STUDENTS have revolted against the owners of “luxury digs” in Bolton, by setting up a blog cataloguing a multitude of alleged pest infestations, fungi and safety concerns.
The residents of private student halls — The Pack Horse, at Nelson Square, and The Bank, off Deansgate — say they have been battling a host of problems since they moved in in September.
The upmarket accommodation — which costs between £90 and £115 a week — is run by Primo Property Management and is advertised as “the region’s most contemporary, luxurious and high spec student accommodation with unrivalled facilities”.
But complaints include mice and cockroaches in the shared kitchens, fungi in bedrooms, leaks from the ceiling, broken keys, gym equipment that has never worked, security doors swinging open in the middle of the night and no hot water in the morning.
The anonymous third-year students behind the blog — boltonstudent.blogspot.co.uk — said they started the blog out of frustration that their complaints weren’t being taken seriously.
“It’s just awful. It’s advertised as stress-free living in your third year but it’s the opposite,” a Pack Horse resident said.
“I started the blog because I was really upset and annoyed, and felt I wasn’t getting anywhere.
“When you type The Pack Horse into Google it comes up with all these amazing things and you don’t see anything of a true review, so I thought — I’m going to put up a true review.
"I don’t want to sound like a complaining student but when you’re paying more for luxury accommodation and they can’t even get the basics right, it’s unfair.”
A resident of The Bank, which only opened in September, added: “When I moved in it was literally a construction site. We were shown a blueprint of the building and it didn’t live up to expectations at all.
"A group of students were talking about not paying their rent until it’s all fixed, but everyone is worried about losing their deposits.”
Primo director John Forshaw said: “We are signed up to the National Approved Letting Scheme complaints procedure, and we haven’t received a single official complaint.
"That is what is really frustrating about the whole situation. There is a lot of stuff that is complete fabrication on the blog, and we won’t respond to an anonymous blog on the internet.”
Primo operations manager Ruby Jones said residents were aware of the pest control issue before they moved in, and that the firm had plans to look at all the rooms over Christmas.
She said: “We didn’t have any problems with pest control last year.
“We give each student a handbook when they move in about looking after the building and their room — there’s not much we can do if they don’t read it.
“I have had residents come to me saying they couldn’t believe what was on the blog and it doesn’t reflect their views.
“We are not perfect, and we will are learning all the time. Students are at the centre of our company and we care about all the residents.”