Manchester Student Homes - Letting advert

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Has anyone had experience of this - or any advice about how to proceed with my complaint?

MSH gave advised that it was likely that there would be 'takers' in December and January if I placed an advert with them for a vacancy for a student arising in November. I duly paid the fee for the advert, which was posted this month on the MSH site. My premises are in MSH's highest 'Code Plus' category &I am an accredited landlord with Salford Council. When I visited the site last week I was surprised to see a 'STOP COLLABORATE, LISTEN, DON'T RENT YET' order splashed on the home page of the MSH website. The site goes on to advise students 'to book accommodation in February 2007 as that's when the good stuff appears'.

My complaint about this restriction in service, infringement of consumer rights - and a right to fair treatment - drew the response that they had to protect students from 'rogue landlords' - 'and in any case, nobody else has complained'. I pointed out that I was possibly the only complainant because I was duped into taking out the ad with the promise that it would be on the site for 2 months. It is still on - but I was not informed that students visiting the MSH site would be given the above message - thereby inferring that my house isn't 'good stuff'. MSH refused point blank to refund the charge for the advert - or allow it to run into February free of charge.

I am unable to refer this matter to a national regulatory body as MSH say they are not affiliated to any. It is quite clear that they regard students - but not landlords - as their legitimate customers.

Maureen Roscoe

19/12/2006 00:00

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