— with contributions from The Linc news team
Finding a house in Lincoln is normally difficult but there have been more problems this year as the University of Lincoln has booked half of the rooms in privately owned student halls in the city.
Most housing was made available on January 26th, the day of the Students’ Union’s Housing Fayre – but within hours the major accommodation providers in Lincoln had no places left as they were reserved for the
expected increase of new students in September, without warning that spaces were tight.
A University of Lincoln spokesman explained: “Including the Courts, there are approximately 4,000 student rooms in the various university-approved developments in Lincoln.
“In addition to all of the rooms in the university Courts, approximately 50% of the 3,000 rooms in private sector developments have been reserved.”
This means that around 60% of the 2,500 new students who need housing will not be living in university-owned rooms – but with 1,500 rooms booked many existing residents of private halls have been unable to rebook.
Approximately 700 rooms have been reserved in the Ruston Way based accommodation Pavilions, leaving many students unable to rebook where they currently live for the next year – and 200 people are on the company’s waiting list.
Residents used the official Pavilions page on Facebook to vent their concerns, with some students explaining how despite reserving a room, as they did not get the tenancy agreement signed with guarantors in as quickly as required, their room had been sold.
A Facebook group titled “Pavs Stole My Home” also contained many complaints, particularly due to the complete lack of notice that the company gave. Digs, the company that owns Pavilions, responded in a statement saying that they “decided, in line with the university’s policy, to not cause panic by telling our current residents that spaces within The Pavilions were limited”.
Instead, in December they started promoting their standard re-booking scheme, saying: “We did carry out plenty of promotion on a variety of platforms to advise you to book early.
“We were informed by the Accommodation Office at the university that most students do not consider their accommodation option until the January Housing Fayre that took place on the 26th, so we felt that we had informed our re-bookers with plenty of time.”
The situation is similar with the other accommodation providers that the university works in partnership with. All rooms at Brayford Quays went within seven hours, and Junxion is also full after the university booked 180 rooms – although originally requested 260 rooms – but only around 10 people are on their waiting list.
Park Courts have had 180 rooms reserved by the university for incoming students leaving 99 rooms available for those re-booking.
Hayes Wharf could not confirm to The Linc whether they were full before the February issue went to print.
In previous years, the University of Lincoln approached the partnership providers later in the year to reserve rooms for first years after returning students have had a chance to book places. The number of rooms booked by the university fluctuates each year according to the number of expected applicants.
The University of Lincoln has said that they are making plans to improve what they describe as the “well publicised” pressure on accommodation in the city.
“The university is currently reviewing its student accommodation strategy to ensure that the availability of high quality student accommodation continues to be in line with our ambitious plans.” However, no details were given as to what the plans involve.Tweet