University of St Andrews Students Association
St Andrews Students' Association is aware that many students approach the private renting sector for the first time during their first year in St Andrews; that there is a highly competitive market in St Andrews and thus it is too easy for poor housing conditions and lack of transparency to go unchallenged. There is a need for students to approach the market being both educated on their rights and responsibilities as a tenant, which the Association already works hard to achieve each year, as well informed as to the kinds of living situations on offer.
Wanting to better prepare students for living in the private sector, the SA has partnered with Marks Out Of Tenancy to provide a platform for sharing experiences and to create transparency about living conditions.
Marks Out Of Tenancy enables tenants to share reviews, encompassing their entire rental experience, from dealing with landlords and letting agents, to the quality of the area, and their feelings on the properties themselves.
This allows tenants to make more informed decisions about who they want to rent from, where they want to live, and what to expect from an area before they sign their tenancy agreement.
Students will be empowered to make better decisions, whilst good landlords and letting agents will be rewarded for the service they provide, standing out amongst those who might seek to exploit a market of mainly first-time renters.
Paloma Paige, President of St Andrews Students’ Association, states: “From the “Rent Your Landlord” survey we ran in 2017, we saw that our students had a real appetite to provide constructive feedback regarding their experiences as tenants. We recognised that by making such information available, students could help their peers navigate the local housing market. Marks Out of Tenancy provides them the platform to do just that. I look forward to seeing our students utilise what is a valuable resource and tool for them, to better the student experience in private accommodation.”
Ben Yarrow, Founder of Marks Out Of Tenancy, comments: “Balance and fairness is key to the Marks Out Of Tenancy platform, with landlords and letting agents enabled and encouraged to reply to reviews and open a meaningful dialogue with current and potential tenants. We want to improve the experience of all parties involved with the rental process. This is not about naming and shaming, but providing a platform for real engagement.”
St Andrews Students’ Association believes that more information enables their students to make better informed decisions. Help to improve the welfare of future tenants by passing down your renting story on Marks Out Of Tenancy.