Students involved in a row over an ‘uninhabitable’ rental house, which left them in debt of over Â£ 5,000, finally celebrated a victory.
Fabricio Thercaj and Lee Kadiri, who study at Oxford Brookes University, revealed they received their bail and first month’s rent totaling Â£ 1,766.33, and thousands of pounds ‘written off’ after a campaign led by the community union ACORN.
The sophomores rented two rooms from an owner, represented by North Oxford Property Services (NOPS), and were due to move in September of last year.
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However, the couple said they were shocked to discover the house had a number of issues, including “ fungus growing in the toilet, ” “ mold in the walls, sinks, bathrooms, windows and all over the house. ”
When Mr. Thercaj and Mr. Kadiri told NOPS that they would not be moving into the property, the landlord withheld their deposit and the first month’s rent for the next nine months.
Mr Thercaj commented on the experience: âWe received the refund last Friday, but it took all of my college experience to get here.
âIt’s tough and it’s not something you would really want to experience.
âI wanted to move in with my friend and enjoy it, and get all the benefits of it, but I didn’t get it.
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At the time, ACORN promised to keep the pressure on the real estate agency representing the owner to make sure the two students got their money.
Emma Andrews, union member responsible for the case, stressed that ACORN is often contacted for this type of “injustice” in Oxfordshire.
She said: âLee, Fabio and the team played a blinder, took some impossible odds and won what was right.
âUnfortunately, the community union sees this kind of injustice all the time.
âThat’s why, whether against realtors or bosses, ordinary people like us have to stand up for what is right.
âIf you dare to fight, you dare to win.
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âIf you don’t dare to fight, you don’t deserve to win.
“We also appreciate that we would not have won without the integrity of the Oxford Mail reporters who dare to report the truth about the behavior of wealthy and powerful real estate agents.”
The union also helped another student in September, who won a battle over a stained mattress against her owner.
In April, Debbie Swailes, director of NOPS, said the owner actually offered a solution to the two students.
At the time, she commented: âWe understand that shortly after they moved in, they raised concerns about a small number of issues, which were addressed as soon as possible given the limitations of Covid.
âAlthough we recognize that there were problems, for which we apologize, nothing made the house uninhabitable, indeed there were two other tenants in residence at the time.
NOPS has been contacted for comment.