In response, Ed Straw, one of the students involved, provided photographic evidence that the flat was left in a cleaner state than it had been at the start of their tenancy.After visiting the flats’ current tenants, he also found that the property had only been partially painted in order to cover a patch of mould.
The group also questioned further charges for rubbish removal, the costs of which had been aggregated across 732 of the university’s students, and mattress covers, for which Digs were unable to provide receipts.
Mr Straw, 20, told : “After emailing them countless times it became evident they weren’t going to budge on the money at all, and were simply waiting for me to give up.
"I’d never heard of anyone taking them to court over the money, but I read up on the law surrounding it enough to know I had a strong case.” The third-year biology student submitted the evidence to court and Digs, acting on behalf of landlord company Avon Co (Bristol) Limited, were ordered to repay the charges in full, plus interest and legal costs.
A week later the company's general manager personally delivered the cheque to their door, Mr Straw said: “I got handed the cheque for £865 whilst still in my dressing gown.” The group’s victory comes amid growing student backlash against high rent and cost of living.
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