Students appalled by house of horrors with ‘mould everywhere’ and hole in ceiling

Students have slammed the house of horrors they’ve been forced to live in that had “mould everywhere”, a hole in the ceiling, rat droppings, discarded underwear and sanitary products, and a black toilet.

Kyle Turney and his housemates were due to move into their new student house in Headingley, Leeds, excited about their next year of university.

However they were met with a filthy property covered in rat droppings, mouldy food, used underwear and sanitary products, exposed wires and worse.

The 24-year-old student and his friends found their house in a barely liveable state on moving day, LeedsLive reported.

Kyle said: “We got to the house and it was just appalling, we walked in and the carpet was basically all pulled up, in the living room underneath the sofas there was rotten food and rubbish.

“The floor was all scuffed and dirty, there was a stain in the living room that won’t come off, it was like red and rusty.

“In the kitchen, there was a piece of wallpaper stuck to the ceiling and that fell off which just revealed a hole in the ceiling directly below the bathroom.”

The students went to their letting agents Haus and explained the dire situation the house was in. But the agents said that any and all issues would need to be related back to the property manager RNL.

After weeks of back and forth over email they asked for their deposit and first month’s rent back and said that Haus said their requests were understandable given the nature of the house.

However on July 7, they were told that the landlord wasn’t happy to release them from their tenancy.

Even after a cleaning team was brought in, Kyle and his friends still wanted to leave the agreement and following on from further correspondence both Haus and RNL agreed they could leave the tenancy.

But they received an email claiming all of the issues would be resolved by the end of the following week (July 15).

At this point, they were all supposed to have long moved into their new house and settled in.

After Kyle and his friends took to social media to complain about their situation, Unipol, the housing branch which encompasses Haus, reached out to them.

Kyle said: “We went into the Unipol office and Matt was there and we explained and organised an inspection

“He’s said not many cases are seen as unliveable.

“He said our house was probably the worst one they had had for a long time and if anyone had a chance of getting out of the tenancy agreement through court, we would have that chance. So that’s how bad it was, it was terrible.”

However, Kyle and his friends were emailed and told that because of the improvements being done on the house they couldn’t live there, meaning they were paying for the house they didn’t want to, and couldn’t, live in.

The students were forced to sofa surf with nowhere to live. With no end in sight, Kyle and his friend Tom visited the house on the day the works were expected to be finished to find it still looked like a work site.

Upon further inspection the following day the large mould patch appeared to have been just wiped away and Kyle claimed it looked like the builders had been sleeping in the house too.

By this point, the group had very little advice on what to do, they sought out a solicitor who told them that unless the house is still unliveable there is basically nothing they can do.

Kyle added finally: “We are pretty much going to have to move into the house, we don’t have the money or the time to do much else, and I am quite fed up of being homeless.”

RNL Property Management issued the following statement: “The tenants viewed the property on the 15th June 2022 and were happy to sign to rent it in the general condition that was presented at this time. During the process of the tenants signing to secure the property they do have the opportunity to discuss and negotiate any required agreed works to be completed prior to move in. No issues were raised or agreed works requested in the period from signing to the tenancy commencing.

“We inspected the house prior to keys being collected, the clean was then completed on the 6th July 2022, tenant’s were present at this point. The tenants are given full instructions on how to inspect and report maintenance to RNL, using this online portal if there is anything that is required it can be resolved immediately.

“A day later the tenants reported various issues with the property including additional cleaning to uninhabited areas which were attended to immediately and some further minor issues. The most pressing issue being ceilings in the kitchen and one of the bedrooms which had seriously deteriorated within the time between the cleaners leaving the property on the 6th July and the tenants reporting video.

“When Unipol visited they reported that all but one room could have been habitable, the uninhabitable room was the top floor rear bedroom which the owner taking the opportunity to replace the ceiling and insulation rather than carrying out a patch repair. The ceiling being replaced also included further insulation to help with energy efficiency and save the tenants money on utilities.

“The owner obviously had agreed not to charge the tenant rent whilst this work was taking place, although the landlord was entitled to charge rent on the habitable rooms they are happy to refund this rent as a gesture of goodwill.

“The tenants have now been informed that the majority of work has taken place with a few aspects which are underway such as a handrail into the property which are waiting for external contractors to complete. During this whole time we have been in constant contact with the tenants to provide updates on progress, also on hearing that the tenants were sofa surfing offering to move the house around so it could be habitable for all tenants, this offer was not taken up.”

A spokesperson for Unipol said: “I can confirm that Unipol has received a complaint about this property under the Unipol Code complaints process, after reaching out to the tenant when we saw a post on Facebook. The managing agent (Haus (managed by RNL)) are accredited under the Unipol Code, which means that if tenants think those standards have been breached they can formally complain.

“To give more detail, a complaint was received on the 13th July, and an inspection took place the following day. The managing agent was sent an inspection report on the 15th July and since then has been working through the required remedial work.

“Ultimately if the Unipol Code has been breached and issues not resolved to the tenant’s satisfaction, there is the option of the matter being referred to the independent Code complaints tribunal for it to determine the matter, which can result in disciplinary action if a complaint is upheld.”