The call comes from Very Wise Student, a service offering free specialist advice and support to students, including free legal checks.
S C Osney Management, owners and operators of the 242 room Student Castle in Oxford, were last month ordered to repay £84,877 of rent after being found not to have a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) license.
Following a case brought by 44 tenants, the company was ordered to return more than a third of the rent paid by students during the time the property was unlicensed.
Very Wise Student founder Ajay Jagota said: “For most students the legal status of their accommodation is the last thing on their mind, but not only are things like gas and safety certificates literally a matter of life and death, they could be in line for compensation or rent refunds if their landlords haven’t fulfilled their legal obligations.
“The problem is that most students don’t have the legal knowhow to uphold their rights, or the resources to lawyer up. That’s why we created our free service to make sure they get the help and support they need.
“Even through this company was found to have not deliberately failed to get a license – it’s highly unlikely they’re the only landlord to be operating without the necessary paperwork and I advise all students to take advantage of free specialist services like ours to make sure that their legal rights are being protected.”