Students forced to go home as Birmingham accommodation 'full of flies, rubbish and rotting food'

Students moving into the Onyx accommodation in Lancaster Street, claim food was left rotting in fridges Credit: BPM Media

Students arriving at an accommodation block in Birmingham for the start of the university term have criticised the mess left inside.

Those moving into Onyx accommodation in Lancaster Street claim food was left rotting in fridges and freezers, with flies, ticks and rubbish left in corridors and flats.

Some were described as being left in tears when they arrived at the site which costs £183 per week.

Steve Kennedy had taken his 18-year-old daughter, who he asked not to be named, to Block A ahead of her starting her performing arts course.

In an interview Mr Kennedy said: “My daughter was on floor 13 and the stench was horrendous throughout the whole building. The landing was stacked up high with bin bags. It was filthy. There was food in the fridges

Credit: BPM Media

“I spoke to the manager and they said it could be cleaned in two hours. We gave the manager the benefit of the doubt.“We came back at three o’clock and there were hundreds of people – and girls crying. It was pandemonium.

“They were just overwhelmed with it. There were young kids working in there and they couldn’t cope with it. They knew of the issues but were still booking people in. There were dozens of people with the same problems.

“My daughter was devastated. She never cries and to see her break down was upsetting. At four o’clock we went to the room and it was exactly the same. So we went home. It’s a disgrace”A second parent, Suzanne Symons, posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, and said: "Dropped my child at Onyx Birmingham yesterday ... walked into the flat to be greeted by a kitchen full of rubbish and rotting food.

"Opened fridge to find a swarm of flies who had been feeding on rotting meat. Power had been turned off to fridges/freezers full of food."

Kyriakos Stergiou, known as Kay, the general manager at Onyx Birmingham has said he was 'mortified' by the state of the building and said his company had been let down by the cleaning company.He said some some students with 51-week leases only were due to move out on 4 September, and some 'stragglers' had stayed beyond their term. He explained that had led to a delay in cleaning the flats.He said nine kitchens and flats were in a bad state which led to bags of rubbish in communal corridors which would have been seen by a number of students and their families who were moving in.

He said he and the cleaning staff worked into the night to sort the problems at the weekend and reassured those moving in that the accommodation was now clean.Mr Stergiou said: "I absolutely understand the upset. I'm mortified and extremely sorry for the situation. We did have a number of kitchens in nine flats that were not cleaned."A number of students checked out last week. Arrangements had been made myself with a cleaning company and they kind of let us down. They were supposed to clean the whole building before the check-ins on Saturday."As they were cleaning them they were bringing the rubbish out of the flats. But now the whole building has been cleaned. We have now got a company coming out who are in the process of shampooing the carpets in the whole building"We relocated students into a clean flat away from where they were initially allocated. And the cleaning company stayed 24.7 on-site. The students had access to another flat to stay in on Saturday until their flat was ready. Most kids I could see were happy."