Exeter Uni students forced to live in hotels due to delays over student accommodation

Holiday Inn Express doesn’t count as student accommodation


A number of University of Exeter students were shocked to be moved to hotel rooms after their Hill View Place accommodation wasn’t built in time for them to move in at the beginning of term one.

The accommodation is located on Glenthorne Road, in between Birks, Moberly and Duryard. This development was the building work that uncovered the World War II bomb in 2021.

The work was due to be completed on October 7th but was delayed until October 22nd, and then again until October 27th, affecting around 130 students, Devon Live reports.

The affected students were offered temporary accommodation at Holiday Inn Express on Tudor Street. They were also offered £200 per week of the delay, along with £35 per day for meals – some were initially offered money towards travel expenses as those living further out who are having to rely on public transport to get to and from the university.

A second year law student affected by the delays said they had were “really annoyed” as they were “not informed by the company that the building would not be ready for their move-in date”, and it “came as a surprise”. Reminiscent of the trials and tribulations suffered by students who were moved into hotels last year, owing to the World War Two bomb disposal, it seems accommodation providers have not learnt; students told The Tab Exeter that they are having to “always go out to eat which gets expensive” as the hotel rooms have no kitchens.

Unfortunately, some students are having to move again, as the start of October half term has meant the rooms they are staying in are booked out. Some have been moved as far as the M5 Holiday Inn Express at Exeter Business Park. These students were offered an additional £35 per week to cover travel and an additional £200 for the one-week delay, as well as the continued offer of £35 per day for food.

According to the university, Exeter had 30,012 students attending its university in a 2021 student census. Housing the majority of these students in a city that is 47.03km squared feet is obviously a challenge that is continually being battled by building new accommodation – but if there is no place to live, then it is no good to students.

A spokesperson for Prestige Student Living said “Prestige Student Living acts as the managing agent for its properties across the country meaning we act on behalf of the landlord who own the property.

“When advised that Hill View Place would be subject to delay, we immediately contacted all students to offer them temporary accommodation in Exeter and provided them with daily meal vouchers and further compensation for each week of the delay.

“Our team has been based at a local hotel throughout the week, supporting the residents due to stay at Hill View Place by organising welcome meetings and social events. Unfortunately, when we were advised by the landlord that the building would be subject to a further one-week delay, we were unable to extend our group booking at the hotel for a small number of students due to it being school holidays next week.

“We took the decision, in the interest of the students’ wellbeing, to relocate them as a group to another hotel in the city. We were advised by the landlord earlier this week that all students will be able to move into Hill View Place from Thursday, October 27th.

“We have organised a phased opening of Hill View Place across October 27 and 28, and have arranged private transport to take each student and their belongings to the property. We remain in constant communication with all students affected.”

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