Disputes and Disrepair

Sometimes things go wrong and you there are times where you might find that you have disputes with your housemates or your landlord.

Our advice team can help advise you of your rights when there are arguments, disputes or difficulties. Have a read of the information below and if you need more support or guidance, email our advisors and we will do our best to help. If we can’t then we can signpost you to the services that can.

Housemate disputes

If you are having difficulties with your housemates, it is worth trying to talk with them to see if there can be a resolve, as you might find that the dispute is misunderstanding that can be easily resolved. The University can offer mediation services for those who need additional support or where you are having trouble resolving your difficulties.

There may be times when things do get bad, and that is when you might need to seek more legal advice. If you have followed our guidance before you moved in, then settling disputes might be easier for you.

If your housemate is refusing to pay rent/bills: Then you should check your contract as different tenancy agreements mean different legal responsibilities for you and your landlord. Unfortunately, if you signed up to the tenancy as a household (as opposed to per room) then the whole house is liable for the rent and bills, which means there could be repercussions when someone does not pay.

  • Talk to your housemate and see if something can be resolved
  • Talk to your landlord and see if there is anything that they can do to help
  • If there are financial difficulties in the house, then talk to the money team as soon as you can: moneysupport@surrey.ac.uk
  • If you are still having difficulties, email ussu.advice@surrey.ac.uk

Landlord disputes

There may be times that you have disagreements with your landlord and if this happens, it is worth emailing us for advice on how to manage the dispute. In the first instance, it is worth talking to the landlord to try and resolve the issues.


What is important to remember, is that having evidence of your situation will help demonstrate what has happened – so make sure that you have a record of all conversations, visits and agreements. For example, if you have a conversation with your landlord over the phone, then it is worth sending up a follow up email of what was said and actions agreed.


If you need to make a formal complaint about your landlord, then you will have evidence to back up things that have happened.

Urgent disrepair

Sometimes the disrepair needs urgent attention, such as flooding, broken boilers, gas or significant electrical issues. Basically, anything that risks the integrity of the building or the safety of tenants.

Your landlord should provide you with an emergency out of hours number, or an emergency number to call should you need it. Make sure to report all the facts and log any response or visits as evidence if you need it.

Your contract or tenancy agreement should outline what counts as an emergency and what to do in this situation.

If you need more advice and guidance, then email our advice team with as much detail as you can around your case: ussu.advice@surrey.ac.uk