Published on November 12, 2013 | by Ruby Sigurdardottir


UAL halls: Cold water, cold rooms and cold staff

Exterior of Don Gratton House student halls of residence [Alice Russell]

Rodent infestations, bed bugs and no hot water are among the growing list of complaints that students have reported at two of UAL’s halls of residence.

Don Gratton House residents wrote a letter to SUARTS stating: “We have not had any hot water for seven days now. When speaking to receptionists we are told that it will be fixed the next day, which clearly has not been the case.

“The fact that we haven’t had hot water for this many days is not only a breech of our contract; it’s illegal. We are in our rights to contact Environmental Health and will do so if this matter is not resolved in the near future.”

Ben Rowlatt, a first year Production for Television and Live Events student at LCC, described Don Gratton House – which is privately managed by Sanctuary Management Services – as having “cold water, cold rooms and cold staff”.


Rowlatt said: “Sanctuary Management Services take so much money from already poor students and give the bare minimum in return.

“When you give members of staff details about your room’s issues – for example, the radiator not working, the light’s not working or the window not closing properly – their response is usually along the lines of ‘yeah, whatever, it will get sorted’ and then they look away as if the conversation is finished, while they haven’t even asked for your room number.”

Complaints are also coming from the Camberwell Campus, which include excessive noise from builders and the presence of rat-traps inside students’ kitchens and bedrooms.

One complainant said: “There’s constant maintenance work going on that should have been finished, waking us up at 4am. In general, it doesn’t feel like home. It feels like a TV show – Rogue Landlords.”

SUARTS president Shelly Asquith said: “It doesn’t sound like these residents are having the best student experience or feel part of a community in halls. I hope these issues can be addressed so as to improve their well-being and ensure they aren’t missing out on the basic services they can expect for the rent they pay.”

Sanctuary Management have sent an email around to their tenants apologising for problems with the hot water, citing a broken immersion heater for the problem: “We completely understand this situation is far from ideal…we will endeavour to keep you updated with the progress of repairs”.

However, the tenants say they are yet to receive and information about the other complaints.



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