Students expectations left shattered as accommodation quality falls below par

Faulty accommodation has left students dissatisfied as the number of repair complaints are revealed.

A UNIfied Freedom of Information request revealed that St George’s residents reported the highest number of faults during Fresher’s week than any other housing across the city.

New and existing students moved into their new university accommodation on Saturday 15th September, and only a week an excessive number of faults were reported.

Between September 15th-22nd, the university’s Repairs Team received emails, phone calls and reports in person from students across all accommodation, reporting a total of 511 problems with their housing.

It was also found that 172 faults took one day to fix, 63 problems took up to four days to repair and 36 took up to a week, however 114 repairs are still yet to be made.

Altogether over the first seven days, 1460 individuals moved into housing across the city, and on average every student reported almost three faults each.

In a statement CCCU said: ‘The University and its facilities teams take great care to ensure that our students living in our accommodation are comfortable and safe.

‘Prior to every student moving into their accommodation our housekeeping team service the rooms and report any faults they see, but sometimes a fault will not become apparent until a student has moved in and the facilities are used.

‘We have also linked the room inventory form that students complete when they move into their accommodation at the start of the academic year, to the fault reporting system, so now any issues written on the form, minor or major, will automatically be reported as a fault and acted upon.

‘Sometimes a fault will not become apparent until a student has moved in.’

‘During the summer we also trained our security caretakers to be able to resolve minor faults or lower level repairs so our response time for acting upon these type of faults are quicker.

‘The University also invests in a rolling refurbishment and refresh programme of works every academic year across our accommodation. Over the last three years Vernon Court, the University houses, Lanfranc and Pin Hill were refurbished and refreshed as part of this continuous programme.

‘The University does not make any profit from the rental of the accommodation.’

After launching a poll, asking students the questions ‘Is the quality of CCCU accommodation worth what you are paying?’ the outcome was immense.

The poll saw 255 students answering this question and only 32.5% or 83 people, thought that the accommodation was worth the rent price. Furthermore, double the number of students thought that they were paying too much for the quality of their housing, with 67.5% or 172 students answering ‘No’.

This begs the question ‘does the university even check the rooms before renting out to another student?’

We spoke to a number of students about their accommodation problems.

Former Pin Hill local, Nadia Volpe, was amazed by the standard in her first-year living-quarters.

The CCCU alumni described her experience as ‘extremely disappointing’, continuing to say: “There were  marks and chippings in furniture. Plus marks on walls and dents in the sloped ceilings. It was so old-fashioned, what a joke.

Either seriously lower the prices, because it’s terrible, or get renovations to do some proper work on the older places and make it worth the money.”

One student in Parham Road found their freezer drawers smashed when they arrived.

Disgruntled resident of Vernon Place, Jasmin Jackson, is disgusted at the state her bathroom was left in.

Jasmin says that she will pay in total £5,043 for her room this year, however was left with a blocked toilet from previous residents.

“It’s been blocked before I moved in and it’s still blocked now. Not what you want to see when you move in.”

Jasmin’s toilet hasn’t been unblocked since the last students lived there

Charlotte Bryant is a first year and currently living in Parham Road, she said she was disgusted at the problems she found.

The washing machine was “caked on grime” that “stank of mould and damp”. The student resorted to cleaning it herself, but was unable to remove all of the filth that had been ingrained.

Dead flies, filthy washing machines, broken lights and hobs not labelled with settings have made Charlotte feel upset with the quality of her accommodation: “It would have been nice for it to at least be clean and everything working.”

“It was musty, but overwhelmingly so – rotting.”

“People have just been buying new stuff, like kettles and irons because they don’t work and aren’t getting replaced.

“It was musty, but overwhelmingly so. Like when you get damp in a house and the walls go green, it was that smell. Rotting.”

The Parham Road resident said it was a ‘shame’ as so much was “wrong and when everyone is paying out so much money.

Charlotte spent 30 mins scrubbing the grime off of the inside of her washing machine drawer, and was not able to get it all off.

She reported that a repairs man had attempted to fix a hanging door in her flat, but left a bodge-job of screws and allegedly said, “That will do for now.”

If you have had any problems with your accommodation, comment below and let us know!

Brittany Tijou-Smith

Brittany is a third year Multimedia Journalism student, her work has been featured on KentLive and KentOnline. Her filming work also won ‘Documentary of the Year 2018’ at Canterbury Christ Church University.

3 thoughts on “Students expectations left shattered as accommodation quality falls below par

  • 01/11/2018 at 2:18 pm

    It’s really bad this year! Standards have dropped dramatically in the last few years.

    My partner and I moved into our studio flat and we have had:

    – Toilet being blocked

    – Toilet Leaking

    – Shower being cold (was told to not use hot water for hands or to do the washing up)

    – finding tissues and old sanitary towels used and under the bed and in the bin.

    – toaster blown up

    – nothing in the room has been pac tested since 2014

    – Lighting not the best ( we bought new lights as the lighting in our flat was so dark it was pointless turning it on.

    – no oven only a microwave

    – washing mashine was broken for 2 weeks

    Costs us (£9000 a year for a box with nothing working the best)

    We have other issues with CCCU regarding the course that my partner is on with the building not being ready and lack of a qualified lecturer.

    This has been a battle since we moved in. And it’s such a shame…

  • 10/11/2018 at 11:44 am

    I have reported 9 faults this week alone (many of which were present before we moved in, but we’ve just be living around them until I decided enough was enough). I’ve also reported numerous other faults since freshers week.
    Petros is sold as a ‘superior’ accommodation on the website, but it falls FAR below expectations. I could literally write a dissertation on my anger at the standard of accommodation we’ve been provided. Not to mention I know of other flats the same size as mine that have over 50% more fridge freezer space, and despite paying the same rent as those flat, the accommodation team have refused to equalise the facilities for fresh food storage. They told me it was ‘pot luck’ (direct quote from Brianne).

  • 26/01/2019 at 10:12 am

    Ruby, totally feel for you. Petros costs over 720 a month and although it’s nice to have your own space, I’ve seen places half the price for exactly the same thing. Gutted I didn’t shop around before coming here. Was placed in a bedroom with the noisy 90Db boiler next door and no hot water before requesting to switch rooms. Switch rooms and still get temperamental water, shocked that none of the rooms have net curtains or privacy panels. People can see into each others rooms at any and every level. Not good for those private moments when you’ve got someone over or are wanting to get dressed in the morning. We shouldn’t have to be forced to bare all to passers by or feel pressured to get changed in the bathroom. Windows haven’t been cleaned from the outside at all (bird poo still on mine) they don’t let enough air in either. Hoping to move again but the transfer is going to cost me 50quid, no provisions for anyone having a hard time it seems :\

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