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:
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:
An Agent must not:
- 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: