As students, we need to make sure that we know our renting rights. Be an even better tenant by knowing when your landlord is breaking the law.
Government legislation protects students and their money from rogue landlords and agents. And new laws coming into force on 1st October will mean landlords must provide adequate size bedrooms and sufficient rubbish bins.
But that’s not all, here are six important things students should know when it comes to renting:
Your deposit must be protected in a Government-backed scheme – get a certificate from your landlord or agent.
Check the property is safe – think fire, electrical, gas safety certificate, and hygiene. If you have concerns, raise them with your landlord or agent immediately.
Agree an inventory with your landlord or agent – or you could lose money when you move out.
By law, landlords must install a smoke alarm on each floor (and carbon monoxide alarms if needed) but it’s your job to regularly check they are working.
Know who is responsible for bills (water, electricity, gas) and take meter readings.
Landlords or agents must be reachable to fix problems quickly – make sure you have their contact details.
By law, your landlord must notify you 24 hours before if they plan to access the property for any repairs or maintenance.
The government are making sure that landlords are not taking advantage of students by setting unfairly high fees.
Minister for Housing and Homelessness Heather Wheeler MP said: “Rogue landlords and agents should never get in the way of students enjoying university life and we’re working to stop them in their tracks.
“We’ve brought in laws to crack down on bad operators and we have measures in place to protect tenants’ deposits.
“We are going even further by changing the law to ban unfair letting fees and cap tenancy deposits.”
The minister encourages more students to know their rights and flag up the landlords who are not following the government’s laws on renting.
Your landlord MUST repair any problems
Landlords or agents must deal with any problems with the water, electricity and gas supply, and maintain appliances and furniture they have supplied. Councils can step in when landlords don’t do their job, and there are independent schemes to help resolve disputes with letting agents.
How small is your room?
Tiny Bedrooms (of less than 6.51 square metres for one adult) are banned. The laws will come in from October 1 but local authorities can give landlords up to 18 months to get bedroom sizes right.
Protecting our money
As well as this, new regulations taking effect from 1 April 2019 will keep renters’ money safe by only allowing letting agents that join a Government-approved client money protection scheme to handle their money.