The Student Room Group

Letting Agency locked student out of room in shared house and then charged to unlock

My daughter recently came home from Plymouth where she has a shared house with friends in a student let with 'CleverStudents'. On returning to Plymouth after a couple of days,Somebody from the letting agency had been into house but having entered her unlocked room then chose to lock it before leaving. Her key was inside. It was 9:30 at night so the emergency maintenance team charged her £40 cash just to unlock her door and let her back into her room. I have complained but they are arguing that she should have kept her room locked. This is not in her contract and she shares with friends so it's unnecessary. This caused her a lot of stress as it was the night before an exam. Can you help at all?
Reply 1
I am not sure what 'clever students' are but here is my view - I happen to agree with the letting agent

Usually a letting agent will notify students when there is to be a visit. There should be a minimum 24 hour written notice to inspect the property unless it is urgent or there are emergency repairs required, in which case it could be less or the notice period could be disregarded.

If the letting agent arrived any one of the students could have let them in to inspect or repair the property etc.

If there was a reason to have entered your daughters bedroom (or even without) if the letting agent was aware that the room door was unlocked in the presence of other strangers (students) I would say they would be negligent if they didn't shut your daughters bedroom door. If items had gone missing or been stolen the letting agent would have been first in the firing line and your daughter was not there to say otherwise.

The time your daughter came back to the room is irrelevant (other than she couldn't get in and locksmith charges are usually greater out of office hours)

This is down to your daughter - and she should learn from it (and pay for the locksmith - £40 which is incredibly cheap these days) She should lock her room at all times she is away from the house and stop being so naive and trusting.
I don't really agree with the above, as presumably this a private rental and the student is sharing with people they know and trust. I never locked my door when I moved out from halls and into a private rental with friends because I had no reason to worry about that (I just had to make sure not to leave dirty underwear lying around or whatever in case they needed to let a contractor into my room, as it had the boiler in it :tongue: ).

That said I do think it is the student's fault for another, more practical reason - namely that if you are going away, why on earth would you leave your key behind anyway? This is very silly, and the entire issue would've been avoided had the student taken the key with them. If they'd been living alone how would they have gotten back into the property? What if no one was there when she got back, or if the others had also all left their keys inside? So I think on that front it's a case of chalk it up to a bad decision, eat the cost, and make sure to put the key on a keychain and carry with them at all times!

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