Leicester student hospitalised from mouldy accommodation receives £65 rent rebate and no compensation

A University of Leicester student who received hospital treatment after suffering from mouldspore poisoning has received a £65 rent rebate and no compensation.

They received the standard 50% rent rebate rate that the university announced in March for unoccupied rooms from January 4 to May 17.

Louise Leslie, who is leader of the UoL Rent Strike group, tweeted: “I was poisoned by black mould that infested my building. I was rushed to A&E twice I had to be moved 3 times. This is my rebate?”

She added: “My rebate doesn’t even cover the number of trips I took to the hospital and the doctors.”

Louise initially started noticing tiny red bites, which gradually became bigger, this left her so itchy that “I wasn’t able to sleep some nights”, and her symptoms included swollen lips, so she was unable to speak.

She took her story to the press early in the year, including posting a thread on twitter, this resulted in Louise being moved with her entire flat into another accommodation.

“What worries me is that you had to take media publication to see those problems. Fortunately, I have been moved to Digby Hall. And funnily enough, within a week, the rash is completely gone.”

Louise took several trips to the hospital with three doctors saying that it was highly likely that she had mouldspore poisoning.

“During winter I was stranded in the dark at six pm without being told the busses weren’t running.  As a girl I was honestly frightened some nights even though I wasn’t far from the university.

“Some situations my phone would die, and I’d have to walk back on my own in the dark, I’ve had to constantly rely on ubers to transport me to and from hospital.”

Louise has organised a rent strike protest on the university’s campus on 1 June. “It’s also ironic that students have been at home since October and have only a tiny bit of their money back. Some students have received nothing. I am truly angry at the whole situation not just what’s happened to me.”

A spokesperson for the University of Leicester said: “We encourage students who have issues or complaints regarding their accommodation to contact the Accommodation team on accommodation@le.ac.uk or to visit their 24/7 site reception in order to help us address all concerns as quickly as possible.

“We are providing accommodation rebates to those who live in the University’s own halls of residence and who have not made use of their accommodation since the start of the Spring term due to COVID-19. Eligible students living in private accommodation may also claim one-off financial support to help cover living costs, including rent.

“The University has made a COVID hardship fund available to students. Support is also available via studentcovidsupport@le.ac.uk and students can access financial, mental health and other support resources on our Life in Lockdown pages.

“We are conscious that this has been an extremely challenging time for our students but we remain committed to providing the best education and student experience we can during these uncertain times.”

Toby Cray is a second-year journalism student. You can find him on Twitter here

Find Toby’s satirical work here

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