Pavilions charging residents for excrement in lift

Residents in Pavilions will be charged for excrement found in a lift unless the perpetrator is found. On Thursday February 18th the facilities team of Pavilions discovered human excrement in the lift of Ellison House. This incident follows a graffiti attack in Proctor Mews the week before, as well as another incident of excrement in the same block.

Samantha Barnes, marketing assistant at Digs, said that the cost to clean the excrement will be about £126, equating to £1 per resident. This cost can’t be avoided by residents despite the fact that the perpetrator may not even live in the block in question. If residents refuse to pay then Digs, the company who run Pavilions, will deduct the cost from the £150 deposit.

Rent in the Pavilions averages over £100 per week with one bedroom apartments costing £170 per week. Apparently these huge costs are not enough to cover incidents such as this because it is unfair to residents who do not cause damage. Helen Halton, a resident in Ellison House, argues that it is also unfair to charge everyone, despite the small cost: “I don’t want to pay for something I’ve had nothing to do with.”

Barnes said: “It is hoped that the perpetrator can be found so that the charge can be dropped for all residents. At this time however we are still no wiser as to who committed these acts.”

Residents in Proctor Mews are also to be charged for the graffiti clean up: “We have so far had no response to the request for information and so the clean up operation is being carried out and there will be redecoration needed. Due to this there will definitely be block charges for this incident… we are not sure of the total cost but residents will be informed in due course.”

7 Responses to Pavilions charging residents for excrement in lift

  1. Dave Stanley says:

    This is ridiculous. As a Proctor Mews resident I am going to take up complaints with Digs because they don’t have CCTV in the Pavilions, so anyone can come in do what they want and we the residents get charged.

  2. O Taylor says:

    They tried this before the terms and conditions prevent them from charging everyone, they can only charge residents whom they have evidence of damaging / excreting the problem.

  3. Jp Thackeray says:

    It’s ridiculous the prices charged by companies like ‘Digs’ ‘Mainstay’ and others it’s an utter disgrace that students returning and new ones alike have to pay for sub standard apartments all these companies are out to make as much profit as they can for using or doing as little as they can and provide. Something needs to be done an overhaul of student places needs to be done sooner rather than later.

  4. Alex Colman says:

    £126 seems a lot of money to clean up a bit of excrement. Next time let me know I’d do it for £50!

  5. Robyn Hicks says:

    Thanks for your comments. Firstly, we’d like to take the opportunity to clarify a few of the points that were raised.

    In regards to the actual removal of the excrement, without going into graphic detail, this was not a simple clean-up. The removal involved a significant area and we had to use specialist cleaning products to ensure the lift was properly sanitised in accordance to Health & Safety compliance.

    Under the terms of tenancy agreement it clearly states (and I paraphrase here) that where there is no evidence of an individual tenant causing damage to a room, the flat and building common parts then the costs will be apportioned to all tenants within the damaged room, flat or building common parts.

    We do feel our property offers excellent value for money with the average rent actually being £88.00/week for modern en-suite apartments with excellent on site facilities. The rent also covers extras such as internet, contents insurance, the television packages and the general cleaning of building’s common parts. Any incidents of malicious damage do have to be compensated above and beyond the cost of the apartments or rooms. We are unable to incorporate these costs into the rent, as for residents who do not cause any damage during their stay with us this would be unfair.

    We are pleased to inform you that we are upgrading the CCTV system as part of the Summer refurbishment programme and we hope that this would result in less block charges as we would be more easily able to identify the perpetrators.

    Lastly, the whole point is that this incident is completely unacceptable (and illegal) in any aspect of today’s society and is not only unpleasant for the Pavilions staff but also the residents of the building. In the wider community if this act was committed in a public place it would not be a £126 charge, it would be a criminal record and a fine of up to £500.

    We understand that the vast majority of our residents are very well behaved and respectful to the site and other residents. We hope that our decision to apply a block charge will become a future deterrent or encourage people to come forward with information as to the perpetrators of this frankly, disgusting act.

  6. James Harvard says:

    First of all you have to bring into question the health and safety regulations. I’m a third year student and I have been on multiple clinical placements including surgery and respiratory medicine. My experience includes Nottingham City Hospital, Lincoln, Boston and Kingsmill. At my placements I have come across body fluids (including human excrement and infected blood) on the floor/ beds and surrounding areas. The requirements are more demanding than student accommodation as surrounding patients are really ill, coming out of surgery or recovering from infection. However, I have never heard of it costing £126 a pop to clean up. Standard soap is actually enough to destroy clostridium-dificile spores. These spores can become airborne but again this would not cost 126 pounds. A lift is an enclosed area. You seriously need to review your health a safety policies. Either way this is no fault of the students so they should not be charged.

    You do not offer excellent value, Brayford Quays offers a similar package but at a cheaper price. Houses are considerably cheaper with a faster (unlimited) internet connection and one washing machine to share between 4 people.

    To mention a criminal record and a £500 fine is ridiculous. Not everyone in the accommodation would receive a criminal record. Firstly you need evidence. Secondly the police need to be involved. Thirdly only the perpetrator “in the wider community” would receive it as opposed to everyone in the vicinity. Stating the law when you have no evidence of who did it or the circumstances (as the person may have a physical or mental medical condition) is irrelevant and can be perceived as an idol threat.

    Finally you support your act by stating that this is in the contract. Pavilions wrote the contract. The moral question still ends up at Pavilions’ feet. It is from example or incident where law and policy is changed. The NHS changes its policies when patients complain or when an incident happens. To simply state that it is policy is a fob off. It is completely unfair to charge innocent people.

    To sum up students are having to pay because of Pavilions’ poor security standards, or ineffective health and safety policy and poor legal reasoning.

  7. Craig baker says:

    It would help if Robyn Hicks explained exactly which part of the various Health and Safety acts contain instructions on specialist cleansing.
    Also, how this requirement is not part of the companies duty of care to it’s residents.

    Surely cleansing of any kind is part and parcel of a landlords duty of care to those residents and covered by the general rental agreement. Therefore as such cannot be charged for a second time.

    It smacks of a chance to bleed from the cashcows who live there and, I would hazzard a guess, is quite illegal.