University of Portsmouth students raise health concerns with claims of vermin in halls of residence

STUDENTS at the city’s university have raised concerns about their halls of residence with claims of infestations of rats, mice and silverfish.

Saturday, 9th January 2021, 7:00 am

Tenants at the University of Portsmouth’s Bateson Hall accommodation block have also claimed problems of growths of mould, broken furniture and stains on the carpets and furniture.

Media and communication student and former Royal Navy serviceman Josh Bridle, 23, said: ‘This place is enough to drive people mad. I’ve seen rats and mice as well as silverfish in the toilets and sinks. I left my job in the navy to go back into education and living here is making me regret this decision.

‘I’ve got health concerns – both physical and mental. I’m paying £4,000 a year for my accommodation and it’s nowhere near the standard we got in the navy.’

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A growth of mould on the wall in Bateson Hall.

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Fellow student and Bateson Hall resident Ethan Rodgers, 18, also felt compelled to contact The News over state of the halls.

Ethan said: ‘It really is ridiculous how bad value it is – there’s mould behind my bed and you would have thought they would have at least removed that. I’ve also seen silverfish on the carpet and the chairs in my room are stained. My window also won’t fully close which means it can get very cold with the draft.

‘Bateson has become known as the hell halls.’

A silverfish on the carpet in the halls of residence.

It’s a sentiment shared by fellow first year student Rosa Aldred, 18, who said: ‘I feel upset we are in this position and not getting straight answers from the university. We’ve asked about the silverfish and got no response.

‘We were also told before we moved in that the kitchen would be deep cleaned and it wasn’t. Myself and flat mates ended up having to do this. I have stains on the floor and walls and my door also doesn’t always close properly.’

A University of Portsmouth spokesman said: ‘We are concerned to ensure that student accommodation is well maintained and is in a good condition and aim to respond rapidly. It’s important that any issues are reported to us as soon as they arise so that we can deal with them.‘The university is aware of one incident of vermin reported to the ResLife welfare team which was subsequently passed to the hall reception. External contractors have been brought on site and left traps but could not find any evidence of vermin. A follow-up visit has been scheduled for 10 days' time.’

The university also reminded students of their own responsibility to maintain their accommodation.

Damage to the ceiling in the halls of residence.

The spokesman added: ‘There’s also an online induction that students are required to take before arrival which features items such as fire safety, being a considerate flatmate, and the obligations to clean rooms and kitchens. Students virtually sign this off before they can check in.’

The university have said the other issues raised by the students have ‘not been brought to their attention’ and urged any concerns to be reported so that ‘we can look into these and take any necessary action as a priority’.

However the students dispute this and say they have reported their concerns.

Gunge in the sink at the student halls.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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