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  1. ITV Report

Students demand compensation over cockroach and rodent infestation claims at London halls of residence

Dead cockroaches on the floor Photo: residentscouncil.net

Students at SOAS, University of London are saying they will withhold their final rent to the landlord of their halls of residence until a series of demands are met.

The two central London halls of residence – Dinwiddy House and Paul Robeson House near Kings Cross – are owned and operated by Sanctuary Students with an agreement to provide places for SOAS students.

Students claim that throughout the year, they have raised a catalogue of complaints over poor service, cockroach and rodent infestations, lengthy delays to repairs and a number of water outages among other problems.

They have posted up a series of photos on The Residents’ Council's website, which represents students across both halls, which they say show the full extent of the issues they've had to put up with - and in addition are demanding £800 in compensation for all students and a full and unreserved formal apology.

A cockroach on the wall Credit: residentscouncil.net
A captured cockroach Credit: residentscouncil.net
A mouse on the cooker Credit: residentscouncil.net
A leak causes a dirty pool of water on the floor Credit: residentscouncil.net
A further leakage Credit: residentscouncil.net
A door handle comes off in a student's hand Credit: residentscouncil.net

However, Sanctuary Students, which owns the buildings, says all the issues were resolved some time ago and they would urge any students still experiencing problems to get in touch with them.

We take all concerns raised by our tenants very seriously, making a point to address any issues as quickly as possible.

Although there were a number of reports of pests earlier in the academic year, the site was treated and we are pleased to confirm that we have not had any students contact us to raise concerns recently. In addition, when it was necessary to either carry out planned work to the heat or water system, or advise of works scheduled by the regional water provider we made a point of contacting students in advance, scheduling work for times when there would be less demand (when this was within our control) , and keeping outages to a minimum.

We understand that some students are still not happy, and having met representatives recently to address their concerns, a further meeting is scheduled for next week. If any individuals wish to make a formal complaint or have any outstanding issues, we would ask them to contact our site office so that we can address them as quickly as possible.

We are concerned that a minority of our tenants may consider withholding rent without fully understanding the wider implications this could have, and would encourage these students to consider their contractual obligations before making their decision.”

– Sanctuary Students