Unite Properties / The Rackhay Watch
Just wondering if anyone has any experience with UNITE halls, specifically The Rackhay? My student house situation is quite dire and if anyone can offer any first-hand experiences, good or bad, it'd be appreciated. Specifically -
How quickly are maintenance problems fixed?
How hard is it to get parcels delivered?
Is there a lot of noise at night? (Obv. Friday and Saturdays don't count )
Is there ever a problem with the laundry? 2 washing machines and 2 tumble driers in the whole building doesn't seem that much.
I live in Favell House, literally over the road from the Rackhay and I've been in there to look round. In Favell House, maintenance problems are often fixed quite quickly, but sometimes not. When we moved in, our flat didn't have a working shower - both showers pumped out boiling hot water which no one could tolerate. It didn't get fixed for about 2 weeks, then 3 of the 5 flatmates received £6.86 in compensation. Also, we didn't have a working fridge for over a week at the start of term. We weren't compensated for this. My friend's freezer recently stopped working. After informing the staff, they were told it wouldn't be fixed within the week and "Argos is still open."
Parcels are easy to get delivered. You just make sure it is sent to the office and they will sign for it and let you know. However, staff are often impatient with you if you don't collect it very quickly. They will also refuse to sign for anything large, even if you agree to come and collect it as soon as they call you. The staff are often unreasonable in this way. These are the same staff who work at the Rackhay as well.
There is a lot of noise most nights, but particularly at the weekend. There's a few popular pubs and clubs very close, so you get drunken idiots literally screaming just outside your window. This doesn't particularly trouble me, because I'm a nightowl, but I can see how troublesome it could be. In Favell House, the windows are rather thin, and don't insulate you from the sound. I'm not sure whether this is different in the Rackhay. I'm on the second floor, and am regularly woken up at night if I do go to bed early. The Rackhay has 6 floors (I just had to turn round to look out the window and count) so you might be lucky and be higher up.
I have never had to wait to do my laundry. I think we have 4 of each in Favell House, and it's usually pretty empty, so this isn't a problem. It is, however, pretty expensive. It's £2.20 per washing load and £1 for the tumble dryer. I usually have to do 2 of each, which comes to £6.40. You also have to purchase their laundry card for £3 (I think) before you can start paying. I expect this is the same in the Rackhay.
A few months ago, they installed a ridiculous device in our heating. It automatically turns off your radiator after 45 minutes, no matter the temperature. It also prevents your radiator working if it thinks the room is hot enough. In December, I had to wear a coat in my own room because my heating wouldn't stay on long enough to adequately heat the room.
If you want to complain about anything, they won't give you an email address. You have to phone up their "freephone" number. However, as I'm sure they know, it is not free to call from a mobile phone, which is clearly a deliberate attempt to dissuade complaints, as they don't provide landlines in the rooms.
If you lose or damage your room key (a swipe card), they will charge you £20. If you lose the key to your postbox (a tiny metal key that can have cost no more than 50p), they will charge you £10.
It may seem that I have been quite harsh, but I hope I have been able to give you an accurate picture of life in a Unite building. It has got to the stage where I no longer expect adequate service from Unite.
If you have any other questions, please just ask