Posts with tag: Very Wise Student

Government called on to clarify if help for private renters will include students

Published On: November 10, 2022 at 11:35 am


Categories: Lettings News,Tenant News

Tags: ,

The Government has been called on to clarify whether students will be included in plans to support renters through the cost of living crisis.

The founder of Very Wise Student points out that the Government has suggested support might be on the way for renters unable to afford rents, which have risen 16% this year, but there is no suggestion so far that this support will extend to struggling students.

Speaking on the BBC recently, Housing Secretary Michael Gove stated: ”We know people in the private rented sector and in the social rented sector are facing tough times. We are looking at a range of options to help them. It could mean targeted support for all sorts of people who are in difficulty. 

“Rent is going to be one of the challenges people will face… There are different ways of supporting people, whether that’s through Universal Credit, the tax system, or direct support.

Last month, the Scottish parliament passed emergency legislation designed to protect tenants hit by the cost of living crisis that freezes rents until at least the end of March 2023.

Rightmove’s Q3 2022 figures report the national average for asking rent has increased 11% year-on-year (excluding Greater London). The average asking rent for Greater London has increased 16.1% year-on-year.

Very Wise Student’s own analysis has indicated that students spend 76% of their income on renting.

Ajay Jagota, founder of Very Wise Student, comments: “The impact of the cost of living crisis on students all-too-often goes under the radar, but they are in exactly the same position as other private renters, facing rising rents with restricted budgets which are already having to stretch further and further with every passing day.

“If the Government is going offer support to renters, that support has to come in a way which applies to those in student accommodation – and if that support comes through Universal Credit or the tax system it must be mindful that students may not benefit from it.

“At Very Wise Student we’re seeing a steep spike in demand for our services – and that will come as no surprise to people who have seen pictures like the ones on national news of students in Durham queuing up overnight to try and find homes. A shortage of student accommodation is likely to force students into the arms of unscrupulous and uncaring landlords and letting agents peddling unsafe and unsanitary homes.

“Very Wise Student helps all student renters get access to legal justice. Whatever the issue is with their rented student housing we will take up the issue directly with their landlord or agent – and if all this extra pressure is really getting on top of them, we can help with emotional support too.”

Landlords ordered to make rent repayments to tenants

Published On: October 25, 2022 at 11:15 am


Categories: Landlord News,Tenant News


Very Wise Student, launched by claims management company Veriwise, has highlighted areas in the UK where tenants have received rent repayments due to issues with their homes.

They say tribunal decisions leading to Rent Repayment Orders against rogue landlords and letting agents show a worrying snapshot of conditions within the private rented sector.

These include:

Ilford – £24,414 of rent repaid

The tenant was repaid for rent on a house in Gants Hill, which was described as ‘uninhabitable following a fire in one of the bedrooms and loft room.’ This was found to be caused by a defective boiler and the house was not properly equipped with smoke alarms. The tribunal determined the tenant was entitled to receive a rent repayment of £24,414.18.

Bristol – £17,500 of rent repaid

Six university tenants were entitled to a total rent repayment of £17,500 after their property was found to be an unlicensed house in multiple occupation (HMO).

Fareham – £2,659 of rent repaid

A landlord failed to comply with an improvement notice under section 30(1) of the Housing Act 2004 (“the 2004 Act”). The Tribunal determined that the landlord should make a rent repayment of £2,659.03 to the two tenants.

Coventry – £2,800 of rent repaid

A tribunal found a landlord’s behaviour toward a tenant in a house let to students be “intimidating and directly threatening” and “of the highest order of seriousness.” This led to the landlord being ordered to make a rent repayment of £2,800.

East London – £2,100 of rent repaid

A landlord in London was found to have showed “a lack of care for the safety and wellbeing of the tenants and of compliance with the obligations on a landlord”. Allegations included damp and leaks from the boiler and the lavatory waste pipe. They were ordered to repay £2,100 of rent to the tenant.

Ajay Jagota, founder of Very Wise Student, comments: “Many of these cases relate to student accommodation which makes up a significant proportion of HMOs. Rogue landlords and letting agents sadly see students as a soft touch as unlike other renters they tend to have little knowledge of their rights – such as Rent Repayment Orders – and little resources are available to provide them with access to justice, when they do.

“At Very Wise Student, we help all tenants get access to justice, so whatever the issue is with your rented student house we resolve the issue directly with your landlord/agent.”

Unlicensed HMO landlord ordered to refund £84,877 to tenants

Published On: October 11, 2022 at 11:50 am


Categories: Landlord News,Lettings News,Tenant News


Very Wise Student, launched by claims management company Veriwise, is encouraging students to check the licensing status of their homes.

This is following a student accommodation management company being ordered to repay £84,877 of rent after it was found out they didn’t have a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) license.

Following a case brought by 44 tenants, SC Osney Lane Management Ltd was ordered to refund 35% of rent paid by students during the time the property was unlicensed.

Ajay Jagota, founder of Very Wise Student, comments: “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.

“The problem is that most students don’t have the legal knowhow to uphold their rights, or the resources to lawyer up. That’s why we created our free service to make sure they get the help and support they need.

“Even through this company was found to have not deliberately failed to get a license – it’s highly unlikely they’re the only landlord to be operating without the necessary paperwork and I advise all students to take advantage of free specialist services like ours to make sure that their legal rights are being protected.”