‘I am a victim of Morgan Court’: Inside the ‘black mould’ issues at Edinburgh Uni hall

‘The communication has been an absolute joke’

Residents of University of Edinburgh-owned student accommodation Morgan Court have claimed there is “significant water damage” and “black mould” on the ceilings, walls and windows of bedrooms, as well as showers that are “constantly leaking” into other resident’s rooms and the Tesco situated below.

The accommodation in Holyrood is self-catered, costing a minimum of £5,499 per year. Students allege multiple incidents of unresolved plumbing issues within its flats, causing subsequent mould and damp problems in bedrooms, including an incident where a student’s ceiling “fell on their bed” due to a huge leak from the shower above.

Amy* told The Edinburgh Tab she “felt isolated and displaced” due to the fact that despite maintenance staff “fixing” the problem, it leaked persistently and they were left having to “move stuff back and forth” for over two weeks.

Rebecca, another first year and resident of Morgan Court claimed that although the “bathrooms were redone over the summer the showers were all leaking…my flatmate’s still nearly floods her bathroom”. 

Rebecca explained there was also “black mould” along the windows of her bedroom, which despite reporting at the start of the year, says: “no one has come round to do anything about it.” 

She says that “waking up” to “people knocking on her door to fix things that should have been fixed over the summer” was “really frustrating” and that the whole ordeal has had a negative effect on her mental health, as she worries about the “effect of the mould”.

Another first year resident, Lucy* said that when she arrived at Morgan Court, her shower was so “covered in mould that the water didn’t even run properly”.

She also claimed: “The shower leaks all over my floor every time I use it, and it has a dip in it that makes me feel like I’ll fall through the floor any second”.

Similarly, Brad*, a student whose ceiling reportedly “started getting wet patches on it over three weeks ago”, raised the issue with maintenance but claimed they “never heard anything” to resolve it after an initial visit.

The issue reportedly “got significantly worse and spread across the ceiling” where “a massive patch of mould started growing”, whilst the “carpet was soaking as water was coming down the inside of the walls”.

Upon raising the issue a second time, Brad alleged that “the warden woman comes, all she does is put towels on the floor and says she’ll contact a plumber…I never heard from him again either”.

Weeks later, there is no resolution in sight: “The ceiling is still wet and mouldy and the towels are fully saturated. My room stinks of damp. The communication has been an absolute joke.”

In instances where issues have been followed up, one student was told that the damage to their ceiling from the damp was “superficial”, whilst Rebecca reported that the mould was “painted over”, making it impossible to remove. 

Testimonies from previous residents of Morgan Court suggest that these issues are not new. 

Reviews of the accommodation found on studentcrowd.com dating back to 2017 attest “you’d be better off living on the streets”, whilst a Google review from two years ago labelled it a “nightmare dorm masquerading as adequate accommodation”.

via studentcrowd.com

One student, Jack*, who lived in the building last year recounted similar experiences with plumbing problems which affected the Tesco located below the accommodation.

“I remember going to the Tesco downstairs and seeing buckets on the floor to catch the leaks.”

Jack also claimed that “the maintenance crew came barging into all of our rooms the first time it happened, without knocking, to get into the bathrooms as there was a leak in Tesco.”

A University of Edinburgh spokesperson said: “We are aware of maintenance issues at Morgan Court and would like to express our sincere apologies to the residents who have been impacted by this. We strive to address such incidents as swiftly as possible.

“During the summer of 2023, we successfully refurbished approximately 50 per cent of the ensuite shower rooms, with the remaining 50 per cent due to be completed by the summer of 2024.

“While we acknowledge an issue with one of the new units that led to additional leaks, this has now been fixed. The affected student has been relocated, as is our standard practice in events such as this.

“Furthermore, we are in consultation with the design team regarding the installation of new shower doors in a few ensuite bathrooms, and we anticipate having a solution by early next week.

“We carry out regular maintenance checks but we strongly encourage residents to reach out to us if they have any concerns so that we can address these issues promptly. We will take action on any findings related to dampness or mould.”

Names have been changed for anonymity.

Related articles recommended by that writer: