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LSE pays students over “mould and mice”

The London School of Economics has paid a group of international post-graduate students £500 each after they complained of sub-standard accommodation in a central London hall of residence, operated by Unite Students.

London School of Economics said they were pleased the settlement had been reached. Photo: Flickr/ Munir Squires

The accommodation was damp, unheated and lacked hot water

In July 2017 the students launched a crowdfunding campaign, hoping to raise cash for a legal challenge when they claimed the housing conditions were both a health risk and a breach of tenancy agreement.

“I am pleased that we have been able to resolve the complaints with a small payment”

The students paid £9,000 each for the year-long tenancy.

The Sidney Webb House, which also lent its name to the student action group, was said to be infested with rodents, have a “widespread” mould problem, and lacked functional ventilation systems.

The students instructed lawyers at Edwin Coe to instigate legal action against LSE and Unite. In a statement Edwin Coe’s lead partner, David Greene, said that not only were the conditions atrocious, but the international students’ complaints went unheeded.

“The accommodation was damp, unheated and lacked hot water for extended periods causing students to fall ill.  Complaints made by students fell on deaf ears,” it read.

In a statement made in July, Unite said they did not “accept any suggestion that the accommodation is the cause of any medical ill health”.

Declining to make fresh comment, Unite directed The PIE to its corporate media page, though no further statement could be found.

Upon the receipt of the settlement payment, Greene said he was pleased with the payment, and the apologies from both LSE and Unite.

“I am pleased that we have been able to resolve the complaints with a small payment by the University but more important the University and Unite have issued apologies and undertaken to ensure this doesn’t happen again,” he said.

The LSE released a brief statement upon conclusion of the case, and both Unite and LSE have given assurances that the block has been fully refurbished.

We are pleased a resolution has been agreed with the students affected,” the statement read.  

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