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Accommodation: Early release from contract - PI091603
Public interest case September 2016 | Not Justified
A student from Swansea University complained to us about the University’s final decision not to release him from his accommodation contract.
The student was living in private rented accommodation that was managed by the University accommodation service in partnership with the students’ union. He complained that his room was damp. The complaint was initially considered by the accommodation service, which concluded that there was no damp. Following that decision a Housing Officer from the city council carried out a "non intrusive" inspection and also concluded that there was no damp. A surveyor then carried out a further "non intrusive" inspection that showed high moisture levels in isolated areas.
The student submitted a stage two complaint. An "intrusive" inspection of the property was carried out and this found no evidence of damp. The University dismissed the student’s complaint but as a goodwill gesture offered him alternative accommodation. He declined this and chose to stay in his room. The University rejected the student’s request to review its stage two decision and he complained to us.
The student’s dissatisfaction with the University’s decision rested on it giving greater weight to the report of the "intrusive" inspection than the earlier findings of the chartered surveyor. We were satisfied that the University concluded that the "intrusive" inspection was more robust than the earlier investigations and that it was reasonable to rely on that information.
We considered that the University’s offer to find alternative rooms for the student was accommodating given that it had rejected his complaint.
We found the complaint Not Justified.