Red Door Lets has been forced to amend its tenancy agreement after a Unipol tribunal found the agency wrongly withheld tenants’ deposits.
Third-year Geography student Christopher Hunter and his housemates were charged £192 for a House in Multiple Occupation fee that he and his housemates say was not referred to in their contract.
The tribunal found that the charge was “not clear” and advised “communication could be improved to avoid similar disputes in the future”.
Red Door Lets has offered to reduce the HMO fee as a “gesture of good will”, although the company has not yet fully refunded the tenants. Manager Dan Moore explained the HMO fee would be “made clear to all new tenants in their contracts”.
He added: “We work closely with Unipol to make sure we can continue to be fair to all tenants”.
Speaking to LS, Christopher explained: “I hope by going through all this effort, students can be more aware of what they are signing and who they are signing with”.
Unipol’s Development Manager Victoria Loverseed urged students to log complaints about deposits within three months. She added: “Students should make sure they read the tenancy agreement carefully and get it checked by their Student Union advice centre if unsure.”
The Student Advice Centre is currently dealing with eight complaints about housing deposits against a number of different landlords and agencies.
Photo: Sam Broadley