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Student Accommodation

10 tenancy rights every student should know

It's easy to get lost in the excitement of moving into a new rented place, but it's vital student tenants know their rights before signing anything. Use our tips to ensure you don't get ripped off.

man using magnifying glass

Credit: Jozef Sowa (background), Vladimir Gjorgiev (foreground) – Shutterstock

All too often, we hear stories of landlords taking advantage of young people's lack of knowledge when it comes to their tenancy rights.

We're here to arm you with the facts, so you know exactly what you do and don't have to put up with. After all, if you're clued up properly, you could save some serious money on renting.

Whether you're moving into your first privately rented flat, or you're already painfully familiar with the house-rental scene, you'll need to know your rights as a tenant.

For more details on housing contracts, take a look at our tenancy agreement checklist and don't forget to read our guide to getting your full housing deposit back.

What is an HMO?

Stranger Things What the hell is that?

Credit: Netflix

Before getting into the finer details of your rights as a private renter, we'll clarify the meaning of HMO (house in multiple occupation).

An HMO is a larger property that's home to three or more unrelated people who are sharing facilities such as a toilet, bathroom or kitchen. And, by 'unrelated', we mean tenants who are not part of the same 'household' (i.e. family or a couple).

Most student houses will qualify as HMOs, and when renting out properties like this, landlords are expected to follow extra procedures (which we'll explain as we go through).

What are your rights as a student tenant?

Here are your rights as a student in shared or single accommodation:

  1. Fire safety in rental properties

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    Credit: NBC

    There are a few things that your landlord is required by law to do to ensure you're protected against fire hazards in your property.

    Firstly, there should be adequate means of fire escape in your property, and at least one smoke alarm on every floor of the building which is used as living accommodation.

    Any room that has a working fireplace or burning stove also needs to have a carbon monoxide detector (if your property doesn't have one, we strongly recommend buying your own and invoicing your landlord for it).

    If your property is classed as an HMO, then your landlord is also legally required to fit a fire extinguisher on each floor.

    Make sure you check who's in charge of maintaining these alarms. If it's you, you'll have to ensure that they're working and never run out of battery. However, it's worth noting that the landlord must make sure the alarms are working at the start of each new tenancy.

    As well as getting protected against the risk of fire, find out how to make your house safe from burglars in our guide.
  2. Can your landlord enter your property?

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    Credit: dat' - Flickr

    You may just be renting your house, but contrary to popular belief, the landlord, estate agent or people acting on their behalf cannot visit the property without prior warning.

    If they want access to the property to give a viewing or carry out repairs, they legally need to give you at least 24 hours' notice before showing up.

    If you're not going to be able to be there when they come, but you'd prefer that someone you trust was there when they visit, you can ask for a witness.

    The only time they don't need to give 24 hours' notice is in an emergency, such as during a fire, a gas leak, a flood, an incident that has caused major structural damage, or when a crime has taken place on the premises.

  3. Do landlords need to check appliances?

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    Credit: 20th Century Fox

    All gas appliances in the property must be safely installed, maintained and annually checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer. There should be a record of every check, and this should be kept at the property to prove it.

    Ask to see this before signing your contract, and make sure your landlord keeps on top of things while you're living there.

    Your landlord is also legally required to ensure any electrical equipment they provide is safe – including things like cookers, kettles, toasters, microwaves and vacuum cleaners.

    Although it isn't a legal requirement, this is often done via PAT (Portable Appliance Testing) carried out by a qualified professional. Check with your landlord what their policy on this is.

    If you're hoping to update your kitchen products, this will be at your expense unless the electrical ones provided by your landlord are unsafe. And before splashing out on anything, check out the best kitchen gadgets for students.

    For any equipment you do buy, it's worth looking into student contents insurance deals.

    And, on the subject of electrical safety, landlords must also make sure that all electrical installations (that's things like plug sockets, lights and switches) are inspected by a registered electrician at least once every five years.

  4. Are landlords responsible for pest control?

    Stuart Little in a jumper

    Credit: Columbia Pictures

    Student houses often play home to unwanted guests (and we don't mean your housemate's annoying other-half, FYI).

    When it comes to infestations of mice, rats, bedbugs and bats (yep, even bats), it's often difficult to know who's responsible as it depends on a number of things.

    If you have mice, contact your landlord immediately and they should make plans to get rid of them ASAP.

    If you discover you've got rats, inform both your landlord and the local health authority. They'll make plans for a team of experts to come and deal with them, as rats are a massive health and safety risk.

    With bedbugs, it's a little more complicated. Essentially it comes down to whose 'fault' it is that the property has bedbugs – something that can be pretty difficult to determine.

    If bedbugs were present when you moved in, or the infestation was down to some kind of defect in the property or its contents, it's the landlord's responsibility to resolve it. If they turned up after you moved in and were down to negligence on your part (e.g. poor hygiene or not cleaning regularly), chances are it'll be your job to get rid of the bedbugs.

    In short, there are some basic things to consider if you have a pest problem:

    What you need to know if you get a pest infestation

    • Is it covered in your tenancy agreement? If your contract states that it's your landlord's responsibility to deal with pests, you can hold them to this.
    • Were the pests there when you moved in? If pests or vermin are present from the moment you move in, it's most likely your landlord's responsibility to handle them.
    • Was the infestation caused by disrepair? For example, if there are holes in the walls and floor (not caused by you) that your landlord has failed to repair, then the pests will be their responsibility.
    • Was the infestation caused by you? A big one for some students. If you attract vermin by not getting rid of rubbish properly or leaving food out, then they're your problem.
    Nobody wants to find a pest infestation when they move in – but that was just the tip of the iceberg for these students.
  5. Are tenants allowed to have guests or sublet?

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    Credit: Universal Pictures

    Most tenancy agreements won't mention too much about having guests to stay, so it's normally more about coming to an understanding with your housemates than anything else. It's times like this that it definitely helps to live with friends.

    But, if anyone does object to you having guests, our guide to dealing with tricky housemates can help.

    Whether you're living with friends or not, it always helps to be mindful of those you're sharing with – especially if your guest will be sleeping in a communal area. And if your guests cause any damage, remember that you'll be liable for it.

    If you or a housemate accepts money from a guest for staying over, or if you want to rent out any of your rooms temporarily on Airbnb or something similar, this is considered subletting.

    Subletting is pretty much always going to be against your tenancy agreement, so if you get caught, you could even be evicted. The only way to get around this is to ask your landlord (very nicely!) for permission first and take it from there. Don't hold your breath, though...

  6. Can you decorate a rented house?

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    Credit: 976photo Studio – Shutterstock

    Before you start painting your walls or doing any major redecorating, you'll need to get written permission from your landlord.

    Some landlords will let you paint the walls if you'd like, sometimes with the caveat that you'll need to paint it back to its original colour before you leave (so if you're only going to be living there for a short time, you should consider whether it's really worth it).

    If you're not able to paint your walls, you could instead decorate your room with things like cushions, rugs and photos in cute frames. Just be careful to not damage the walls – if you hammer in nails or use Blu Tack, you could end up with a hefty bill when it's time to move out.

    As a general rule, the property should look the same when you move out as it did when you moved in – if you're mindful of this while making yourself at home, you can't really go wrong!

  7. What repairs are landlords responsible for?

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    Credit: Warner Bros.

    If there are any issues with the property that could result in an accident, make sure you report them to your landlord straight away.

    Your landlord is responsible for most major repairs, including any faults with:

    • The structure of the property (the walls, roof, windows and doors)
    • Sinks, baths and toilets
    • Pipes and wiring
    • Heating and hot water (including the boiler)
    • The safety of gas and electrical appliances.

    Minor repairs, such as changing lightbulbs and fuses, are usually down to the tenant. Plus, any damage caused by yourself or your guests will have to be sorted by you.

    Problems with damp affect a lot of student tenants (29%, according to our most recent National Student Accommodation Survey). Whether it's your landlord's responsibility or not depends on who caused it. For example, if you don't ventilate the property properly and cause condensation dampness, then it could be your responsibility to fix.

    Most landlords will be reasonable and make any necessary changes that are their responsibility as soon as possible, but if you're having trouble getting the ball rolling, here's a repairs request template to get it in writing (it should do the trick!).

  8. Can your landlord evict you?

    Breaking Bad stay out of my territory

    Credit: Netflix

    There are a number of reasons why a landlord could legally evict you, including the following:

    • Being at least two months late on rent payments
    • Being regularly late with your payments
    • Breaching any of the terms of your tenancy agreement
    • Letting the property fall into an unacceptable state
    • Subletting a room without permission
    • Causing serious nuisance to the neighbours
    • Using the property for illegal purposes, such as dealing drugs
    • Refusing to leave the property at the end of your contract.

    It's worth noting that during the coronavirus pandemic, governments across the UK banned evictions at different points.

    In England, this originally ran from 26th March – 25th June 2020, but was subsequently extended until 31st May 2021. As of June 2021, there is no longer an eviction ban in England.

    In Northern Ireland, the notice period for starting eviction proceedings has been extended to 12 weeks, applying to eviction notices served on or after 5th May 2020, running until 30th September 2021.

    In Scotland, the latest ban initially ran from 11th December 2020 – 22nd January 2021, but this has since been extended to the 30th September 2021 in Tiers 3 and 4 (although evictions are allowed in the case of antisocial or criminal behaviour).

    And in Wales, the ban on evictions ended on 30th June 2021.

    What to do if your landlord wants you to leave

    Seek legal advice immediately if your landlord threatens to evict you. If there's no court order included in your eviction notice, this is illegal. Only a bailiff with a valid warrant can evict you.

    It's also considered a crime for your landlord to use any harassment tactics to get you out of the property. These include:

    • Cutting electricity or gas supplies
    • Threats and physical violence
    • Refusing to carry out repairs
    • Withholding keys.

    If this happens, you should call the police immediately.

  9. How much notice do you need before you move out?

    Woman with boxes moving out

    Credit: dotshock – Shutterstock

    When you sign a fixed-term tenancy (for 12 months, for example), your landlord cannot ask you to leave early unless the tenancy agreement specifically allows them to end the contract early.

    To do this, there will need to be a break clause in the contract – this means that either you or the landlord can end the tenancy early after the specified period, as long as notice is given in writing (e.g. you can break the contract with two months' notice at any point after six months in).

    Without a break clause, you'll only be able to end your tenancy early if your landlord agrees (this is more likely if you can find a new tenant to replace you), or under certain circumstances like your landlord breaching their contractual responsibilities. Otherwise, you'll still have to pay for your rent until the end of the contract.

    For a periodic tenancy (when it rolls over every week or month for an indefinite amount of time), things are a little different – check out this info from Shelter for more details.

    Any notice to leave must be in writing, and include the date which the tenancy is to end, as well as the signature of the person giving the notice.

  10. Tenancy Deposit Scheme rules

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    Credit: Rob Pongsajapan - Flickr

    Every landlord is legally obliged to place your housing deposit within a government-owned deposit scheme called a Tenancy Deposit Protection (TDP) scheme.

    This ensures that both sides are equally protected in case of any disputes. If your landlord fails to put your deposit in a TDP scheme within 30 days of receiving it from you, you could be due compensation.

    If you want to make sure you get your full tenancy deposit back at the end of your tenancy, check out the advice in our guide.

If you're going for house viewings, make sure you know the top things to look out for.

What to do if your landlord breaches the contract

If you think your landlord is breaching the terms of your tenancy agreement, or is acting in a way that is illegal, contact your local Citizen's Advice Bureau for advice (or your uni accommodation office, if you're living in halls).

They'll be able to help you iron out any issues, and advise on what your best course of action is.

Good news: tenancy fees are now banned in most of the UK! But there are some exceptions – find out if you'll need to pay them.



I’ve been living in my rented student accommodation with 6 other people for a year and a half. We’ve recently noticed noises in our walls, scratching and scampering. There’s definitely something living in the walls, but there’s no evidence of anything getting into the actual house or kitchen etc.

I’ve informed our Lettings agency and they have advised me to set traps but I don’t see how this could work if they’re in the walls. They are obviously getting in from some hole externally. They have also told us to ensure food is cleared away in the kitchen but we’re a pretty clean house and food isn’t left lying around, and so far nothing has been attracted to the kitchen. I think whatever it is is using the walls to get away from the bad weather.

I’ve also checked our tenancy agreement and it says this about any infestations;

To give notice to the Landlord or proper sanitary authority in the event of disinfection or fumigation being required in consequence of the occurance of any infectious or contagious illness or infestation of rats mice fleas and insects and the like on the Premises and to bear the cost of any remedial action taken and further to pay for the cost of redecoration when necessary and replace or pay for the replacement of any articles which require to be destroyed on account of such infection infestation and contagion’.

I wondering whether we should have to bear the cost of any action taken because they are in the walls. We cannot gain access to the walls in any way but I’ve been advised by my landlord to knock on the walls when I hear them as that will apparently make them go away. They’ve advised us to use this method and traps but I don’t see what good it will do and I feel really uncomfortable living in this property now.

Any advice on how to proceed? Thanks very much, sorry it’s a long post!!

Jake Butler

Hi Hannah, I hope this issue has resolved itself by now as it doesn't sound ideal.

It sounds like the landlord and agency are suggesting actions to get rid of the issue. They only thing you can do if it carries on is to keep pestering them to do something about it.


I have signed a joint agreement (between me and one girl) for the flat with the agency but the landlord is private. She is sub-letting her room as her boyfriend is always in the property day and night. We used to split bills between 3 poeple which indicates that he is staying with us, I have contacted the landlord and he said that 'he carried out the investigation and her boyfriend is registered at another house and pays for council tax somewehere else so he is closing the case'. I don't agree to be paying rent 50/50 if her boyfriend is staying as she is breaching the agreement. I'm not sure what I can do as she is harrassing me now and being verbally aggressive towards me. Help please? I just really want to leave as I don't feel safe there anymore.

Jake Butler

Hey, I'm really sorry to hear about this situation. As far as I know this is unfortunately more of a moral issue than a legal one I'm afraid as the landlord has said it's ok with them and not in breach of the contract.

If you're really at a whits end I would suggest contacting your local Citizen's Advice Bureau. Apologies I cannot offer a better solution.


Hi Jake, I am having issues with my Daughters landlord, 3 girls signed contract one of them did not move in and had conversation with landlord and now stopped paying rent, landlord is saying deficit of rent falls on another 2 people and their guarantors, what options do we have. Can we deny to pay extra rent, should landlord not go to that persons guarantor first, before coming to others. Can we do anything about it. Thanks

Jake Butler

Hi Neeru, unfortunately it sounds like this is a joint tenancy agreement. When 1 of the people move out the remaining tenants are unfortunately liable to pay the entire rent. However, I would have thought that the landlord would have gone to their guarantor first. They should also offer options to secure a replacement tenant.

This is a tricky situation and I would advice contacting the local Citizen's Advice Bureau.

Alex Price

Please help, we have a house this year which we want to keep. We have emailed the landlord this last month and confirmed we want to stay in the house and the deposit is coming, but they have still put the house on the market. Help.

Jake Butler

Hi Alex, unfortunately until the contract has been signed for a further year the landlord has the right to put the house on the market and find other tenants. As your original agreement/contract would have likely been for 12 months the landlord does not have to extend this.


Hi Jake,

Last year I dropped a glass in the sink which left a hairline crack (purely aesthetic as there was no signs of leaking when I would fill the basin). At the time I did not feel the need to report it to my landlord as it was barely noticeable. At the end of my tenancy I was charged £267.41 for the sink. Naturally I felt a bit pissed off but chose not to contest it as it was indeed my fault.

Recently I met the new tenants of my old house and they where kind enough to let me see the house again. When I got to my room I found the same sink with the same hairline crack that I had last year. So my question now is...

Why was I charged for something that wasn't even replaced?

Jake Butler

Hi Alex, this doesn't sound reasonable at all. Whilst the landlord may claim that they took that money for a future repair (as and when the sink starts leaking due to the crack) I think it's not very moral of them.

I would contact the landlord to make them aware of what you know if it was me.


Hello my daughter and 2 others moved into their HMO flat. The terms of the agreement stated that on half Month retainer is payable for July ,and there after full rental is payable. However they were unable to gain access to the flat until the end of August. After querying this with the letting agency they after 5 weeks have come back with "Unfortunately sometimes do over run, which are out of the control but it is important to ensure that the property is brought to a good condition prior to their move in. There is no confirmed date given to tenants and we do advise we can not guarantee a move in date that is before September. Unfortunately the landlord is not willing to compensate a months rent." is this correct as the specimen contract that we were supplied only states the July half month rental and the property might not be due during the retainer period.

Jake Butler

Hi, without seeing the details of the contract I cannot really comment on this one. My suggestion would be to talk to your local Citizens Advice Bureau about what you can do.


my daughter has moved into her student accommodation but we have since found out that he doesn't yet have a HMO licence. should we pay rent or wait until the licence is active?

Jake Butler

Hi Emma, this is what Citizens Advice say on the matter...

"If your landlord doesn't have a licence, hasn't applied for one or has not been temporarily exempted from licensing, then:

- they can be prosecuted and fined up to £20,000

- they cannot serve a section 21 notice (under the Housing Act 1988), which is the start of a legal process to evict an assured shorthold tenant

- you may be able to reclaim up to twelve months' worth of rent that you paid during the time that the HMO wasn't licensed. This is called a rent repayment order and an application should be made to the First-tier Tribunal in England or a Residential Property Tribunal in Wales."

I would email the landlord letting them be aware of this and suggesting that you will attempt to reclaim the rent paid during this time. I would not recommend withholding rent.


I've moved into a bills included HMO. However the WiFi signal in my room is almost non existent. The landlord has said they are unable to do anything to improve it. Is this a good enough reason to unwind the contract?

Jake Butler

Hi Edward. Unfortunately I do not thing this would be a valid reason for getting out of the contract unless it's stated that every room has strong signal in the contract. My suggestion would be to purchase a WiFi extender as this should help ensure the WiFi reaches your room.

Lena Breland

I have a question .... My 17 year old daughter lives with her father , brother , and grandfather . The landlord ( who is a family member ) removed my daughter's bedroom door . She's the only female and needs privacy . What can we do ?? Thank you .

Jake Butler

Hi Lena, this sounds odd as the bedroom should have a door. I would contact your local citizens advice bureau about this.


I have just moved into a student house with all bills included. The landlord has not provided wifi (we have been here for 2 weeks), we have reported that there is no hot water but this hasnt been fixed, there is also no lighting in the hallway and porch (3 lighting points) and these havent been fixed either. The letting agent told us we will have to buy wifi as they are not providing it, but our contract states all bills including wifi and hot water are included in the rent. What do we do?

Jake Butler

Hi Charlotte, this does not sound great. Firstly the hot water and lighting should be fixed within "reasonable" time. This shouldn't take longer than 1-2 weeks fo rthe landlord to sort out.

As for the wifi, if it's stated as a covered bill in your contract then it will need to be supplied. You need to make it clear (via email) to the letting agent that the landlord is in breach of the contract.


Hi, I’m living in a house with multiple occupants and have been paying rent from the first of September, on the second of September, before anyone had moved in our landlord threatened us with a 50 pound fine if we didn’t pay the rent for September straight away, claiming the property was finished and habitable, everybody paid and I moved in on the 8th of September to find no kitchen appliances (no fridge, washing machine, dishwasher(all in the tenancy agreement)) some rooms withoutdoors on (doors resting on the floor in hallways) rooms not furnished, building work still being taking out by contractors and workman’s tools, paint, ladders completely filling the front room and another bedroom. Any advice on what I should do?

Jake Butler

Hi Luoie, this is not on. You should send an email to your landlord making it clear that they are currently breaking the terms of the letting agreement. The next step would be to contact your student accommodation services at your uni and/or your local citizens advice bureau for further help.


Hi, my daughter starts university in a few weeks and in a panic to secure accommodation she has inadvertently signed two tenancy agreements on line. I have not signed up to be a guarantor on either agreement, but i understand the companies could still pursue my daughter for the rent if she is unable to find someone else to take the tenancy. (most likely). My question is is it likely for the landlords to pursue a student in this situation as she has no income or assets, I cant see as it would be worth their while?

Jake Butler

Hi, this is an unfortunate situation and I hate to say it but it is likely they will pursue her. In this situation it may be best to tell the truth the the landlord and ask about ways of finding a replacement tenant. Some landlords will allow you to do this for free or at a small cost.

D. B

my daughter is in student accommodation, do to unforeseen circumstances she decided to quit her course. There is no get out clause in contract, so rent has to be paid until a tenant is found. Can she still make use of the accommodation

Jake Butler

Yes, she should be able to live in the accommodation until the replacement moves in.


My daughter, in February, has signed a contract for a room in an HMO from September. No deposit and no guarantee has been requested. Due to economic problems we can no longer bear that expense and my daughter has immediately communicated (2 months before she moving in) not being able to pay. Landlord insists that she must find a replacement. My question is: what happens if my daughter can not find a person who takes her place? Thanks for your kind reply.

Jake Butler

Hi Kadja, unfortunately as your daughter has signed the contract she is liable to pay the tenancy if she's unable to find a replacement.

Anna P

HI my daughter's in a house with more than 4 floors of flats, all belonging to the same landlord. Last night there was a fire on the 3rd floor - and everyone had to evacuate. Her flat is in the basement. Today, the fire brigade have said that they cannot move back in. as it is unsafe,so she is now homeless . Should the landlord find her alternative accomodation? her contract would have ended at end of August 2018, she would have paid half rental in July and August, and full rental in June, and has paid Mays rent. Does she have to continue with her rental payments? will she receive a re-imbursement for the pro-rata days in May, ? As you can imagine she is very, very stressed and anxious, she was studying for 2 exams next week, this has just added to all the tension and anxiety.

What are the normal procedures in case of fire in student rental accommodation?

Your comments and orientation is greatly appreciated.

Jake Butler

Hi Anna, from what I know the landlord should offer an alternative place to live. However, it's difficult as the fire is/was an unforeseen occurrence. It may just be that the contract is terminated from that point.

Suzanne Elizabeth Hill

I live in a flat with my partner. We moved in last September and by December out landlord was asking us to pay a new non refundable deposit to secure the property for next year. But as per our contract we only have to inform them 3 months before the contract ends and no mention of more deposits. We’ve given them four months notice on rent but have now received a call saying tough our properties rented out but they can offer us a similar property..... they’re saying it’s because we didn’t pay the new deposit in December when myself and my partner didn’t know whether we’d be at the uni next year as it’s dependent on final degree grades. Any advice would be great. Thanks.

Jake Butler

Hi Suzanne, unfortunately the landlord isn't obliged to offer you a new contract as you originally only signed a 1 year agreement. It's extremely poor practice and annoying of them but certainly not illegal for them to ask that you leave the property when your agreement is over. They do not have to accept the renewal I'm afraid.

Tina P

Hi, my brother is a tenant in a house share of a very old property where even the furniture seems to be decades old. The furniture and room smells so he has to open the windows a lot. He recently left it open and went out. His flatmates noticed his window fall down to the ground and smash. He came back to find a smashed window. His landlord is blaming him for this/ for not closing the window properly. His landlord has now boarded up the window which overlaps the other window which he unable to open. What are his rights about being blamed for this and currently unable to open any windows?

Jacquie Arnott

My son signed a contract with 6 other first year students in Jan for a shared house (through a letting agent). It was all very quick and I don't think they read through things clearly. We paid £470 in Jan as a 'retainer' and we then have to pay the first month deposit in June with termly rent from September. The contract starts on 1st July 2018 and runs until 30 June 2019 and the retainer is kept to cover July and August but during that time they are not allowed to live there as it's being 'decorated' and they are liable for utilities during that time! Sounds like they can sublet it. Is that legal? They are allowed to store some stuff there in 1 room (between 7 of them) but at their own risk. Even if they are not subletting don't see why the students should have to pay utilities while the decorators are in there (as they will be using water,elec, etc). I don't want him to lose his place by kicking up a fuss but it does seem a bit unusual to not be allowed to stay in the property whilst paying rent.

Jake Butler

Hi Jacquie, this does not sounds quite right IMO.

The letting agent are allowed to charge rent (even during repairs) if it's in the contract. However, the utilities and possible subletting I think are potential issues here (even if they are outlined in the contract).

There's certain things that aren't allowed even if they are mentioned in the contract but I'm not fully up to date on the legalities of this.

My suggestion would be to visit the local citizen's advice bureau or get your son to talk to the university's accommodation service as they should be able to help you out with the finer details here.

I wish you the best of luck in sorting this.


Hi! I'm renting a room in a house owned by my friend's parents, she also lives in the house rent-free. They follow the minimum 24 hour rule on showing up to install fittings etc but when they come to visit her they don't give 24 hours notice. Just wondering if they're allowed to do that as their daughter also lives in the house and they're coming as parents or whether they should give the rest of us notice that they're coming too, as they're our landlords? I also had issue with the Wi-Fi from late October 2017 to mid February this year, where my devices (phone and laptop) just weren't allowed by the router/hub to connect, via ethernet cable or wireless so for that amount of time I struggled with university work at the house and my laptop struggled to connect at university too due to updates my laptop hadn't been calibrated to. They insisted until early January it must be my appliances at fault and not the router - even though I'd told them every time they queried it that I'd gone to friend's houses (with the exact same router/hub) to do work and they'd been absolutely fine. It wasn't until I'd gone to 3 different stores and had both my laptop and phone checked independently at Carphone Warehouse and Currys for an issue and they'd told me what I already know (that it wasn't my phone but the router with a fault) and I told my landlords this did they get another one to which both devices connected to straight away with no issues. Because I'm in my final year of university this affected my work, I paid rent on time for the first term because I initially had no issue, but I withheld rent for the second term. Do I have any rights to not pay rent for the 6 weeks of the 2nd term where I couldn't use the Wi-Fi or pay a reduced amount for that time or do I still have to pay in full despite this issue lasting around 4 months?

Jake Butler

Hi Charlotte, this is a very difficult one to be honest.

It's likely that they'd say that when they're visiting your friend that they aren't acting in the capacity as landlords. The best way to deal with this would be to explain to your friend or them that you'd prefer that they always give 24 hours notice when visiting the house. You just need to find a good way to put it across. I'm sure that they'd likely oblige and could understand your position on it.

I'd strongly suggest not to withhold rent as this puts you in a sticky situation. As a tenant you aren't really allowed to decide when to not pay as this is something you'd likely have to go to small claims court about I'm afraid.

My advice on the WiFi issue would be to write a letter/email explaining that you'd like to ask for a return of a portion of your rent due to the router not being fixed in a reasonable time frame. I'd then visit your local Citizens Advice Bureau or your university's accommodation service to ask whether you have a legitimate case for challenging the landlord about this.


Hi Jake, Thank you very much for your response. I get they're her parents but there's never a heads up from them or her (which is more annoying tbh) because I'd like to know in advance if there's a time-frame where they're going to be in any of the communal areas where I don't want to intrude. I'll message her about this later.

Okay, I'll pay it in full then write a letter and ask for advice from my university. I initially was going to pay it as soon as it was fixed when they promised it would be done over Christmas so it would've been on time. Very helpful, thank you!


Hi! We renewed a 12 month contract starting from Sept. 2018, last November 2017. The landlord forced us to make a decision within less than a day!He already put the house on the market without letting us know, and he arranged new viewings!He said I cant do anything about it unless we decide now if we leave or stay! If this is not enough, today 21/03/2018, we went to the agency to sign for a new tenant and they told us the rent is going up from September almost £80 more. Noone warned us before we renew. And the contract did not say anything about increased rent either! Literally the landlord woke up one day and decided to raise the rent a rediculous amount! What are our rights??What should we do??can we dissaprove this since we already signed the renewal? Do you think the landlord will 'kick us' out if we say we won't pay more?Who do we speak to about this?

Jake Butler

Hi Alice, this sounds like a dreadful situation. Sorry to hear that you landlord has been like this.

If you're looking to add a new tenant to the agreement then it may be that you are indeed scrapping the previous signed agreement and replacing it with a new one I'm afraid (if it's a joint tenancy). Although this is a d*ck move by the landlord, they are within their legal rights to do this as far as I know.

I'd suggest contacting your uni's accommodation services or even going to your local Citizens Advice Bureau for legal help.


Two students paying rent on time for months-third student drops out and in arrears. His parent and guarantor refuses to pay even though they are a wealthy director of a company and can easily afford to. Remaining two are going to be evicted and their deposits taken to pay arrears.

Jake Butler

Hi Joy, if the tenants signed a joint tenancy then this can happen I'm afraid.


My son lives in university accommodation he has had to move out of his rooms as there was mound. Most nights he didn’t stay in his room as it was so bad. The estate office has offered him a refund of £30 on last terms rent; an insult, what percentage should we ask as a refund?

Jake Butler

Hi Kim, this sounds terrible. Unfortunately there is no set amount really, just ask for what you think is reasonable. If there is a real concern like this you need to report it to the local environmental health authorities.

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