Puts law school learning into action
Despite recent attempts at reform, the UK rental market remains a wild west. In Greater Manchester, one law student facing rental challenges took matters into her own hands — and won.
Obioma Ibe, a third year LLB student at the University of Salford, took her landlord to court after he attempted to withhold £1,038 of her deposit for issues she says she shouldn’t have been paying for.
“Upon moving into my rental property I had reported a few issues, including a broken window, broken and dirty blinds, plus no hot water from the kitchen tap, which my landlord assured me would be fixed,” Ibe explains. However, as time went on this never happened. It was only when I moved out that he attempted to charge me to fix the broken window along with several other issues that had been raised in the initial inventory and I knew he was responsible for.”
This she explains included redecorating for general wear and tear repairing the broken bathtub, replacing the blinds, as well as fixing a dripping tap — which had not been caused by herself or her family.
Ibe used the knowledge she acquired during her LLB to challenge her landlord via an independent adjudicator and through the courts. “I gained some knowledge of tenant’s rights due to the housing law module I had studied through the university law clinic and did some further research to build on this, confirming repairs of this nature are in fact the landlord’s responsibility,” she explains.
“Having this insight gave me the confidence to go to the small claims court, where I was able to represent myself and argue my cases with evidence. This led to the landlord refunding my deposit and the rent overpayment he owed me,” she continued.
As well as the return of her deposit, the court awarded Ibe £400 in damages to refund rent and ruled that Ibe’s landlord must also pay her small claims court fees.
Ibe isn’t the first law student to put their learning to the test. Just last month Legal Cheek reported that Elle Holland, a law student at the University of Salford, used her employment law knowledge to help her her mum secure victor in a case for unfair dismissal.