Law student successfully sues landlord for university accommodation

A law student successfully sued his landlord for university accommodation he called “like a construction site” and “covered in dust”.

Jack Simm, a 19-year-old student at the University of East Anglia, turned to his textbooks as he sued the company behind Velocity Accommodation in Norwich.

He sued for breach of contract and recovered his deposit and the first month’s rent, as well as legal costs.

Professor Andreas Stephan, Head of Law School at the University of East Anglia, said The independent the 19-year-old showed “great initiative”.

Earlier this year, a poll suggested that most of the students had lived in a place that could be considered “unsuitable for habitation” – including for reasons such as broken doors and alarms, mold and mildew and moisture.

Mr Simm said his apartment – which he couldn’t see until he moved in last year because he got his place at the last minute thanks to the cleaning – had neither wifi nor heating.

“It felt more like a construction site than a place to live,” he said. “In my room, the floor was covered with dust and there were loud noises of people pounding. “

The 19-year-old, from Newscastle, added: “We gave the owner a week to sort everything out and in the end nothing was resolved so I moved out and handed over my keys.”

He turned to his studies to build a case.

“It was pretty easy to be honest,” he told the BBC. “I was studying contract law at the time. For me, it was quite easy to open my contract law textbook and go through some of the relevant laws and apply them to the situation.

On November 2, Newcastle County Court ruled that landlords should pay Jack £ 859 to cover his bond and the first month’s rent, as well as £ 140 in court costs.

Professor Stephan from the University of East Anglia said The independent: “Jack has shown great initiative and his actions are a reminder to what extent the law is there to correct wrongs and should be accessible to all.

“As a law school, we encourage our students to make a difference and a number of them have used their knowledge and skills in the classroom to challenge unscrupulous owners. “

Estateducation – which manages the Velocity Student block – has been approached for comment.

Additional reports by agencies

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