‘They don’t care if we get sick’: County accommodation block infected with mould

Students fear the mould is having ‘serious effects’ on their health

A group of first-year students in a County Main flat have been living with mould on the walls and leaking ceilings. The Lancaster Tab reported similar issues last year in the same flat. Due to the national lockdown restrictions, students spend more time than usual in their accommodation, which contributes to the issue of mould.

One student The Lancaster Tab that the state of their room is “really bad.”  The mould appeared to have spread “along with the ceiling” and is “getting bigger and worse.”  The student complained about their health as a result of the issue, with them having “trouble breathing during the day.” Some of the student’s flatmates have also “started to cough and are struggling to breathe as well.”

Another student revealed concerns about their other flatmates that they are because of the “serious effects on their health” and the potential disruption to their studies.

A student with a leak in their bedroom criticised the university’s attitude to the matter: “I think the mould situation is completely unacceptable. Along with the leaks, we had one in our stairwell, and one has now started in another flatmate’s room, while the mould continues to grow and spread right above our beds.”

This student claims that nobody was informed about the potential for mould or leaking before they moved in. This lead many to believe that “[the university] doesn’t care if we get sick.”

Last year we reported that the cause of these faults is a “structural issue” relating to the “waterproofing” or the cladding around the windows.

The Lancaster Tab was shown evidence that students had raised concerns relating to leaks dripping into electrical light fixtures to college porters, who in response “came and switched off the light power as it was an electrical fire hazard.”

Residents of the flat reached out to the university for advice and received the response that the accommodation team would be “looking into it as a matter of urgency.”

After being presented with evidence that mould and leaks were present in multiple flats, Lancaster University said: “The reports of mould growth in this flat have not been reported previously. UPP has requested to inspect the kitchen and all rooms on Monday. The University has requested UPP report findings and action plan so that we can keep students informed. We have received no reports of water leaking into a light fitting; the location of this particular fault should be reported immediately.”

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