48 Thief Ln, York YO10, UK
This was my student house last year, and out of four years of living in York, it was definitely the best overall experience I had. The house isn’t Buckingham Palace, but the kindness of the landlord outweighs any of the generic issues that occurred, as they would’ve done in any house. For example, the radiator in the kitchen had a fault towards the end of first term and stopped working – we were immediately provided with a space heater, and new radiators had been installed throughout the house by the time second term started. The landlord isn’t local, but he has a team based in York who will usually have whatever the issue is fixed by the same evening. He is also so genuine, far more open than any other landlord I ever had. He takes the bare minimum in a deposit and returned it to us pretty much the second we moved out (which did not happen with the last landlord I had, trust me), and was very kind in providing glowing reviews for people who are now renting elsewhere. He was also very realistic in knowing that accidents do happen – we accidentally smashed our hob, and he replaced it the same day without even asking how it happened. Don’t try and take advantage of this though, as he’s been in this business for a long time and will be harsh if necessary. He’s a one man band (the ‘agency’ is him, his wife, and his brother) so you don’t have that extra level of security, but you honestly don’t need to worry about it. As someone who let through one of the big name York agencies and had issues for two years, it was so nice just to speak directly to the landlord the whole time, and not have to worry about there being issues between agent and landlord that impact upon you.
The bedroom photos included are of my room – mine was the smallest room by quite a margin, but even then, there was still room to function if you don’t have too much stuff. Every other room was large in comparison to some of the rooms landlords in York claim as being bedrooms, so there was definitely enough private space for everyone. The kitchen is narrow in parts, but only if everyone is trying to get to the same place at the same time. There are two fridge-freezers provided so there’s enough room for food, and having a dishwasher is really useful too. The lounge acts as a lounge and dining room; you might get a bit cramped if you’re all trying to sit around the table, but there’s enough room for six on the sofas. The house doesn’t come with a TV license and we were gifted a TV monitor by the renters before us, which we also left for the next people – if you have a HDMI cable or Fire Stick or something like that then it’s super easy to use without needing the license, which might be useful as there was no easy way to get the wires all connected up around the room.
The few cons are all circumstantial. The house is joined on to a glass shop, and so at random points of the day, you will hear glass shattering and be convinced that someone is breaking in – you get numb to it pretty fast! When we were living there, the flat above the shop (let out by the shop owners) had in it a couple whose dogs barked pretty much all day, but they at least didn’t carry on all night. The house is obviously just off from Hull Road and the road up to the uni so traffic noise is there, but it’s not overpowering. Neighbours too might be an issue if they’re students doing student things, but that’s not something that can be helped in an area like this.
I know that the rent has increased since last year and will probably do so again by the time it’s free to let again, but that’s just the way things are going right now in York. Realistically, you’re not going to get a better house so close to the uni (and a manageable walk into town) that is perfectly adequate in every way for a lower price.