Student campaign to improve housing

Salisbury Journal: New student housing is being built next to the Mayflower Theatre New student housing is being built next to the Mayflower Theatre

SOUTHAMPTON University Student Union has launched a campaign to improve the experience of securing accommodation for students.

Over the last month, SUSU has been getting hundreds of students to sign up to a simple pledge encouraging them not to rush into signing a housing contract before properly doing their research and checking out their options.

Over 250 students have signed the pledge “NOT to rush for housing” in person, with thousands more engaging online. This campaign comes after results from SUSU’s “Vent About Your Rent” survey showed that over 40 per cent of all students felt pressured into signing a housing contract. The survey also showed that the majority of this pressure (64 per cent) came from letting agencies.

SUSU has also sent out pledges to the letting agencies of Southampton asking them to stop advertising their houses before the Southampton Accreditation Scheme for Student Housing (SASSH) list is released and to clearly displaying charges and fees on the agencies’ websites.

Union President David Gilani said: “Although we can educate our students about the abundance of private housing in Southampton, there is an unfair amount of pressure being created by the letting agencies.

“We’ve begun by sending these pledges to the ten letting agencies that were rated the lowest by students this year, but shall subsequently be sending out the pledges to all Southampton-based letting agencies. They have a chance here to deliver a better service to their customers and our students.”

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