Flat 3, Leicester, LE1 6NU

Added 17th May 2014

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1. Beautiful Flat, Exploitative Landlord

By PMara - stayed here from 20th September 2008 to 30th June 2009

The flat we lived in was gorgeous - huge arched windows and lots of exposed brickwork. We were a group of five 19 and 20 year old female students. We were clean and considerate.

Pros: Fairly clean and well maintained for student housing, as there was a janitor who we spoke to on a regular basis to do the odd jobs. Once my window was smashed from the outside by some local charmers, and the handyman was very swift to come and have a look (but made a joke that the double glazing on the inside could be weakened and fall on me in my bed at any given moment.)

However, after a couple of months it became very apparent that there were mice in the building. We immediately cleared all food out of accessible areas and into sealed containers. We informed the landlord, and requested an investigation. They ignored us for weeks. When we did hear from them, they blame us for the mice. We threatened to withold rent through the Letting Agent, who were understanding and helpful.

Eventually, the Landlord simply sent in an exterminator, but insisted we should be paying for it. The Exterminator informed us that the mice were getting in through holes in the walls from the building next door owned by the same Landlord - social housing for those waiting for visas - because their rubbish was not being cleared correctly by the council. The holes in the walls had been created when the broadband had been installed and never remedied by the Landlord. We got the exterminator to put this in writing, and sent it to the Landlord. They agreed to a meeting but insisted they come to our flat where they ordered us around and told us that they were in no way liable for the infestation... and like naive students, we believed them. It was only when the letting agents got involved on our behalf did they finally cave. We believed that the reason they attempted to shift liability was because they believed they could get away with it with students.

I was left very disheartened by this. The other girls in my flat all refused to sleep and eat there on varying occasions due to disruption from the mice. All of our study was disrupted by the stress of attempting to simply ask the Landlord to take responsibility for what was undoubtedly their errors. It is a lovely flat, but do not expect any respect from the Landlord.

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