Choosing an Agent or Landlord
Making a good choice of Agent or Landlord is important, and can make a considerable difference if you need to have repairs done.
The SU Advice Centre’s Landlord/Agent list is a good starting point in your search for an accommodation provider: Info
- Try to ensure that the agent/ landlord you are using actually exists - have they got a physical office? Do they have a website? Do they give clear details about who they are, or is it vague and short on detail?
There have been cases of students paying money for properties that don’t exist.
- Know what you are going to have to pay to sign the contract. Are you able to see the Terms & Conditions that the agent operates under? Costs can range from £50 to £250+ per person. TOP TIP: some private landlords don’t charge set-up fees if you go direct to them.
- Don’t pay any money to an agent/landlord until you are really sure you want to take the property - if you change your mind, it may be hard to get the fees back.
- Talk to other students who have rented before in the area and find out about different agents/landlords.
- Check to see if the agent is a member of a professional body - if they are, they will have a code of conduct and professional standards. The main professional bodies are:
- All Letting Agents must be a member of a redress scheme, so if you have a dispute with your agent there is a complaints procedure that the agent must comply with. The three approved schemes are:
For more information on redress schemes, including advice on checking which scheme your agent belongs to, see Shelter:
- Charge you for registering your details
- Charge for giving you information on properties.
IT IS A CRIMINAL OFFENCE FOR AN AGENCY TO MAKE THESE CHARGES
If you are in any doubt about the agent and the way you are being treated, find another one – if when you are looking for accommodation the agent is not acting fairly towards you, they are likely to be worse when you are a tenant!
For more information on choosing an agent, see Shelter: