Every year, as early as October, some landlords and agents start to ask their current tenants (who’ve just moved in) to decide whether or not they want to renew their contract for the following year. As students are not experienced renters, they often don’t challenge this request.
However, we're here to tell you that there is no need to panic. In fact, we'd encourage you to wait until after Christmas before you commit to a housing contract for next year.
We know that housing plays a significant role in your university experience, which is why it's super important that you take your time and don't rush into any decisions that you may later regret.
Dealing With Housemates
Housemate disputes are not uncommon, but can cause students a great deal of stress and frustration. At some point most of us have been annoyed by dirty dishes left out on the side (that nobody wants to take responsibility for) or you may have noticed that someone has helped themselves to your milk. When you live in shared accommodation you quickly realise that other people have different ways of doing things and that their lifestyle choices may not be the same as your own. Having said this we hope that students will show each other a mutual level of respect and consideration.
Resolving a dispute
If you are seeking to resolve a dispute, we’d encourage you to arrange a face-to-face house meeting or, if the issue is between you and one other housemate, ask if you can have a conversation. Posting a passive aggressive message on the group chat might seem like a good idea at the time but this is likely to cause greater division. You may want to consider meeting at a coffee shop in town, a neutral environment in which problems can be discussed openly. While everyone should have the opportunity to share what their desired outcome would be in order to move forward, in most cases the key word will be ‘compromise’.
If you have taken steps to try and resolve the issue but little progress has been made, you can try contacting the University Mediation Clinic for support. If you are in University managed accommodation, the University’s Housing team can offer further guidance.
If you are having trouble with your landlord/tenancy agreement try contacting the Mediation Clinic
Viewing student houses - what to look for. Far too many students fall into costly traps when renting. Avoid nasty surprises before you sign with their tips and printable viewing checklist! May the odds forever be in your favour.
If you have a problem with your rented property, you should contact your landlord in writing as soon as possible.
However, if you've given reasonable time for a repair to be carried out and your landlord still isn't fulfilling their responsibilities, you can report them to Canterbury City Council.
They can investigate the following problems:
poor housing conditions
no heating or hot water
damp and mould
Canterbury City Council Report your Landlord
The Uni Guide - student accommodation
Tenant lifecycle app - a fully portable tenant lifecycle web app which allows you to manage your deposit
Private Rental Guide - from University of the West of Scotland. Some very helpful tips and tricks here, including what to look for during viewings, planning housing costs and tenancy types and legal obligations
“As a Students’ Union Advice Centre we offer advice in good faith, based on knowledge, experience and the best information available to us. Students who seek our help must take responsibility for their own decisions based on the advice we give.”