Landlords and their agents are being encouraged to check the licensing status of their homes after one management company was forced to repay nearly £85,000 of rent for not having the correct license.
The warning came from Very Wise Student – a new service offering free specialist advice and support to students – including free legal checks.
S C Osney Management – owners and operators of the 242 room Student Castle in Oxford – were last week ordered to repay £84,877 of rent after being found not to have a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) license.
Following a case brought by 44 tenants, the company was ordered to return more than a third of the rent paid by students during the time the property was unlicensed.
For most students the legal status of their accommodation is the last thing on their mind.”
Very Wise Student founder Ajay Jagota says: “For most students the legal status of their accommodation is the last thing on their mind.
“But not only are things like gas and safety certificates literally a matter of life and death, they could be in line for compensation or rent refunds if their landlords haven’t fulfilled their legal obligations.”
Very Wise Student offers a free pre-move-in Student Accommodation Safety check of a rental property’s gas, fire and electricity safety compliance.
The service also offers students a free legal support line offering advice on disrepair; boiler problems; Tenancy Agreement disputes; damp; deposit issues; rodent and pest infestations; revenge issues; rent rises and landlord visits.