Students in Manchester share their stories on their living conditions since moving into student housing.
Salford Student Jack Lewin has been living in student housing for two years. When he moved into the property in Salford, the problems had already begun.
“We noticed that we didn’t have any bins whatsoever.” Jack said this was because the property had been blacklisted by the council because the previous tenants hadn’t been using the bins currently. “But that isn’t our fault” he added.
“Meanwhile we had rubbish building up in the house which led to mice.”
“The letting agencies didn’t really prioritize anything unless we put in buzzwords like ‘safety hazard’ then they would act.”
“We had pest control in, but then again, they didn’t really do that much. They just told us to keep the house clean which we did, and they put a few traps down but as far as I am aware it really hasn’t made any difference because the mice are still in the house.”
“My room’s like the worst room in the house.”
“There was a leak from the rooftile which caused a leak through my bedroom light.”
“I couldn’t really turn on my big light until it got fixed and it was still a couple of weeks before they came to sort it out, so I was just in the dark for the majority and then when they came to sort it out they didn’t actually sort it out because next winter the same thing happened again.”
Eventually the landlord acted and changed letting agencies, the agency Jack’s house was under before called “Friends Lettings” the agency is now permanently closed.
“They’ve hired a new letting agency now which is a bit more prompt in their response to things.”
One landlord’s name has been shared around many student pages on Facebook, claiming that he is a terrible landlord to rent with. The landlord rents to students in the Fallowfield area.
Ex tenants Daniel Pap and Emma Roberts said, “When we moved in there was a massive woodlouse infestation, you couldn’t walk anywhere without shoes on because you would just step on them.”
The landlord gave the students a portable heater and told them to “Point it at them and they’ll just die.”
Emma who moved into the property first, said that the landlord had asked her on numerous occasions to pay in cash, to which she said she couldn’t do because she doesn’t get paid cash in hand.
“The washing machine didn’t work for weeks we had to go to the launderette, we got tired of sending one message after another asking him to fix it, and he’d always have an excuse.”
Daniel then added “We had mice, throughout the year and he was basically just blaming us because we kept the toaster out.”
After the Daniel and Emma moved out, they didn’t receive their deposit back.
The Landlord then accused them of owing one thousand pounds worth of damages to the property and owing over £3000 in energy bills.
“We had a £1600 threshold for the bills, and we spent roughly £1200 and we proved to him that we were well under this by getting in contact with the energy company and he just refused to believe this.”
Eventually Daniel and Emma issued their landlord with a court summons and got their deposit back.
But many students with this landlord have had their deposit withheld. When I contacted Emma and Daniel’s landlord he didn’t reply.
Photos taken by Jack Lewin, Emma Roberts and Daniel Pap.