Students experience problems with landlords
By |Published On: 31st October 2015|

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Students experience problems with landlords

By |Published On: 31st October 2015|

This article is an external press release originally published on the Landlord News website, which has now been migrated to the Just Landlords blog.

With millions of students back at  University for the new academic year, a report has highlighted that many have experienced problems with their landlord or accommodation provider.


The report reveals that alarmingly although somewhat unsurprisingly, 1.7 million students (74%) have had difficulties with their accommodation or utility supplier. Of this large number, 60% said that they had encountered a housing-related problem.[1]

Ombudsman Services, one of three schemes designated to regulate letting agents, said that a number of students did not know what to do when finding themselves in a dispute with landlords.

Common Gripes

The most common problems reported by students to their accommodation supplier were faulty fridges and boilers, damp and leakages. Unnervingly, over half of students said that they had to contact their landlord many times before measures were taken. More reason for concern was given as 5% of these students said that their landlord had become abusive or threatening in the face of a complaint. A third of students said that they struggled to even make contact with their landlord.[1]

Students experience problems with landlords

Students experience problems with landlords


Research suggests that a number of students frequently encounter problems with utility suppliers. 31% of those questioned said that they had problems with telecoms supplier. Of those experiencing these issues, around half said their problems concerned substandard coverage. Another 26% complained of slow or no broadband connection, which is vitally important to their studies.[1]

25% of students experienced issues with their energy supplier. The most common cause of disputes was billing discrepancies, with 8% of students shockingly having to foot the bill for outstanding payments left from previous tenants. Rent can be inclusive of utility bills in some student properties, although one in twenty students said that they have never seen a breakdown of where their money is going.[1]


Over a quarter of students (27%) confessed that they felt powerless against their landlord and conceded that they would be unlikely to win any dispute. Students generally have little experience of long-term contracts and coupled with living independently for the first time, many are unaware of their rights. This can lead to students paying much more than is necessary for undesirable and sub-standard accommodation.

Chief Ombudsman Lewis Shand Smith said, ‘starting university is an exciting milestone in every student’s life and for many it also means living away from home for the first time. While flying the nest has many attractions it can also be a daunting time and sadly this can result in some students having to deal with situations they may be unaccustomed to.’[1]

He goes on to say that students shouldn’t have to worry about amenities, professing that, ‘as a student, the last thing you want is to become involved in a dispute over the very basics, such as having somewhere to live and access to broadband and heating.’ He continues, ‘being a student doesn’t mean having to put up with poor quality accommodation, slow broadband connection speeds or shoddy customer service.’[2]

To try to assist vulnerable students, Ombudsman Services has released a guide which Lewis Shand Smith says contains, ‘everything students need to know to prepare for a smooth transition into life away from home.’[2]

Students can read and download the free guide by visiting






About the Author: Em Morley (she/they)

Em is the Content Marketing Manager for Just Landlords, with over five years of experience writing for insurance and property websites. Together with the knowledge and expertise of the Just Landlords underwriting team, Em aims to provide those in the property industry with helpful resources. When she’s not at her computer researching and writing property and insurance guides, you’ll find her exploring the British countryside, searching for geocaches.

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