Trainee lawyer whose £1,600-a-month student accommodation in London had broken heating and a cockroach infestation says it was like living in a ‘prison’ and a ‘breach of her human rights’
- Student said cockroach-infested accommodation was a ‘human rights breach’
- Alicia Sowerby, 23, moved into the high-rise block in Aldgate, London, last year
- She slammed the £1,600-a-month accommodation as being like a ‘prison’
- Shared accommodation had broken heating and a bag of sick left out for a day
A student claimed her £1,600-a-month accommodation was like a ‘prison’ – with broken heating, cockroaches crawling about and a bag of sick left out for a day.
Alicia Sowerby, 23, originally from York, moved into iQ Student Accommodation block of flats in Aldgate, London, last September when she enrolled at the University of Law: London Bloomsbury.
She finally moved out of the £412-a-week flat on Friday after a torrid year, which she said affected her physical and mental health.
Alicia, who shared the high-rise accommodation with other students from across the world, is now lifting the lid on the ‘overwhelmingly upsetting’ living conditions.
Alicia Sowerby, 23, originally from York, moved into iQ Student Accommodation block of flats in Aldgate, London, last September when she enrolled at the University of Law: London Bloomsbury. It is unclear how the damage above was caused
Although the shared accommodation has a flat screen TV, there were giant holes in the roof
A bag of vomit was left on a sofa and dripped onto the carpet for an entire day without anyone clearing it up
Alicia Sowerby, 23, (pictured) moved into the high-rise block in Aldgate, London when she began studying law in the capital last September
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She said: ‘It’s absolutely horrendous. You wouldn’t believe it. It’s such a lot of money I have no idea how they are getting away with this.
‘The whole block stinks and there is rubbish everywhere. It’s disgusting.
‘There was a bag of sick left on a chair for a whole day – it was spilling out everywhere. Living there was so bad for my mental and physical health.
‘Those living conditions are a breach of human rights. It’s like living in a prison.
‘I used to sit and work near the reception area and people were complaining all the time but nothing changed.’
Alicia, from York, moved in on September 4, 2021.
Despite the problems, she decided to stick it out – although others quickly cancelled their contracts, she said.
Mucky water then started leaking from the fifth to the fourth floor eight weeks ago, and from the light fittings in the smoking area
Ms Sowerby said the experience had been detrimental to her mental and physical health
The law student originally from York shared photos of rubbish including delivery bags and envelopes spilling from one room
She said the conditions were a breach of human rights and living in the flat was like being in a ‘prison’
Alicia claimed a group of Chinese students even sought help from their embassy, and many contacted the local MP.
Residents also organised a petition over complaints, she claimed.
Pest control was called to an infestation of cockroaches, but the insects kept spreading throughout one of the floors, Alicia said.
Mucky water then started leaking from the fifth to the fourth floor eight weeks ago, and from the light fittings in the smoking area.
The lifts then broke at the start of May, so students were then forced to trudge up and down 32 flights of stairs until they were fixed.
Alicia said: ‘I heard that one guy got stuck in the lift overnight. He couldn’t get out, because the emergency button had been taken out.
Residents of the flats even organised a petition detailing their complaints, Ms Sowerby claimed
Water was pictured leaking through the fittings of a smoke alarm. It was unclear whether this prevented them from working
Other leaks left the green carpet in one of the student accommodation corridors with a large stain
The flat was a tip with shattered plates and glass all over the floor, which no one cleaned up
Full rubbish bags were left in the stairwell but no one came to clear them away for the students. ‘We’re just young people trying to live away from home for the first time. It was overwhelmingly upsetting and I really couldn’t handle it,’ Ms Sowerby said
‘The pest control man said they were German cockroaches that spread really quickly, and they tried to get rid of them.
‘But after he left I heard they had spread over the whole floor and it was going to be shut down. They are still there.
‘We’re just young people trying to live away from home for the first time. It was overwhelmingly upsetting and I really couldn’t handle it.’
IQ Student Accommodation declined to comment.