The Gables building is owned by St John's CollegeVysotsky // Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International //

A Lucy Cavendish student is living with cracked walls and damaged plumbing, after receiving no response to maintenance requests on the St John’s-owned accommodation.

The student’s accommodation block, The Gables, is owned by St John’s College, Lucy Cavendish’s largest landlord. On average St John’s charges its students, only two-thirds of the rent of Lucy Cav students.

The student has also been told that the accommodation block is due to be demolished in September, and believes this is one of the reasons for their failed maintenance requests.

According to the student, progress has been slowed by confusion over who is responsible for the building, given John’s controversial ownership.

“I had an issue with my sink and I was told that it wasn’t toxic and ordinarily they would need to replace my taps, but because St John’s wouldn’t put any money into it they wouldn’t, [and] it would probably be very unlikely that someone would come and fix it,” they said.

The student’s walls and ceiling are lined with large cracks. These cracks stretch the length and width of one of the walls, and go deep into the plaster, per photos seen by Varsity.

The cracks are especially prominent outside the bathroom, the student said.

“Our plumbing is quite dodgy like the other day all of the pipes fell off the toilet and had to refix it and put it back together and then it’s just generally quite draughty and rackety,” they added.


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Porters have also told the student that the accommodation block is due to be demolished next September, the student claimed.

“I think the problem is more that they’ve known they’re going to knock it down so they haven’t been doing regular repairs to it,” the student explained.

“I still had to put a £500 deposit on a room they’re demolishing next year,” they said.

The student also mentioned a clause in their lease which forbade the use of blu-tac. They queried: “Is blu-tac really the big problem?”

A St John’s College spokeswoman said: “St John’s is not aware of any outstanding maintenance issues that are the responsibility of the College to remedy.”