Living In Appalling University Halls? Here’s What LSE Students Managed To Do About Theirs

The 120 students formed a committee after mice infestations, mould, rubbish and lack of heating ruined their quality of life.

Living in appalling university conditions? Here’s what LSE students managed to do about theirs

by Jenn Selby |
Published on

Universities aren’t well known for boasting plush living quarters, but the horror stories experienced by more than 100 students of the London School of Economics were beyond awful.

Think rampant mice infestations, thick mould, piles of rubbish, freezing temperatures because of shoddy heating and temperamental hot water supply.

In fact, the conditions were so bad, a number of students claimed that they fell ill as a result of the accommodation.

The students, most of which were from overseas, were paying £9,000 a year to live in the Sidney Webb House near Borough Market. The property was managed by Unite Housing. So they decided to launch a class action lawsuit against LSE over it.

Around 120 students signed up to the lawsuit, raising £5,000 to pay for legal advice to help their case.

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And it seems it has been successful. More than 100 students have received payouts after LSE agreed to settle. The university has paid out an estimated £60,000, which is about £500 for each student.

It’s an impressive victory for the group, but a pitifully small amount of compensation to receive given the extent of the depravity they were living in – and the amount they were forking out to live there.

Their lawyer, David Greene, a senior partner at Edwin Coe, went as far as to claim that more than 450 students had been affected.

The Sidney Webb Action Group, as the students had called themselves, were none-the-less pleased with the result.

‘LSE and Unite Students have also made a commitment to monitor and improve the provision of services within Sidney Webb House for the upcoming academic year,’ the group said in a statement.

‘Furthermore, the university has made assurances to improve their complaints procedures for all of the residents in LSE accommodation and that the university’s legal team would, subject to approval by the relevant bodies, produce a new procedure for the 2018-19 academic year.’

LSE were similarly pleased with the outcome, adding that the building had since been renovated.

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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