Universities - Dirty communal areas
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Universities should provide safe and good quality accommodation in their halls of residence. They must belong to one of the government approved Codes which set standards for halls of residence. You can read the codes at:
National Code - www.nationalcode.org.
If you have a complaint or believe your halls of residence does not meet the standards in the Code your first step should be to talk to your accommodation manager. Explain the situation and give them an opportunity to put things right.
Making a complaint
If the issue cannot be resolved informally, you should make a formal complaint in writing. You can do this through resolver. Include as much detail about your complaint as possible and explain how you would like it to be resolved. Include any evidence relevant to your complaint. You should raise the issue promptly, usually within 6 weeks of the issue occurring.
You may want to ask for a copy of your university’s complaints policy, which should be available on its website. The university should respond promptly to your complaint, usually within two weeks.
How resolver will help
resolver will record all your emails and phone calls automatically and for free. At each stage of the process it knows who to escalate your case to within the university and when to do this.
If you are not satisfied
If you have exhausted the university’s internal complaints procedure and you are not satisfied with the outcome, you can refer your complaint to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA). The OIA is free for students to use.
Fill in the OIA complaints form and send them a copy of your resolver case file. Include the Completion of Procedures letter from your university that shows you have completed their internal complaints procedure. The complaints form can be downloaded from the OIA website, www.oiahe.org.uk. You must contact the OIA within three months of receiving the Completion of Procedures letter.
If the OIA agrees with your complaint they will make recommendations to the university on what actions to take.
If you have exhausted the university’s internal complaints procedure and you are not satisfied with the outcome, you can refer your complaint to the National Codes Administrator. Write to them including details of your complaint and your resolver case file. State when you informed the university of the complaint and which section of the National Code you think has ben breached. You can read the National Code at www.nationalcode.org.
The Administrator will investigate the complaint and if necessary refer it to the Chair of Complaints Tribunal who will rule on the complaint and make recommendations. You may need to attend a tribunal hearing.
Your final option
If you believe the university has acted illegally or in breach of contract you can seek legal advice. You can also seek a judicial review of any decisions made by the OIA.
If you need additional advice
You can get help and advice on making a complaint from your local student union or your university’s student advice centre. You can also contact Citizens Advice on 08444 111 444.
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