How to Have the Perfect Student-Landlord Property Relationship


If you’re a student on the road to university, housing is one of your biggest concerns. You’ll need to find a property with enough space, good transport links and—of course—a landlord you can trust.

Building and maintaining a good relationship with a landlord will make your university experience more pleasant. And if you’re a landlord, knowing what kind of landlords students prefer will help you avoid problems in the future.

As an experienced student letting agents in York, we’ll show you what makes the perfect student-landlord relationship.

If you’re a student looking for some York renting and student life advice beforehand, you can read our guides to renting for beginners and student living in York as a starting point.


1. Talking to Existing Tenants

old doorbell

Student

Living in a property means living in it year-round, not just on weekends or in the warm summer months. That’s why where possible, you should try and talk to the current tenants or neighbours. They’ll have lived in the house (or on the street) for some time, and they can fill you in on problems you might not have thought about.

Tenants and neighbours can inform you about the area like shops, closest bus stops, local parks, pubs or cafes. They can give you an idea of local traffic levels and what it’s like to live there in wet weather or the winter months. Of course, the existing tenants can also tell you about any improvements the landlord has made to the property. The happier the current tenant, the better the chance you’ll be happy too.

Landlord

If you’re a landlord, try to put yourself in your tenant’s shoes and ask yourself some tough questions about your property. What would you like (or dislike) about the property you’ve bought if you were living there yourself? Is there anything you’d like to change? Why? What will make the property a cosy home that existing tenants will recommend to future tenants? 


2. Confirming What’s Included

sofa with book on table

Student

Many student properties come with furniture and appliances included in the rent. This is a big advantage for students. But it’s worth confirming exactly what furniture the property comes with. You may spot furniture or appliances when viewing that you expect to be part of the contract, but aren’t. Feel free to ask the landlord or the estate agent taking you around the property. 

As a minimum a property should come with a table and chairs in the kitchen, a sofa in the lounge and a bed for each person. It should also have storage for clothes, utensils and other essentials, curtains over the windows, heating, and appliances to cook and store your food.

Moreover, all the furniture in the property must conform to fire safety regulations. Typically furniture will have a safety label that confirms this, though mattresses and bed-bases don’t require them.

fire safety label
The label will look something like this. Image source: BBC News

Landlord

If you’re a landlord, try to give as much information as you can in your advertisements. If you do need to buy additional furniture for a property, don’t worry about the latest trends. Instead focus on furnishings that are versatile, sturdy and durable.


3. Bringing Up Repairs

metal spanners

Student

If there’s one thing we Brits don’t like to do, it’s making a fuss. However, as a tenant it’s important you tell your landlord if something in your home needs fixing. Especially if you’re dealing with faulty plumbing or electrical appliances.

Landlords are legally obligated to keep their properties in good condition. This means repairing plumbing, appliances and electricals when they break or wear out from general, responsible use. It also means arranging annual checks on the home’s gas and water supplies. If you’d like more information on landlord responsibilities, you can read our previous article on the subject.

Tenants can take care of minor repairs themselves, such as changing light bulbs. Depending on the property, they might be responsible for other tasks, like maintaining the garden.

Even if they’re legally obligated to do so, there’s a right way and a wrong way to approach your landlord about repairs.

Be polite and put your request in writing, dating it and giving as much information as possible. Avoid demanding that things be fixed by a certain deadline.

Most landlords want to make repairs as swiftly and hassle-free to their tenants as possible, so don’t assume the worst before they’ve had a chance to show you their best. 

Landlord

If you’re a landlord, don’t forget that—in the vast majority of cases—you need to give tenants 24 hours’ notice before showing up at the property. This is something else tenants can (politely) remind landlords of if needs be. 

Also, if you’re letting to students, don’t forget that for some of them this may be the very first property they’ve ever rented. Expect questions that may seem obvious to you but which aren’t for your tenants.  


4. Settling Disputes When Leaving

person holding camera

All good things must come to an end, and student living is no exception. There’s a process you can follow to ensure moving out goes smoothly (available on this page) but sometimes your landlord will have a dispute to settle with you before that happens. This might relate to unpaid rent, the condition the property is left in, or something else entirely.

In a lot of cases, student-landlord disputes are settled by a letting agent rather than the landlord themselves. They act as a middleman between the two groups, working with both to ensure matters are resolved amicably.

Quantum-managed properties follow this system. If landlords have a problem with one of their tenants, we discuss the issue with the tenant in a friendly manner to get things sorted out. Our aim is to maintain positive relationships with both landlords and tenants along the way, as well as supporting tenants and landlords to have good relationships amongst themselves. Find out more about Quantum’s managed service here.


5. Properties Without a Letting Agent

people with pens and paperwork

If you’re in a property that doesn’t use a letting agent, there are some things you can do to help settle disputes during or after your tenancy.

Review your tenancy agreement. 

This document covers what is expected of both tenants and landlords. Usually it details obligations like paying bills, performing maintenance and providing documentation. It will also tell you how much notice to give a landlord before you move out, and any other obligations unique to that property. You can read more about tenancy agreements here.

Remember that as a tenant you have certain rights and responsibilities regardless of your tenancy agreement, or whether you even have one with your landlord.

Document as much as you can. 

Keep records of all your correspondence, as a tenant or a landlord. These records can help you to defend yourself in the unlikely case that any accusations come your way.

Keep your cool during all discussions.

 You’ll need to behave like an adult during all your discussions and while emotions may be high, try not to let them get the better of you. Make sure you don’t lose your temper, even if you’re sure you’re in the right. Remember: your disputes may be the result of a simple misunderstanding rather than malice or incompetence.

Consider involving a neutral party

If you think meeting in person will help resolve a dispute, having someone to mediate the discussion might help. The neutral party should be someone without any connections to either party, to ensure they stay neutral. This, of course, isn’t needed if the landlord uses a student estate agency to let their properties. 


Renting a house as a student can be daunting, but with the right property it’s an unforgettable and positive experience.

And it’s an experience, Quantum can help you get the best from. We’re a student letting agents in York that handpicks all the housing stock we take on.

This ensures we have only the best housing available for all our student tenants! We’re also upfront with all of our fees, allowing you to budget without any nasty surprises.

Finally, we’re pleased to offer property viewings on Saturdays and Sundays. This allows you to see the property whenever it suits you, though be warned; these slots are very popular, and get filled up quickly.

Check out our list of rental properties here, or call us on 01904 631 631 to chat to one of the team. 

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