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Accommodation - CS012406

A student had to move out of accommodation A so the provider could make fire safety improvements to the building. The student was offered £500 for any disruption caused and they were told they could be released from their tenancy agreement if they were unhappy with the alternative accommodation offered.

The student moved to accommodation B which was also owned by the provider, but they found this unsuitable so arranged a rental agreement with a private landlord for a studio apartment (accommodation C). The student complained about the impact of relocation on their finances, mental health and ability to study. They also complained about the professionalism of staff in a drop-in centre set up for students affected by the relocation.

The provider partly upheld the complaint and issued an apology for the unprofessional behaviour from staff in the drop-in. It also contributed to the cost of a refrigerator and kitchen utensils that the student had to buy for accommodation C.

The student complained to us. During our review, the provider discovered it had made an error when calculating the difference in rent between accommodation A and accommodation C. The student had been paying more rent for accommodation C. The provider made an offer to settle the complaint by paying the difference in rent and a distress and inconvenience payment for not having identified and resolved the error at an earlier stage, totalling £1,500. The student rejected this offer and asked for half of their tuition and accommodation fees to be refunded.

We didn’t uphold the complaint (we decided it was Not Justified) because the provider had made a reasonable offer to resolve the complaint earlier in our process. We concluded that the provider had covered the student’s additional expenses and recognised the distress and inconvenience arising from the relocation. We didn’t think a tuition fee refund was justified because the student had continued to engage with their studies.