Problems and disputes
We have found that the vast majority of students live peacefully in the private sector with little or no problems, but problems and disputes can arise and when this happens it is best to deal with them in an effective and rational way.
What could go wrong?
Students sometimes report the following problems:
- problems with fellow housemates
- return of damage/holding/tenancy deposits
- rats, mice and other infestations
- noisy neighbours
- intrusive landlords
- someone wants to leave early
If you are experiencing problems remember these three key rules from the London Student Housing Guide when trying to resolve disputes.
Put things in writing as soon as possible.
This is especially important for repair issues since the landlord is only obliged to start remedial action within a reasonable time of being informed of the problem. If you have only been calling the landlord, they can try to deny that you contacted them until much later than you did. Please refer to our guidance notes and seek advice from the Advice & Guidance Team as soon as possible.
Get advice as soon as possible.
It is very easy to make incorrect assumptions about the law. You need to check with an adviser that what you are asking from the landlord is something that they are obliged to do, either because of the tenancy or under current housing law. The Advice & Guidance Team or University of London Housing Services can advise you on your options and how to take action.
Always try to keep emotion out of disputes.
Writing very angry letters or e-mails may make you feel better but they are almost always going to be unhelpful in finding a solution! You can ask an adviser to check an email or letter before you send it - email it to us with some background information about the dispute and your contact details.
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