Student halls provider Liberty Living, which runs the University of Kent halls on the Medway campus, has announced a drop in student applications for rooms this year.
In an email sent by the University of Kent accommodation team to current students, Liberty Quays stated that “a number of rooms were still available”.
Liberty Quays, situated at Victory Pier in Gillingham, offers en-suite rooms for new and current students, with communal areas shared by up to nine people.
The drop in room occupancy comes after a series of revelations by The Medwire revealed staff negligence and questionable living conditions at Liberty Quays.
In a previous article, it was revealed that several communal areas had been infested with mice, with faeces being found in other areas.
The revelations came after a petition by former Liberty resident, Jem Collins, saw over 150 disgruntled students, parents and members of the public complain about the service and facilities on offer by Liberty Quays.
Complaints ranged from expensive maintenance costs to delays in deposits being handed back to students. A number of comments were also made about the management team at Liberty, with students branding staff “rude” and “unhelpful” on numerous occasions.
Students have also claimed the room prices have led them to seek accommodation away from the halls. Prices have increased by an extra £10 a week from last year to £127.
One student said that he could “barely afford to live” on the prices, which total just under £5,000 for one year.
“If I paid £5,000 to live at Liberty, I’d starve!” he said. “It’s ridiculously expensive, Liberty Quays is more expensive then London student accommodation.”
In a move to entice students, Liberty Quays has offered a 2% discount on accommodation prices if fees are paid in full by September 15.
Students who choose not to live in halls usually opt for a private landlord, where a fully-furnished bedroom in a house shared with four other people can start from as little as £90, bills included.
However, the down turn in student numbers could come at a cost for Liberty Living, who are currently extending their halls at Victory Pier. The new extension is scheduled to open next summer.