A website has been created by a Bristol University alumni to tackle the “injustices” of the student rental market which has been tarnished by poor housing conditions and a lack of trust between students and landlords.
The website, HYBR, has been launched in Bristol, London, Cardiff, Exeter, Lincoln, Liverpool, Lancaster and Sheffield. It aims to connect students with reputable landlords and additionally offer support with contracts and legal requirements.
Students are easily caught up in housing problems, feeling pressure to take contracts near their universities but finding a host of issues when they arrive.
One Bristol university student said that they are already paying a lot for university, and that having to pay for dismal accommodation on top of that was not fair.
The rental market is also difficult for students in the UK because of the need to reserve housing so far in advance. New students have but a few months to choose who they want to live with and come up with the funds for deposits – and in some cases, the entire year’s rent if they don’t have a guarantor.
On balance, the situation doesn’t cater to underprivileged students who may find it more difficult to enter the housing market, have to pay more upfront and are not taken seriously by landlords or letting agencies. There is a real need to provide affordable and decent housing for all students, who deserve to be treated with respect.
Find out more from the BBC.