No place like home? Liverpool students hit out at letting agent Accomod8
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Woeful student housing conditions have long been an accepted feature of the typical student experience. For many, the hackneyed stereotypes of mould splattered walls, mountain ranges of abandoned washing up and mice infestations are considered a rite of passage. In recent weeks however, Accomod8 in Liverpool have come under fire from dissatisfied students, culminating in the birth of the Facebook group ‘Accomod8 are Shi*’. Grievances have varied in severity from hygiene complaints to acute safety concerns. One student claims to have been informed by an environmental health agency that in the case of fire, she and her housemates would be “dead within ten minutes” due to the property’s insufficient safety conditions. According to its website, Accomod8 claims to “understand the needs of students” and vows to maintain “high standards” in all of its properties, yet students have condemned the service provided as “atrocious”. Accomod8’s responsibilities to students in their accommodation include: ensuring that the property is free of class 1 hazards under the Housing Health and Safety Rating system, that the property conforms to standards set out in the Code and that the property has adequate means of escape in the instance of fire. Yet, one student has alleged that he and his flatmates frequently struggled to open the front door, and that the only other exit was via the kitchen; the room most likely to catch fire. However, such complaints are not anomalies. A recent survey revealed that 37% of UK students interviewed had experienced a mice infestation, 6% had shared their home with rats and 8% did not have a smoke alarm fitted in their home. Liverpool-based Accomod8 is a member of Liverpool City Council’s Citywide Landlord Accreditation Safety Scheme (CLASS) which claims to ensure that “that the landlord has committed to the health, safety and welfare of their tenants."
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