the mice become more confident and even more of an issue.
The students complained after the very first sighting of mice, but received no help for ages. One of the housemates told The Sussex Tab: “I had to ring the estate agents seven times before we eventually got anyone to come round.”
Things went from bad to worse when the handyman finally made an appearance. Baring in mind that all five of the tenants are female, they have experienced sexist and dismissive comments and still have had nothing done about the pests.
“They didn’t believe us. It was very much like ‘aw, sweetheart, are you sure? Did you really see a mouse or do you just THINK you did, darling.’ As if all five of us are going to imagine that.”
So they continue to live with mice as their landlord is incredibly reluctant to do anything about it.
Since when did we become gardeners?
Our final lot of disgruntled students are situated on Elm Grove and their problem is outside the house and very much out of their control. They have a jungle of a garden.
According to the lead tenant, who has lived in the house for the last three years, an overgrown garden was part of the inventory, which the tenants had no issue with. The issue arose when neighbours complained to their landlord about the level of unkempt branches and bushes spilling over into their garden.
Upon receiving the complaint, the estate agents were quick to lay the responsibility of solving the neighbours’ problem onto the student tenants. They each received an email telling them that on top of rent and bills, which for any student is already a struggle, they had to pay a gardener to tend to the overgrowth.
Times are tough as it seems they have no option other than to pay for damage they did not cause. Just goes to show how easily estate agents can make a mug out of students.