To coincide with the launch of our new & improved National code changes, we asked Leeds student Sam Upright to share with you his experiences of the National code…
For me, part of the excitement of university is finding a new place to live, but as a new tenant it did feel like there was a lot to learn and consider and I needed some sort of quality assurance to refer to…
Thankfully, this does exist! Many landlords and accommodation providers are voluntarily accredited by the Unipol code schemes.
What are the codes?
Essentially, the codes are a set of standards that are externally and periodically assessed and which go above and beyond the legal requirements.
By joining the Codes, accommodation providers are agreeing to meet a set of benchmark standards relating to:
- The physical condition of the accommodation
- Management of the property
- The relationship between landlord and tenants
Accommodation Providers must:
- Give excellent customer service
- Provide accommodation that is consistent with their advertisements
- Provide clearly agreed timeframes for repairs
- Handle deposits fairly and return them promptly (unless an evidence-based explanation is provided.
For me, its strongest utility is that it continuously updates and drives up standards throughout the sector so that tenants can confidently live a university lifestyle distraction-free.
New Code changes require members to:
• Train managers in mental health & well-being
• Offer mobility/physically impaired student adapted rooms at the lowest rent available
• Pay compensation and temporary nearby accommodation to tenants if their building isn’t ready on move-in as agreed.
The Code as a tool for complaints
Ideally, you’re aware of the codes when you move in and never need to think about it again! However, if you do feel that your provider isn’t responsive or adherent to the code, you can complain externally to Unipol.
The code’s clearly detailed complaints procedure provides a platform for landlord-tenant mediation that simply doesn’t exist without accreditation.
How can I check if a property is code accredited?
You can search by property or landlord on the code search website. From my experience it helps to cross-reference this with Rate Your Landlord reviews to be really well informed about any landlord or property.