STUDENTS intend to take the London School of Economics (LSE) to court over allegations that they were made ill by their mouldy, ratty digs.
More than 200 LSE postgraduates have started an online crowdfunding page to raise cash to sue the university for what they claim is a “recurrent and systematic” breach of their tenancy contract.
They say that since September residents at Sidney Webb House have suffered “health crises, distraction and distress” due to severe rodent infestations, widespread black mould, lack of heating and hot water for extended periods and broken lifts.
The postgrads claim that living conditions have reached “unacceptably low levels” and have “significantly impacted” their mental and physical health, academic performance and overall wellbeing.
On a CrowdJustice page the students, under the name Sidney Webb House Group, wrote that many students fell ill and were diagnosed with “upper respiratory-tract infections and one resident underwent an open surgical procedure due to skin infection.”
Unite Students, which manages the LSE’s student halls, said that while it understood there were “a few issues,” it did not accept that the accommodation had been the direct cause of any illness.
A spokesman for the LSE said the college had received “a number of complaints” and that its officers were “investigating each issue.”
The students aim to raise £5,000 for legal fees by August 5, which they say is the minimum required to launch legal proceedings against the university, from which they hope to win compensation.
University College London students recently declared victory after a rent strike over similar problems.