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My service aims to fix ‘toxic’ rental market for young people

Every year there is an influx of students that hate renting, and I was one of them. 

Students should be excited about moving out and being independent for the first time. Instead, they waste valuable time that could be spent studying or having fun locked in battles with landlords and letting agencies or trawling through disappointing properties. 

Every year this cycle repeats. And frankly, it doesn’t work for anyone and has created a toxic market where students don’t trust landlords and landlords don’t trust students. It is a relationship set up to fail. 

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If we break it down, young people mostly live at home and are spoon-fed throughout their time at school. Most students are given no practical life lessons at school, but you are expected to thrive as you’re shoved into university, living on your own and fending for yourself for the first time. 

Hence, for students, there is a lot of anxiety over finding the right accommodation, the right housemates, understanding contracts and being taken advantage of by people with the wrong intentions. At the same time, landlords often have an agent acting on their behalf to help them with one-off services. This means it can feel as if it’s a letting agent, the landlord and their legal team vs. a student. 

There’s an imbalance of power. As a result of this anxiety, the pressure of university and the horror stories around renting, students can be ‘keyboard warriors’ to landlords. 

In turn, it makes the landlord or agent less keen on going out of their way to help the student and starts the relationship off on the wrong note at the start of term. 

This is the key problem that HYBR tackles. We are a student accommodation platform that supports first-time renters. We are the only platform focused exclusively on the student tenant, building a digital community of students who can access support and everything they need to rent as a student in one place. By building a strong brand and helping students become better tenants, we help landlords rent their properties faster and take the stress out of renting to students. 

At the end of the day, students are the landlords’ clients, so it is in their best interest to ensure that the student is happy and that they want to treat the property with respect. Both sides need to meet in the middle. 

At HYBR, we ensure that there is a clear understanding of who is responsible for what at the start of tenancy and that students get their hands held and are educated on their obligations as a tenant. And it is vital that landlords are good at communicating - that they keep their tenants up to date with maintenance requests. 

We’re scaling into all the major cities in the UK to help thousands more students and to change the negative narrative around landlord, agent and student relationships for the good. Our aim is to make it easy to rent to students, encourage all property owners to open their doors to students to ensure that students can always find great homes to live in all year round. 

* Hannah Chappatte is founder of new online lettings platform HYBR *

Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.

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    Well....With an attitude like that, guess one letting agent I WON'T be using!

    I DON'T want student tenants who still need their hands held.

    This girl clearly demonstrates the entitlement felt by most of her generation. Whilst our tenants are indeed our clients, market forces dictate it is THEY (not us) who need to adapt to the needs of the market. In addition, we ARE the clients of the Letting Agent. Why on earth would we use one who DOESN'T put OUR interests first?

    I often have a dozen or more groups wanting to rent my student flats and can usually pick out the immature, the barrack room lawyers, the potential flat wreckers etc. from the more responsible groups, usually doing proper degrees and holding down a part time job.

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    My understanding of a landlord letting accommodation to students is that a landlord offers decent accommodation to students through a decent letting agent. The letting agent, according to current UK legislation, acts in the best interest of their client, the landlord.

    The letting agent then attempts to gain students that will actually treat the property decently once they are in there, a rather hit and miss procedure. The letting agent ensures his client, the landlord, obeys the law with regards to the condition of the property, the Health & Safety of the property, the licencing of the property, and that any furniture in the property is tagged as fire-retardent.

    The letting agent also ensures that every student also has a Guarantor, just in case the rent is not paid, or in case of damage to the property.

    Nobody gangs up on the student because both the letting agent and the landlord want the let to run smoothly. Most landlords are decent people that provide safe and warm accommodation for the people who rent from them, and have landlords insurance in place for appliances etc., to ensure the quiet enjoyment of the property by the students.

    If you focus only on the student, you will be deemed to be acting for the student and not the landlord (who is your client) which is illegal in the UK.

    There is a balance to be achieved, but it does need to be achieved legally, and I would really prefer that you do not fail, because every single landlord who could sign with you will be shaking their head reading this and come to the same conclusion as Robert Brown (see above).

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    Well young lady you have demonstrated perfectly why I stopped renting to students in the 90s, give me proper, honest, working people over 25 and I have very few problems now.

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    Heck your patronising

     
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    Maybe David, but trust me I'm not wrong

     
  • Peter Meczes

    My first foray into using an agent to manage my student lets, was a total disaster. I have gone back to doing it all myself. I try to build a reciprocal friendly and respectful relationship with my tenants and provide them with written advice and emergency procedures. I always deal with problems like appliance breakdown or similar, as soon as possible. This has proved to work well over the last few years and the feedback left is very good. My experience with professionals has not been at all smooth which is why I actually prefer 2nd and 3rd year students. Virtually all of them pay their rent on time and, because they are young they usually take note of the house rules. I find it also helps to appoint a house leader to liaise with me and their house-mates. I think this young lady has a lot to learn to provide and appease a landlord's service.

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    This Lady doesn’t know what she is talking about. We respect and help our Tenants who ever they might be regardless of age gender or nationality. This is exactly what’s wrong with letting people like her all outsiders interference trying to make a name for themselves carve out a soft living, anymore for band wagon, but no need to worry the big fat boys are coming to your rescue with purpose built sky high rise Student accommodation that they are charging 30%.more for.

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    Straight out of uni, wet behind the ears and knows the lot, don't you just love them.

     
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