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daughter miserable in accommodation - roof leaking all over her bed

(28 Posts)
Carriemac Mon 30-Sep-19 20:31:59

first move out of halls into shared house for 3rd year, doesn't know the others as the room are rented individually.
dropped her off yesterday, the flat is still a building site although the letting agents promised it would be ready ,and when she got in tonight her bed was soaking as the roof has leaked all over it.
she's on a train home after phoning me in tears.
Term hasn't started so none of her friends around to offer her a bed.

OP’s posts: |
Carriemac Mon 30-Sep-19 20:32:59

she's always a bit wobbly when she goes. back so I'm afraid this is going to tip her over into not wanting to go back.

OP’s posts: |
goodbyestranger Mon 30-Sep-19 20:41:33

My advice would be to dig in at home until full term starts and go up with her then, to make the (hopefully dried out and sorted out) place feel as cosy as poss. Very bad luck - but the letting agents probably weren't banking on arrivals this early. Hope it gets sorted by the time full term starts.

milliefiori Mon 30-Sep-19 20:47:41

Poor girl. Tell the agents. She shouldn't be paying for an uninhabitable room.

If she wobbles, just remind her it's just weeks now. Just a few weeks of her life in exchange for a degree she's already worked hard at and paid a lot for. She can hang in there for what amounts to about 24-36 weeks of her life (depending on where she studies.) A friend said that to me when I wobbled about going back for third year.

Miljah Mon 30-Sep-19 22:54:06

Sorry to hear. Really.

But she should have seen some of the accommodation we lived in, 21, London, first year qualified HCPs in 1980! 😂🦗🕷🦟🕸🐀

I don't recall crying about it.....

Carriemac Tue 01-Oct-19 07:42:04

I think the wet bed was the last straw Micah, she is going back to exams and a stressful year, and things like no lock on t he bathroom sorry and water pouring down the wall onto your bed, workmen wandering in and out of the flat
It’s unsettling

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Rockmeamaryllis Tue 01-Oct-19 07:50:33

That is totally unacceptable. I assume she is already paying rent on this room. It’s not fit for purpose. Hopefully she will get in touch with her letting agents and ask to be moved to better room. She should also get in touch with her uni to ask for their advice. Why should a student paying rent accept such an inhabitable room?

milliefiori Tue 01-Oct-19 08:00:04

Yes it is totally unacceptable. We didn't pay £££ for our higher education in the 1980s @Miljah. I think there's an added stress now that we can't appreciate.

shrill Tue 01-Oct-19 08:17:23

miljah Youngsters today aren't as tough as we used to be -YEAH RIGHT!

I agree with previous poster, if you can, definitely go back with her sometimes we all just need a hand-hold or two, lots of hugs and encouragement. especially in her final year. Do you know for sure her bed will be dry though? Also students can be treated as second class layabouts, she's an adult and remind her they wouldn't treat a 30 year man like this so get in there/or on the phone and demand in a calm manner that they do what they are being paid to do.

MollyButton Tue 01-Oct-19 08:26:03

I would go back and help her complain loudly! (And consider taking to to the local Council and/or the local Councillor for that ward.) That is not acceptable accommodation - the landlord has certainly breached their contract.

Yes back in the day people lived in "shitty accommodation" that didn't make it right then and doesn't make it right now.

Carriemac Tue 01-Oct-19 11:30:16

I'm paying £1700 per month for accomodation for my three kids in University, some of the boys accomdation has been grim but this place is shambolic.
We are contesting it of course but she is getting stressed out while trying to revise and complete her summer dissertation. she is such a homebird that this is really not helping.
I'm feeling so anxious for her, I usually let them fight thier own corner but this for some reason is really upsetting me.

OP’s posts: |
Kazzyhoward Tue 01-Oct-19 11:35:09

I don't recall crying about it.....

It probably wasn't so ridiculously expensive in those days. Now, students are just being fleeced left right and centre, with tuition fees and stupidly high rents for sub standard accommodation.

I live in a university city and some of the landlords should be locked up for the state of their accommodation - it's a disgrace. I'm really glad to see lots of purpose-built student accommodation being built all over the city - they're being snapped us as soon as they're ready. A well deserved kick in the teeth for the lazy/greedy landlords who are now finding it hard to rent their dire properties.

RedHelenB Tue 01-Oct-19 12:24:43

@Carriemac that is awful for her. Into stayed in some grotty places and ironically we had a healing roof too! It will ge miserable on her own so best to wait until her flatmates are there too for company.

Miljah Tue 01-Oct-19 12:30:12

kazzy I agree entirely re purpose built uni accommodation, but the fact is, no one is taking these rogue LLs to task because it's usually 'only' one or two years.

I am amazed that there aren't (closed) FB pages naming and shaming such LLs, especially now that tenants do have a few more rights than we did in the 80s.

The stresses are maybe different, now. Bear in mind my entire HCP cohort from my year graduated into unemployment!

I hope the OPs DD can get it sorted. One lad I knew finally got a LL motivated when the entire house stopped paying rent in protest at the months of non- working HC, into winter.

milliefiori Tue 01-Oct-19 14:07:08

Bear in mind my entire HCP cohort from my year graduated into unemployment!
Yeah, but not with tens of thousands of pounds of debt!

goodbyestranger Tue 01-Oct-19 14:12:58

Also, clearly from the OP, the soggy bed is the straw breaking the camel's back: the DD is in a house with people she doesn't know, doing a dissertation and revision for impending exams and is wobbly anyway about going back to uni for the start of term. You may need to use your imagination Miljah.

Any chance of ditching the contract OP and seeing if there's a room in college which has come free?

QuestionableMouse Tue 01-Oct-19 14:16:44

Speak to the accommodation team at the uni. They're usually pretty good at finding places- don't send/let her go her back to the shared house! Crap accommodation is rubbish and will sour her last year!

Carriemac Tue 01-Oct-19 17:59:20

I actually can't find details for the accomdation office online, either way I presume she'll have to speak to them?

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QuestionableMouse Tue 01-Oct-19 18:19:02

Search uni name and accommodation services. Should bring something up.

PandaTurtle Wed 09-Oct-19 23:14:36

I would make a written complaint to letting agents (e-mail if you have it) as that's unfit for habitation. Shelter has advice on complaints. Maybe let university know and see if they can find alternative.

england.shelter.org.uk/housing_advice/repairs/damp_and_mould_in_rented_homes

Needmoresleep Thu 10-Oct-19 06:55:25

Mijah, you are very wrong. LLs, rouge or not, are tied up in rules and regulations.

If she is renting by the room, this is almost certainly a licensed HMO. She complains first to the LL. (Giving alternatives: if she would prefer to move out, or if she would prefer a rent reduction whilst urgent works are carried out.) If no action she complains to the HMO person in the Council’s housing department.

Students may not be good at complaining or finding out what rights they have. However they have parents, like OP, to mentor them, and learning how to stick up for yourself is a life skill. The LL may or may not be good. Student properties are not always in the best condition, but partly because not all students look after them, and partly because students often look for price before comfort. Given recent wind/rain, quite a lot of properties will have had failed roofs.

Carriemac Thu 10-Oct-19 07:58:09

thanks for that needsmoresleep, we are going down Saturday to have a look and make a decisions, DD has exams today and tomorrow so am trying not to hassle her till they're over. rent is due tomorrow but I'm minded not to pay until its sorted, or does that leave her open to evicition?

OP’s posts: |
Needmoresleep Thu 10-Oct-19 08:32:55

You need to speak to whoever is managing the property. Either landlord or letting agent. Get a feel from them as to whether it is a genuine unforeseen event, or that they dont care. If it is a roof failure they should have informed insurers, be getting quotes and have a timeframe for builders, plus be willing to negotiate on how to supply the contractual liveable accommodation.

If they dont seem to care contact both University and Council, and get advice on what to do next. My guess is that if it is a case of moving the bed and a bucket, but still liveable and someone will be out soon to repair, then a reduced rent is OK. (Rule of thumb for landlords is what would you do if were your own home.) But if there are signs of mould or it is unliveable, then someone (landlord, University) should be helping her find an alternative: short term or long term.

I do think that accommodation issues of this sort are one for parents to mentor. They can feel overwhelming. So do make the calls. And today. There may well be a spare room in halls, ideally with postgrads, or something else available. If there is, warn the landlord that she is a critical stage in her degree and suggest if he is not able to both rectify the problem (it could just be, indeed probably is, a loose tile that can be fixed in an hour) and ensured that measures are in place to speed up the drying out , the easiest for both would be to cancel the contract.

Most landlords, good or bad, repair leaking roofs as quickly as they can. They do not want further damage to their property....even if they don't care about their tenants.

AlexaShutUp Thu 10-Oct-19 08:40:42

Students do not just have to put up with sub-standard accommodation. They have rights and responsibilities like any other tenant.

I would strongly encourage your dd to seek expert advice - it's very likely that there will be an advice centre based in the students union or sometimes in Student Services or whatever. They will be able to guide your daughter through the process of dealing with this.

AlexaShutUp Thu 10-Oct-19 08:42:52

Just to add, the housing advisers will probably be happy to speak to you as a parent as well if your dd gives her consent for them to talk to you.

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