A garden shed was advertised as accommodation on Studentpad
It doesn’t even have WiFi
The university’s Housing Office has listed a garden shed as accommodation for students currently house-hunting for the next academic year.
The “property” was briefly featured on its website, despite the fact the hut is not fitted with central heating. Since it was brought to the university’s attention by The Tab, the listing has disappeared.
Based in Woodbourne Avenue in Hollingdean, Brighton, the university describes the owner of the shed, Jackie, as an “accredited landlord”.
Under the category of a “bedsit”, the landlord describes the property as a “very large wooden cabin”.
With two beds, landlord Jackie expects two Sussex students to live in the shed, each paying £100, which means the shed will be more expensive than on-campus residences East Slope and Park Village.
On the bright side, Jackie has somehow found room to install a pokey shower and kitchenette despite the limited space, and is kindly offering a free laundry service to make up for the lack of washing machine.
While Jackie is including electricity and water in the rent, the shed does not offer gas or Wi-Fi.
Any Sussex students wishing to secure the shed would have had to fork out a £400 deposit.
On the website, a disclaimer informs house-hunters the adverts are “made available to students in good faith”, but adds: “Students should be aware that a property appearing on Studentpad is not recommended or endorsed by the university. The university can accept no liability arising from use of this website and what you do with the information here is at your own risk. The university disclaim all express or implied conditions, representations and warranties of any kind, including any implied warranty or condition of satisfactory quality or fitness for habitation.”
When contacted by The Tab, a spokesperson for the university said: “A private landlord in Brighton did post an ad for a completely inappropriate form of accommodation via independent site Studentpad, targeting University of Sussex students.
“This accommodation clearly did not meet the rules and regulations stipulated by the university. Our housing office noticed the ad as part of its regular screening of the site and used administration rights to remove the ad immediately.”
Sussex housing officers have been trying to find creative ways to house students following the university’s recent recruitment drive. The Conservative government has put more pressure on universities to recruit more students. 2015-16 marks the first academic year in which all UK universities have been able to recruit as many students as they like, and in the face of falling state funding, this has sparked a recruitment war between universities across the country.
This year, some students have had to stay in hostels and hotels as a temporary measure while seeking houses.
Increased demand is likely to push prices up in Brighton, which holds the title as the most expensive city for private renting outside London despite students not receiving the London-weighted maintenance loan.