Everyone has heard some kind of story regarding a “landlord from hell.” The malicious property owners who have you paying over the odds for rent, refuse to fix anything until the following Monday and have your housemates and yourself marked down as simply another source of income.
Of course, it could be the case that your landlord is property crazy and has many to attend to, leaving you out in the cold (literally) when you could really do with a helping hand. Fortunately, a number of students at UEA manage to find landlords that are comparable to parents or grandparents.
For those settled in their houses, experiences of house hunting this time 12 months ago was often traumatic, as estate agents demand paperwork almost immediately after a viewing, leading to races against other interested students. Don’t be surprised if you are caught up in a bidding war for how much rent you are prepared to pay a month – for some it looked incredibly likely that they could be left out in the cold.
Thankfully, some landlords turn out to be genuinely lovely people. In my own experience, our landlords ended up offering us the property at incredibly cheap rate considering its location, and were happy to take it off the Home Run website after just a verbal agreement, meaning we wouldn’t be caught in bidding wars.
Since moving in to the property it has been redecorated and the landlords have been unbelievably helpful with regard to utility problems, have come to fix things around the house at the drop of a hat and didn’t step up the rate of rent when we expressed our interest in staying in the same property for the next academic year. Although some have experienced the horror stories of landlords, there are plenty who are just willing to help.
Additionally, landlords who are registered with the Union’s Home Run site must also comply with “Minimum Standards” which include safety certificates and ensuring the house is “clean and in good order” before the tenancy begins.
So for those panicking, quite simply, there are landlords who aren’t motivated by the amount of extra money they bring in each month, but who just want to provide four students with a great living experience during the time spent at university. You’ve just got to find them.