The Worst Student Accommodation in the UK?

A student has spoken out about the state of her £125 per week student accommodation, saying that it is so dangerous, drug-ridden and filthy that even cleaners refuse to go anywhere near it.

Lauren McAuliffe moved into the halls of residence on Manchester Metropolitan University’s Birley campus last year, but says she cannot get a good night’s sleep and fears for her safety.

The 21-year-old student is completing a foundation year in science and engineering at the university. She claims that she often finds strangers in her accommodation and there is a constant smell of drugs drifting through the corridors.

Lauren also claims that fire alarms have been dangerously covered up by students that smoke and that cleaners have refused to enter the block because of the extent of the mess.

She says: “It is disgusting and the smell around the place is disrespectful. There is a smell of drugs. The smoke alarms have been covered up too.”

She adds that there is always music blaring through the block, which makes it difficult to study.

“There are lots of people, so it is not going to be quiet, but you can’t concentrate because of the music, which is sometimes still bouncing at 10am or 11am,” she states. “You wake up at 7am and there are people still doing drugs. I’m not a party pooper – I like going out. But these people are not normal.”

Lauren is also worried about security, as the front door is often propped open to allow people to come and go through the building. She shares a bathroom and kitchen with fellow residents, but has found strangers using the facilities.

She insists: “I’ve spoken to the residential officers and been on the phone to the university, but not one thing has changed. They are not doing anything about it.

“It’s put me off living in halls of residence. I will be living on my own in a studio flat next year.”1

Lauren’s stepfather, Peter Hill, adds: “I spent 22 years with the Fire Service, ten of them in Manchester, and taping up fire alarms is a complete no-no.”1

For your responsibilities regarding gas, fire and electrical safety, check our guide:

Lauren’s £139m accommodation in Hulme opened two years ago and has 967 rooms for students.

A spokesperson for Manchester Metropolitan University comments: “We received a complaint about the cleanliness of the flat and are currently investigating.

“We are working with the students involved to resolve the situation. We take any allegations of drug use very seriously and have robust drugs procedures in place.

“Any student found to be in breach of these will be dealt with in accordance with our disciplinary procedures.”1

Looking at these pictures, it is unsurprising that many students seek their own accommodation after their first year of university.

If you are looking to rent out student accommodation, we have some information for landlords:

Although being a student landlord can be profitable and secure, it is important that you protect your rental income with Rent Guarantee Insurance, to ensure that you still get paid if the tenant defaults, and look after your investment property with Landlord Property Insurance. Our cover also protects you from malicious damage by the tenant.


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