After living in catered halls for a year where dealing with incessant fire alarms, horrific food, and limited living space became integral to everyday life, the prospect of finally qualifying as a proper ‘adult’ with my own house, was a heart-warming thought indeed. That was however, until we were introduced to the terrifying concept of The Landlord.

Having never encountered this particular breed before, my overtly naïve expectations of being adopted by a big, benevolent angel, who would watch over our Lenton household with the utmost diligence, came crashing all too rapidly to the ground.

On arrival at our domestic haven (or not so much haven but hovel as it later turned out) my mother could be seen swooning with fear. Swooning rapidly transformed to deathly faint on the discovery of dirty pants nestled cosily inside my bed. Complemented by dirty socks in the wastepaper basket, peeling wallpaper, a hole in the wall, a floor enmeshed in dirt, hair and debris; my jaw was clenched, hackles raised and I was raring for a fight.

Thinking perhaps the rest of the household would be in a better state of repair, we ventured forward with baited breath, only to be met with abject and bitter disappointment. The toilet basin was splattered in old vomit, the toilet lid was unhinged, the shower blocked, kitchen cupboards broken and various ominous brown stains meandered along the walls of the house. Shudder.

The fundamental question therefore seems to be; if you are a student, are you subjected to inferior treatment by landlords? The answer is strikingly clear. A landlord would not offer such a flea-ridden house, boasting such an abysmal hygienic standard, to a family or a couple in their thirties, and expect to get away with it. So why students? We should not have to be reduced to a subhuman level. Unfortunately the word ‘student’ is associated with slovenliness and messiness; and while this is true for a certain number of us, we do not all deserve to be branded under that same label.

So for those in catered halls this year wishing they had their own home; hold your horses and devour with ferocious appetite the joys of functioning heating, a spacious bedroom and a set of four complete walls.

Helena Murphy

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