When students start university and break free from the constraints of adolescence, it is only natural they want to take full accountability of their lives and finances. Letting agencies hold students’ money and their trust, and consequently have massive power. They can hold thousands of pounds and yet remain exempt from regulation. The majority of students are utterly unaware of the complexities of tenancy agreements and legislation.
This week’s revelation that a letting company is taking advantage of vulnerable first year students is a harsh reality check, and a reminder that the majority of students are only nineteen when suddenly forced to take on such levels of responsibility. The University can bridge the gap between naivety and predatory businesses. Students should take full advantage of the services available. The information and knowledge is ready and waiting, but so are the companies, acutely aware of students’ reluctance to ask parents and university staff for advice. Knowledge is foremost if students are to end the exploitation of their innocence.