As a student property management company we are well aware of the well covered topic of students leaving their properties and dumping rubbish and unwanted belongings.
Having first hand experience of dealing with this issue, we fully support the urge for universities to do more to prevent this irresponsible waste disposal carried out by more and more students each year.
As the academic year has finished for many students, they are all leaving their rented accommodation for the year to head back home until September, or in the case of final year students – for good! This means a lot of belongings, furniture and rubbish need to be cleared out of the properties, thrown away or taken home – which for many students can be hundreds of miles away. This is clearly leading to fly-tipping in areas such as Leicester, Coventry and Birmingham – to name a few. Students are charged (often from their deposit on the property) for any rubbish left in the house, or cleaning that needs to be performed, so we can only assume that this is their solution to not wanting to lose any money.
Unfortunately this is proving a massive challenge for the local councils to deal with, and essentially clear up, with items such as rotting food, electrical items, kitchen utensils, textbooks, DVDs, clothes.
Landlords have been forced to put in place a charge for clearing out student accommodation at the end of the tenancy, as a very high percentage of students have left rotting food, unwanted belongings, broken furniture and general rubbish in the properties in the past, which leads to a massive job for the landlord to return the property to an acceptable standard for the next tenants wanting to live there. Unfortunately the knock-on effect of this charge is ‘rearing it’s ugly head’ in the result of fly-tipping around university campuses.
Many news reporters are urging universities to help with this issue, perhaps by educating the students in proper waste disposal methods, or joining up with the local council and implementing a solution to prevent this problem from escalating.
We have first hand experience of a method which may help students in a small way, where we have had students over the past few years inform us that their previous tenancy ended on a certain date, and where possible we have arranged for them to be able to move their belongings into their new property straight from the old property. This has allowed an easy transfer of belongings, without them having to use expensive storage companies, move their belongings back and forth from ‘home’ between tenancies, or in many cases, dumped their belongings when leaving the property, this is in addition to a recent trial which Alan the MD started 3 years ago which was to donate a lot of the items we collect to a local charity called Emmaus, having seen the direct change to the people they try and help this is a charity that we feel strongly in helping seeing the change on a local level.
Obviously this isn’t a full solution to the problem, but we have found that it has really helped some of our tenants take responsibility for their belongings, and enabled us to give advice on how to dispose of their waste properly.