Students' union opens rental agency
A students' union in Belfast has joined forces with a letting agency to provide a new accommodation service in the city's university area.
The novel partnership between Queen's University Students' Union and Morton Pinpoint has been heralded as the first of its kind in the UK and Ireland.
In a bid to better regulate private rented accommodation in an area where students, landlords and residents have experienced their share of problems before, they have established SU Lets.
It will manage flats and houses on behalf of landlords - with all property advertised to students given the university's seal of approval.
At the launch of SU Lets, Queen's Students' Union president Jason O'Neill said it would be an ethical agency, with student and landlord rights enshrined in a series of secure agreements
"Although Queen's offers a range of quality accommodation, many students wish to experience independent living during part of their time at university," he said. "Living in good quality private sector accommodation is central to having a good student experience.
"SU Lets will be an ethical lettings agency that will endeavour to provide the best possible standard of accommodation. It will be the only lettings agency which comes wholly recommended by the university and the Students' Union."
Morton Pinpoint managing director Nicholas Brennan said the partnership would benefit both the student and the landlord.
"Queen's Students' Union is the perfect shop window to showcase properties, which we will ensure comply with all legislative requirements and be of a very comfortable and acceptable standard as an absolute minimum," he said.
"Student and landlord rights will also be protected through a series of secure agreements including an accommodation code, deposit policy, tenancy agreement and a landlord and student charter. We are confident that this partnership will raise the bar on student accommodation standards and issues across Belfast."