News | HOUSING CASE STUDY 2: Damp problems
Student Cribs disappointed and angered one group of students, who moved into one of the company’s cheaper houses. The property was rented at £94pw, including broadband but excluding all other bills.
One tenant, a second year English Language and Literature student, told LS, “there’s a serious amount of damp that Student Cribs never fixed in the seven months we’ve been living here.” They claim that some of the damp was addressed in October, four months into the tenancy. They also claim that in January, some bedrooms with damp were re-painted but that hasn’t solved the problem.
Student Cribs deny not taking action to fix the damp. Charlie Vaughan-Lee, CEO of Student Cribs said: “Moisture ingress was reported to us on 4th July 2013, we carried out remedial works during the Christmas holidays, delayed from October at the request of the tenants”.
However, the company acknowledges the property is “due for refurbishment to improve the internal decoration and bring the property in line with other Student Cribs.” The company also argues that the house was cleaned prior to the tenants moving in, and re-cleaned at the request of the students.
The tenants claim their main problem lies in Student Cribs’ lack of professionalism. “Sometimes it’s impossible to get through to them. It felt like they were constantly trying to get around the issues without solving them while we continued to pay bills that were far too steep for what we were receiving”.
However Vaughan-Lee said: “I have reviewed a number of emails and in general we have responded the same day, or within a few days.” He disputed the claims, adding that 353 emails in total had passed between Student Cribs and the tenants.
The tenants say the damp remains an issue. Student Cribs say they have “responded to any other minor maintenance items as quickly as reasonably possible.”