Too often landlords and estate agencies think they can get away with cutting corners or over-charging students as there is a common stereotype that we are all a bunch of alcoholic idiots that are easy to please and have a general cba attitude to life.
To be fair some students might fit the stereotype, but it is essential that the SU should give as much information and guidance as they can so that fellow students in Manchester, or arriving on exchange, know all the basic stuff and have the upper hand when signing the contract.
When signing a contract you most likely will be, or have been, under a considerable amount of pressure. It is quite easy to see how this situation is used to the advantage of the person on the other side of the desk and although you won’t totally understand many things between the lines, after asking 2 or 3 clarifications you just give up and sign.
The Union offers a service that will read contracts and establish if it’s fair or not but most likely, did you know about that? Chances are you didn’t but even if you did, most likely there will be no time for that as the landlord mentions the famous other 3 groups that have also expressed interest in exactly the same house and that may sign any moment. You know they are probably lying, but what if they are not?
Quick consultation with future house mates ‘What to do?’ is the recurrent question everyone asks each other..
#dispare #panic #fml #Iwantmummy #cba
Some might call their parents, hoping to get their blessing.
In the end… You sign the contract.
Our University together with the other universities in Greater Manchester have set up an amazing service called ´”Manchester Student Homes” that through its website and advisers can do a lot to help students find the right house that complies to all the standards of living that we are entitled to by law, BUT many Students don’t even know of its existence.
What could the Union do?
- Give ‘crash courses’ on how to pick the right house, what to look out for, understanding contracts, deposit schemes and so on.
- Work in partnership with Student Media: dedicated coverage in the Mancunion, shout outs and pod-casts on Fuse FM and a Documentary series exposing ‘bad’ landlords and agencies together with short guidance videos with advice.
- Create a standard contract in partnership with Manchester Student Homes, that landlords or agencies can choose to use if they want the quality standard certification from the our Union.
What above stated is not going to be an easy task, but if our Student Union woks together with the other universities’ SUs this could be a massive step in showing that if 100.000 students in Greater Manchester work together, we can get it our way.