Ceiling COLLAPSES in UCL Hall of Residence
The ceiling had been reported to UCL two months ago.
The Tab have received reports that the ceiling in a bedroom in Campbell House East- deemed “clearly unfit for human habitation” by Cut the Rent- has collapsed today. Luckily no one has been hurt.
The ceiling fragment could well have killed the occupant of the room, Maxime Duchateau, who has admitted how fortunate he was not to have been on or near the bed at the time.
There have been accusations that the roof collapse was caused due to mismanagement by interim head of UCL Accommodation Office Duncan Palmer-who formerly worked for private facilities management firm UPP and claims on his LinkedIn profile to have proven ability in ‘overseeing the delivery of high quality service levels to ensure customer satisfaction.”
Unconfirmed reports have said that the ceiling was rotten, possibly caused from lingering moisture within the structure, leading to its collapse- there was a bathroom above Maxime’s room.
Maxime had allegedly reported a leak to UCL management in February, which he believed was caused from a pipe in a bathroom above and had been told it was fixed. This has raised serious concerns that UCL accommodation has been unable to perform proper risk management.
Maxime’s bed linen and some of his clothes were covered in rot from the collapse- he has said he received tokens from the office at Campbell House East allowing him to wash his clothes for free.
Maxime has told the Tab that,
“I approached UCL for a leak that was coming from the exact same area that collapsed, it was two months ago. I think this is mismanagement yes, because clearly, the roof must have been damaged and infiltrated by water for collapsing like that”
“I am taking some measures, I am going to write to the supervisor of the residences to ask for a full refund of my rent from September to now, and I will demand not to pay for the rest of the year.”
Students have long been campaigning for UCL to improve the condition of its accommodation which are among the most expensive in the country but have suffered from pest infestations in the past. This has caused some students to withhold rent from UCL until some of their demands have been met.
UCL Cut the Rent, which has been campaigning for UCL administration to address the quality and cost of its Halls released a statement following the ceiling collapse arguing that “This is only the latest example of dangerous structural neglect of residents’ health and safety…this constitutes a serious safety breach by management.”
UCL Accommodation Office and UCL Residents Office have been approached for comment.