Case Studies We publish case studies of some of the complaints that we receive and how they were resolved. We always leave out of the summary any information that might identify the student or provider. Where a case is upheld by the Tribunal, the notes of this can be found here Case Study 1 - Where the National Code helped someone get resolution just by telling them who to raise it with at the provider A student got in touch with the National Code to complain that the lifts within the accommodation were not working and hadn’t been for a couple of weeks. She explained that the accommodation manager was not addressing the problem with any urgency. The student was given the details of the National Code contact for her accommodation provider and advised to email them with the full problem, explaining that she had been given their details from the National Code. The student then resolved this issue without needing to lodge a formal complaint under the National Code. Case Study 2 - Where a student got resolution after raising a problem they had already taken through the provider's procedures A student got in touch with the National Code to complain about a deposit deduction. The student was advised that deductions do not fall under the remit of the Code however, was provided with the National Code contact for the accommodation provider as he had already progressed through the provider’s own internal complaints procedure. The deduction seemed very unfair and the student was encouraged to email the contact, explaining that he had been given their details from the National Code. The student then got back in touch with us to confirm that the National Code contact had agreed that the deduction was unfair and proceeded to issue him with a refund. Case study 3 - Where the Tribunal was able to get a final resolution A student moved into halls of residence in September however, upon arrival, he noticed that his bed was broken and so he would not be able to sleep on it. He informed the provider immediately and he was told that it would take one week for a new bed to be delivered. The student was not offered alternative accommodation. The student had proceeded through the provider’s internal complaints process as he did not feel that it was fair for him to pay the first weeks rent whilst he could not sleep there. The provider rejected this, stating that the student could use all other facilities, and continued to pursue debt collection for the outstanding rent. The student contacted the National Code and a formal complaint was sent to the provider. They remained adamant that the student must pay. Therefore, as we could not reach an agreement, the complaint was referred to the complaints Tribunal. The Tribunal upheld the student’s complaint under clause 3.9 of the Code, stating that as the student could not sleep at the accommodation, he shouldn’t have to pay for it. The provider complied with the Tribunal’s decision and ceased to pursue the student for the outstanding rent. Case Study 4 – Where a student was released from their tenancy early during the coronavirus pandemic due to exceptional circumstances A student’s mother got in touch with the National Code to make a complaint during the coronavirus pandemic. The Accommodation Provider had agreed to release tenants from their contracts (and rental obligations) if they left the accommodation by a certain date. There was also a deadline by which students had to accept this offer of release. The student had intended to leave but hadn’t got round to notifying the accommodation provider to accept the offer. On the day of the deadline, the student collapsed and was rushed to hospital. She was later collected and taken home by her parents, only to remember the deadline the next day. The student later contacted the Accommodation Provider but was told she didn’t qualify for early release because she had failed to meet the deadline. The National Code contacted the Accommodation Provider and explained that the complaints procedure would be used in relation to Coronavirus rent refunds if it was felt that “unnecessarily rigid and inflexible conditions were being set by a supplier … which fail to appreciate the individual circumstances of the complainant.” The student provided some very personal details of her own particular circumstances, along with medical evidence, and we asked the Provider to re-consider the case. The Accommodation Provider agreed to release the student on grounds of exceptional circumstances.