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Horror stories or urban myths? The truth about student housing

A falling down buildingDon't be scared! When it comes to student housing, horror is the dominant genre. Pub conversations and student newspaper articles often report tales of housing woe. But while bad news makes for better stories, that doesn't reflect the real picture.

Most students have good accommodation, with only minor problems that are swiftly dealt with. It’s just that most people don’t spend time swapping stories of letting agents who are polite and helpful, answer queries promptly and deal with problems efficiently. Heated discussions down the pub about good letting agents are rare, not because there aren’t any (there are many!), but because “Mine’s pretty good, actually” isn’t nearly as fun as having a good old moan.

I’ve been pretty lucky with my accommodation. I’ve got on well with all my housemates while in uni. We never had any issues getting our bond back at the end of the year. I’ve had a few problems – a leaking shower, the occasional mouse on the loose – but nothing resembling the tales of woe and crumbling masonry that sometimes do the rounds or make the front page of the Gair Rhydd. You know it’s a slow news week when the student reporters go hunting for stories of poor student accommodation, and those that make a splash do so because they’re out of the ordinary.

It's vital is choosing the right letting agents. Although stories often get exaggerated for effect, the sad fact is that a few letting agents don’t do a good job and give the industry a bad name. Since there’s no statutory regulation of the agency, make sure that you choose an agency that is part of reputable regulating bodies.

Capital Properties is regulated by Landlord Accreditation Wales and the Association of Lettings and Management Agents (ALMA). This should reassure you that you’ll get good service and any problems that do come up will be dealt with promptly and efficiently.

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