Living away from home at university is an exciting prospect but it’s important you’re aware of a few tenancy rights as a student tenant to make sure you have a stress-free experience. Here is a quick rundown of the most common student tenancy problems and the rights that are in place to protect you as the tenant.
“Our landlord keeps entering the property without giving any notice”
Legally, your landlord/letting agency cannot enter your accommodation without giving you or other tenants at least 24 hours’ notice. This can include maintenance inspections and access for repairs. The only instance where this right won’t apply is in the event of an emergency where your safety may be at risk.
There may be times where your landlord wants to visit when you’re not in the accommodation. If you’re not comfortable with this, then you are entitled to request a witness to be present in your absence.
“My student accommodation has unwanted guests!”
Student accommodations can unfortunately become homes to mice, rats and bed bugs. Your rights in these circumstances differ depending on the pest in question.
For mice, inform your landlord immediately as they’re responsible for getting rid of the rodent.
For rats, inform both your landlord and local authority.
For bed bugs, if you bought the offending bed then you’re responsible for the pest removal. If the bed was provided for by the landlord, then they will need to recoup pest control charges or provide a replacement bed.
“My housemates have people staying over”
Having infrequent overnight guests isn’t regarded as much of a problem. However, if one of your housemates constantly has guests over, it’s best to first discuss this with them if it’s causing issues.
As long as your housemates aren’t subletting (charging) people for staying over occasionally, then it’s ideal to have a conversation with your housemates if it’s causing friction. However, if someone who’s not a tenant is staying regularly, discuss this issue with your landlord who will be best equipped to deal with it.
“I want to paint my bedroom wall”
Before making any permanent changes to the student property, it’s imperative you speak to your landlord to find out whether this is permissible otherwise you risk losing your deposit.
Some landlords may allow you to decorate your room as you wish but upon leaving the home, you will be expected to return it as you originally found it. This can include filling holes that may have been made in the walls from hanging photos.