Originally Posted: 25th January 2023

Last Updated: 5th June  2023

5th June 2023 - Update
Following a decision that the temporary suspension of Northend Management from the National Codes should be referred to the Tribunal for a final determination, this body met as a Full Tribunal on May 4th 2023 and invited both the provider and complainants to attend in order to provide the Tribunal with information that would help it make a decision.

After listening to the relevant parties the Tribunal was of the opinion that Northend Management should be expelled from the Code, and a link to their decision is available here

17th February 2023 - Update
The National Code understands that on 14th February 2023 Northend Management, the managers of the recently evacuated Eldon Court, confirmed in an email to all tenants affected what they had previously told the National Code Administrator which was:

a) Any tenant who wished to cancel their contract can do so by email.

b) Once cancellation of the contract has been notified, tenants should remove their belongings from Eldon Court in a timely manner (the National Codes would suggest leaving no longer than three working days to do so). As entry to the building is limited, a slot should be arranged with Northend Management to gain access to any room.

c) Tenants will be refunded rent from the evacuation date of 24th January 2023. Tenants should check that Northend Management have the relevant bank details to process this (if they have not already done so).

d) Refunds should be processed by 21st February 2023 if details have been provided.

e) Some tenants may choose to wait until they can return to Eldon Court to live. The National Code advice is that there is no definite timescale for remedial works to be undertaken and delays have already occurred. Students may wish to enter into more permanent accommodation arrangements in order to minimise further disruption to their education, rather than face the uncertainty of when they may be able to return.

The National Code has asked Northend Management to consider making a one-off payment in recognition of the inconvenience they have caused their occupants and this is under consideration. There is, however, no provision within the National Code for enforcing this (unlike late construction where a schedule of payments applies). A further update on this will appear when appropriate.

The National Code Complaints Investigator has received a number of complaints about this matter and these are being investigated and those complaining will receive responses when that investigation is completed.

7th February 2023 – Update

Northend Management are planning the necessary fire safety works at Eldon Court, and will update tenants with further details about likely timescales and when they expect the building to be re-opened. It is the view of the National Codes that as a works programme or return date is not confirmed that tenants may wish to find alternative accommodation. This is a decision for affected tenants to take, and Northend Management will be  in touch with details of their plans.

Northend Management have given a commitment to release all tenants who wish it, unconditionally, and tenants have been notified of this via email. They have also confirmed that tenants will have rent refunded for the period they are unable to occupy the building, back dated to the 24th January, and refunds are currently being processed. Tenants who wish to leave their tenancy or have not provided their bank details for refunds should contact Northend Management.

On January 24th 2023 the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Services served a Prohibition Notice on Northend Management, the operators of Eldon Court, St Marks Road, Leeds, a student accommodation block, with respect to issues that they had identified in block 1 of that development. This Notice prohibits occupation of the premises from that date until matters specific within the Notice have been remedied. The Notice resulted in the occupants of the building being evacuated immediately and further details from WYRFS can be found here: https://www.wyfs.co.uk/news/students-evacuated-flats-deemed-unsafe

There were two specific matters that gave rise to the issuing of the notice. 1. Inadequate means to ensure the means of escape can be safely used in case of fire; 2. Insufficient means to reduce the risk of fire spread. The notice states that the measures to remedy these matters should include compartmentation is provided throughout the building, but specifically within the smoke ventilation/services void and basement area to prevent the passage of smoke and fire.

Having been Notified of this action, the Chairs of the National Codes Audit Panel agreed that Northend Management should be suspended immediately from the National Code whilst further investigations are undertaken.

Advice to Affected students

Over the next week the National Code will be working with Northend Management, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Services, Leeds City Council and universities whose students have been affected to understand how long it will take to rectify the issues identified. We will then be in a better position to provide advice on longer-term accommodation arrangements.

In the interim, all students currently living in Eldon Court have been offered short-term temporary accommodation. Please see below for contact information.   

University of Leeds students
If you are a university of Leeds student living at Eldon Court and have not yet been in contact with the university you are advised to contact the accommodation office team who will be able to support you. 

Please contact the Accommodation Office on [email protected] or call us on 0370 1200 189 / 0113 343 7777

Leeds Beckett University students
If you are a Leeds Beckett University student living at Eldon Court and have not yet been in touch with the university you are advised to contact the accommodation team by email: [email protected]

Short-term accommodation will be provided at Kirkstall Brewery, a university residence.

Students studying at other institutions

Your institution will be aware of the situation and you should make contact with your accommodation/ advice team for further support.

National Code Complaints Process

If you are a tenant affected by these issues, the National Codes has a complaints process you can access, see here for further information.