When we talk to our users, many of them student flat finders, some looking for private accommodation for the very first time.
So we were shocked when it turned out that many of them were completely unaware they were at universities that have dedicated student housing services. Housing services are there to assist you with everything from finding flatmates, to checking contracts and fighting back against dodgy landlords.
These guys are there to have your backs and are a great resource for students.
Most of the UK’s universities have a service to ensure their students aren’t left on their own when venturing out of halls and into the murky waters of the private rental market.
Get the right information
Cardiff University is a great example of a uni getting their housing advice spot on. They have a easy to use website with advice on everything from making sure you’re living with the right people, to explaining council tax and bills.
But it doesn’t all have to be online. Manchester have a Don’t Let Yet! Rent Right campaign which is so informative and helpful, it actually allows you to forgive them for giving it a terrible name. Most unis have their own version of this fantastic 24-page bible on how to rent happily.
Many universities have a registered list of landlords which they trust. The University of Bath is a great example. They ask landlords hopeful of getting on the register to meet a set of criteria to ensure their students have quality housing.
Newcastle go one step further with their property management service. They essentially lease homes from their owners, then sublet them to students. This is a great idea because it combines the freedom of the private rental market with the assurance that your landlord is the university itself! There are no agency fees either, making this a great option for many students.
A Personal Touch
One of the most valuable housing services a university can offer is a face-to-face consultation. The University of London Union covers 174,000 students, and each of them can use ULU’s free housing consultation services.
They have a dedicated in-house team of solicitors to check contracts, fight disputes and send the kind of perfectly worded letters that make misbehaving landlords quake in their Clarke’s originals.
Other universities deliver a friendly, personal service another way. We’re looking at you, KCL. Undecided (or more likely, last minute) renters can attend their summer housing event. Whether you turn up for the flatmate-finding session, the lecture on how not the get ripped off, or the coveted free drinks tokens for the after event at the Waterfront bar, KCL knows how to look after its students.
Whether you’re a student looking for their first flatshare, or a seasoned renter, check out EasyRoommate now to find your next home!