UoB graduate’s halls began being ‘demolished’ while she was still living there
Her landlords say it was ‘external work on the neighbouring properties’
A UoB graduate was shocked to find her halls were being cleared out, even though she was still living there, and had another week left on her tenancy.
Aditi Anand, who studied Law, only found out about the work when she contacted her property agent, Unihousing, to ask to for a lease extension.
As work began stripping out flats in Aditi’s building, located on Bristol Road above Drinks2Go, she found herself walking through a building site just to leave her one bedroom flat, contending with open wiring, demolished walls and removed windows.
Speaking to The Tab Birmingham, Aditi says she never expected to be living in a hectic building site. “I am living in the middle of a construction site surrounded by debris, hanging wires and open pipes. The walls around me were breaking”, Aditi said.
With work taking place throughout Aditi’s building, she added: “Access to my flat was obstructed. There were opened up walls and windows which I had to pass and exposed my hallway.”
When we contacted Unihousing, they said the construction was not part of a demolition, rather “external work on neighbouring properties,” which involved “the stripping out of non structural fixtures and fittings.” Unihousing said Aditi “was still able to use the property internally unaffected”.
Aditi commented: “Even the builders felt sorry for me. One of them said to me they’d never started demolition work whilst a tenant was still living there.”
Explaining there was “severe noise disruption”, Aditi said: “Dust and debris was also a major issue due to the extent of the works, my flat was vibrating from the machine work.”
The graduate only found out about the construction work when she emailed Unihousing on March 24th asking for an extension of her tenancy.
Unihousing replied the next day saying: “Unfortunately, the property is being redeveloped as soon as the tenants leave, we have some studio apartments on Grange Road available until September if you would like to move to one of them.”
Yet when work began on July 24th, Aditi had not moved out as her tenancy finished a week later, on July 31st. “I was given the impression that any construction work would begin after I had left and moved out,” she says.
Not only did Aditi have to walk through a building site to get outside, but conditions inside her flat deteriorated.
Her water supply was cut off for up to five hours and she had no hot water for three days. As a result, she was forced to move out and stay at a friend’s house for the rest of her tenancy.
Unihousing told Aditi she would be “fully compensated for the rent period from July 24, and allowed to stay in the premises while work on the neighbouring properties was carried out.” They called this a “generous response”.
Unihousing’s full response read:”Following a meeting…last week with Aditi it was agreed she would be fully compensated for the rent period from the 24th July and allowed to stay in the premises while external work on the neighbouring properties was carried out.
“This was not demolition this was stripping out of non structural fixture and fittings, we understand this was inconvenient hence our generous response in returning 100 per cent of her rent for the affected period despite the fact that she was still able to use the property internally unaffected other than by external noise and a single disconnection of water for a short period of time, we are furthermore surprised at Aditi’s response as we felt this matter had been dealt with.”