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LSE students to sue uni over inadequate accommodation

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Over 200 postgraduate students staying at Sidney Webb House, halls for London School of Economics (LSE), plan to sue their university for a ‘breach of tenancy contract’ as a result of inadequate living conditions.

To fund their legal representation, the group have set up a crowdfunding page and they are currently being represented by David Greene from Edwin Coe LLP.

The students describe themselves as ‘a group of 215+ postgraduate students fighting against the negligence and indifference shown by LSE and Unite Students in the face of deteriorating living conditions at our hall of residence’.

The students are citing the following issues on their CrowdJustice page:

• Severe rodent infestations
• Widespread black mould in bathrooms and bedrooms
• Non-functional ventilation systems
• Inadequate heating during winter months 
• Lack of hot water for extended periods of time
• Elevators out of order for up to 37 days
• Noisy construction works during revision and exam period
• Systemic year-long maintenance failures

Through legal action, the group are aiming to ‘ensure that Universities and the companies they hire are mindful of providing their students with accommodations that are conducive to decent living and learning’.

Residents are claiming that the accommodation’s poor living conditions have impacted their health and well-being, with students being diagnosed with respiratory tract infections and one individual having to undergo surgery because of a skin infection.

The group have gone through the Complaints Procedure process providing both a list of grievances and a list of demands, which weren’t responded to before their contract ended on the 24th of June.

Greene is set to arrange an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) with the LSE and if this fails then the litigation process against the university will begin. An ADR involves the use of arbitration or mediation to solve a dispute before turning to litigation.

At the time of writing, the group have received 117 donations totalling £2,306 towards their final goal which was of £5,000.

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