By Laura Reid, Former University Management Correspondent
A survey conducted by Epigram also found that many students had experienced problems with their housing agency or landlord.
Epigram has learnt that 83 per cent of Bristol students have reported issues with their student houses at some point while at university.
Save the Student's 2019 survey reported that these problems included damp, bed bugs, rodents, a lack of water or heating and burglaries. Despite the urgency of some of these issues, only 45 per cent were resolved within a week.
Although burglaries only represented 5 per cent of the issues reported nationwise, the consequence of these events can cause not only monetary loss, but also be harmful to student wellbeing.
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) 4 February 2019
In response to a survey conducted by Epigram, one anonymous student argued that ‘university security services should be doing more drive-rounds to deter burglars, especially given how close [Kingsdown] is to the university campus’.
Another student, whose house was also burgled during the holidays, suggested that letting agencies should not 'advertise the property with a big "student house for let" sign outside' as 'this indicates to burglars that the property will be empty over Christmas and Easter'.
Problems with landlords and agencies were common in the complaints made by students. While 16 per cent of Bristol students struggled to get their deposit back, 20 per cent of students in Bristol have said that their landlord made inappropriate visits.
Regardless of your actual job, you should know that many students are ruthlessly exploited by landlords. My daughter's flat in Bristol is full of maintenance issues and she is charged a fortune because she has to live somewhere.— Helen J-Coops (@supercooper216) 17 April 2019
Accoridng to the The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, a landlord must give at least 24 hours notice before they visit for any reason.
The history of properties was also not often disclosed to students. One student, victim to burglary, told Epigram that agencies should ‘make students aware if their property has been burgled before’.
They added ‘our house had been burgled the previous two years but we were not told this until after we had been burgled. If we had known we would have taken out insurance and made sure we had alarms fitted.’
Save the Student said that they recommend students take out contents insurance when renting, or 'checking whether your parents' contents insurance will cover you at uni too'.
Featured Image: Epigram / Tom Taylor
Have you experienced issues with your student house? Get in touch!