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Dealing with a difficult landlord


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Student life is unpredictable. Who knows whether you’ll be able to make it to every lecture? Who knows whether you’ll make it to the end of the semester without destroying your student digs from one too many parties?

Even if you’re as straight living and party shunning as they come, the fact is that many student houses are furnished with old furniture and some of it may well get broken throughout the year. It could even be an actual accident rather than too much larking around.

But what do you do if you do break something? What’s the best way to get round your landlord and convince him or her to replace your broken goods with something you very much like the look of?

First things first - always be sure to make friends with your letting agents. Chances are your accommodation will be through an agent and you will deal with them regarding repairs. You may be lucky enough to be able to deal directly with your landlord, which can make things much smoother, but often you will be forced to deal with the estate agents. They can be extremely tricksy so it’s wise to fully introduce yourselves at the beginning of your tenancy and be extremely specific when signing the itinerary.

If something does break, whether it’s your fault or not, you must report it straight away. Be specific about what happened to it and state that you want it repaired or replaced as soon a possible. They should send someone round to have a look, so make sure that happens.

In the meantime you can help your landlord out by doing some shopping around. If you spend some time researching replacement furniture at reasonable charges there is much more chance that your landlord will agree to your request.

For example, let’s say you break your bed - actually pretty easily done with a cheap bedframe that has been undergoing rigorous student activity for a few years - and you want it replaced. You could start by checking the condition of the mattress. If you’re satisfied with its condition and you don’t really need it replaced, you could suggest to the landlord that you will source a bedframe at a very reasonable price and he doesn’t need to fork out for the mattress.

The internet is your friend here. beds are, for example, seriously good value but high quality. You can be sneaky here and find something of excellent quality with its price heavily slashed and end up with a far superior bedframe to the one you so carelessly smashed.

It’s a win/win as landlords rarely want to expend time on these things, so if you make it as easy as possible, chances are you’ll come out on top.

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