Slum student landlords, nightmare student tenants

Negligent landlords subjecting student tenants to terrible living conditions, and student tenants from hell leaving a trail of devastation behind; welcome to the dark underworld of student property renting. investigates the horror stories of slum landlords and nightmare tenants in the student rental sector.

Slum Landlords

Unfortunately, a handful of UK students were stunned to find shocking living conditions; some so hazardous to the tenant’s health, the landlord was forced to postpone the move in date until it was sorted.

Property One:

  • Mould-ridden ceilings – left untreated since the previous tenants moved out.

  • A mouldy single-glazed bathroom window which could not be closed.

  • Multiple rooms with faulty electrical wiring.

  • Faulty indoor lighting or without light bulbs altogether.

Most shockingly of all, the landlord hired a cowboy handyman to fit an air-vent inside the property. Instead of using the proper tools and precautions when installing a vent, the handyman took a sledgehammer to the brick wall and left a gaping hole behind. Although the wall was badly damaged and could be hazardous to the tenants, the landlord simply taped cardboard over the hole and passed it off as being “fixed”.

Property Two:

Students viewing a particular rental property were left stunned to discover the floorboards had rotted through in the first-floor bathroom floor, leaving a huge hole in the ground.

Hidden beneath the carpet, there was not only the potential of falling through the floorboards to the room below, but exposed wiring directly next to the bath – seriously endangering the tenants’ life.

Danielle Cullen, Managing Director at comments:

“These properties are obviously showing the most extreme cases, but it is evident that these conditions are not suitable for tenants. No tenants should be exposed to hazardous, let alone life threatening conditions. If a property fails to meet basic safety standards, the landlord should fix the problem within a time frame, or be banned from letting out properties altogether.

“Tenants are paying for a service, usually using up a huge portion of their income to live in a rental property. At the very least, the property should be habitable.”

Nightmare Tenants

Unfortunately, some student tenants can be just as problematic. Landlords have been left to front thousands of pounds in clean-up fees after student tenants leave properties filthy, damaged and rat infested.

Property One:

  • Thick slimy-sludge build up in the bottom of the bath.

  • Dirt and limescale engulfing the sink and taps.

  • Hundreds of flyers, leaflets and magazines sprawled across the floor.

Property Two:

  • Bins left overflowing for weeks – emitting the stench of rotten food throughout the whole property.

  • Inch deep grease and grime left sitting inside the oven and on top of the hob.

Danielle continues:

“Sometimes, landlords fail to understand the importance of carrying out sufficient reference checks before getting a tenant to move in. If possible, a landlord should find out the tenants history from their former landlord or agent, and potentially get a guarantor if appropriate.

“It might be attractive to advertise for free on certain popular advertising platforms, but landlords need to be extremely careful and ideally use a reputable website to advertise, where assistance can be given with referencing and tenant vetting.

“From our experience, nightmare tenants usually target inexperienced landlords. New landlords should utilise property management services so specialists can assist with such issues – there are plenty of cost-effective options for this now, and it doesn’t have to cost the earth.

“Unfortunately, like everything else, you are going to get amazing landlords and a handful of terrible ones. It’s important to acknowledge that these situations are rare.”