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Accommodation: Timeliness of complaints - PI091605

Kingston University

A former student at Kingston University complained to us about her liability for accommodation fees after she withdrew from her studies. The University had refused to consider her complaint as it was out of time.

The student had entered into an accommodation contract at the start of her studies. She withdrew and moved out of halls early in her first term, giving her reasons as concerns about drug use in the accommodation block. The student was unable to provide any evidence to back up her concerns and the University had had no reports of any drug-related incidents.

The University explained to the student that she would be liable for accommodation fees as outlined in her contract, and pointed her towards the student complaints’ process. However the student did not make a formal complaint for several months.

We were satisfied that the University’s procedures included very clear time limits for making a complaint and that the student had been advised of how to complain. We decided it was reasonable for the University to refuse to consider her complaint because it was brought late. Her complaint to us was therefore Not Justified.