In this article, we provide some guides and links to support to find and keep your home a safe and secure place to be.
Living in London
Our Accommodation Advice can help if you're looking for options.
Also, the University of London Housing Services can provide advice and support for students in a number of ways:
Tips for avoiding rogue landlords
Firstly, understand and know your rights as a tenant, which includes:
- To live in a safe property in a good state or repair
- That your deposit is protected and returned to you when the tenancy ends
- To know who your landlord is and live in the property undisturbed. The landlord should give you at least 24 hours' notice to visit at an agreeable and reasonable time.
- To be protected from unfair eviction and unfair rent
Lodging in London
If you are renting a room within someone's home, be aware that this may affect the kind of tenancy you have. As a lodger, you are likely to be an excluded occupier, which means you have less rights than you would if you were renting. However, you do have some rights and you can find out more from housing charity Shelter. You can also seek advice from the Citizen's Advice Bureau.
You can also check a landlord or agent through the Mayor of London's Rogue Landlord Checker where your can also report a landlord or agent.
- Make sure your accommodation feels safe, that you can lock your room, and external entrances and exits are secure.
- Secure doors and windows even if you are leaving for a minute.
- Avoid posting on social media that you are away for an extended period of time.
- Keep valuables such as laptops and bags out of sight by closing blinds or curtains, keeping them away out of line-of-sight from letterboxes.
- Register property on the National Property Register.
- Obtain insure for expensive items or check whether you are covered in halls.
- Keep your bicycle secure including wheels and tires. If possible, keep it out of public access. See the Metropolitan Police guide Protect your bike from theft. You can also register your bike through BikeRegister or through Secured by Design.
Keep where you live safe by:
- Staying in control of who you invite into your personal space.
- Don't feel pressured to allow someone back to your home or to tell them where you live if you don't feel comfortable to do so.
- Declining a gesture to 'walk you home' even if it seems well intentioned.
- Requesting that you are dropped off by taxis and minicabs somewhere nearby rather than giving your home address.
- Stopping someone from tailgating or trying to access your building or halls behind you.
- Reporting suspicious behaviour to campus or building security, or the police.
- Cooking and fire safety - around 60% of fires in the home begin in the kitchen. You can read about tips and advice for keeping yourself safe while cooking and use the Home Fire Safety Checker for tailored advice.
- Batteries and chargers - 24 fires each week have been started by chargers, batteries and cables. Make sure that you use chargers that have been provided and never leave items charging unattended.
- Cables, fuses and leads - overloading electricity sockets can cause a fire hazard. Check out this Socket Overload Calculator.
- Smoking, Vaping and e-cigarettes - there are always health risks. Smoking is the number 1 cause of fire fatalities, so the safest option is to quit. However, there are steps you can take to prevent a fire.
- Portable heaters, gas fires and open fires - staying warm in the winter is important for health and wellbeing, ensuring you stay safe from fires is vital.