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By Nikki Peach, Deputy Editor
Student landlords must do more to support their tenants in the aftermath of a burglary.
Having recently been burgled in my student house, Digs Residential Lettings are refusing to change the locks or provide a second bolt, claiming the house is already ‘secure enough’.
We were also told that providing basic security in the form of a chain would be ‘too expensive’ for our Landlord. The same Landlord who has twice allowed himself into the house without any notice and has organised viewings to take place pre-sunrise when my housemates and I have been asleep (cue the second lock).
Student landlords must do more to support their tenants in the aftermath of a burglary. Having just had laptops, speakers and jewellery stolen from my student house in Bristol, Digs student lettings are refusing to change the lock or provide a second bolt.— Nikki (@Nicola_Peach) February 4, 2019
The sweetheart on the phone also told us that we ‘probably didn’t shut the door properly’ and having our possessions stolen is our own fault since we have ‘lost two keys in the past’.
My housemates and I were away when the burglary took place, the door was locked and, as far as I am concerned, the incident was entirely unforeseen. It is the handling of an invasive, upsetting and often distressing situation which then becomes the most important and that is something that Digs have failed to do successfully or empathetically. And they are not the ones with dirt from the burglar’s shoes on their Ikea rug.
there is a level of vulnerability and inexperience that Landlords have to stop exploiting.
Given that the majority of students are private-renting for the first time at university, there is a level of vulnerability and inexperience that Landlords have to stop exploiting. It is unjust, patronising and blatant malpractice.
I am sure there are many landlords and agencies that are both sensitive and aware of this fact, unfortunately, I have only encountered those that are not. The stolen items are replaceable (if graduate prospects and the general state of the world improves) but the sense of security I would expect from my home is gone.
Until something is done to improve safety measures and the way they handle these upsetting situations, I discourage any prospective renters from choosing a Digs property.Featured image: Epigram/Ffion Clarke
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