top of page

Back to:

Home        Incidents  

How to complain

University contact details and how to identify landlords and agents.


University Complaints Addresses

If you believe the noise you're hearing is caused by students, complain to their university, citing the property address. If you're unsure whether they're students or which university they are with, email both universities, asking them to check if they have students registered at this address and, if so, to take appropriate action.


University of Bristol

Community Liaison Officer


University of the West of England

Community Liaison Manager

 

Making a Complaint to University of Bristol

In the past, it's been sufficient to send a simple email to the address above. The community liaison officer investigated complaints and fined students up to £250, among other sanctions. From September 2023 this system is changing. The CLO will continue to give out guidance to students facing a first complaint but on a second complaint he will compile an investigation report and send it to a UoB complaints-and discipline body called the Student Resolution Service (SRS), which will determine guilt and penalties.


The full implications of this new approach remain to be seen. Here are some aspects of the process that might work differently in future:

  • UoB's complaints page (https://www.bristol.ac.uk/accommodation/community/complaints.html) introduces a standard complaints form—but there is no sign yet that you must use this.

  • There have been indications that future investigations may be more thorough as regards obtaining independent evidence of the alleged events. See Collecting evidence.

  • In the past, the CLO has withheld the identity of complainants from students (though in some cases, they can probably easily guess who complained). It seems this also may change. The CLO has said he will be expected to pass complainants' details to SRS, and that it's possible this information will subsequently be divulged to the student(s) as part of normal disclosures in complaints cases. (People facing complaints should know who is making the allegations, etc.) Inevitably, this means complainants' personal details could also be revealed to anyone who assists the student(s) in their case: a Student Union rep, a lawyer, their parents. This could cause some complainants to worry about possible retaliation. At the moment, it doesn't appear that UoB has adequate consents in place from complainants to cover such a data transfer. However, at this early stage in the term, second-complaint investigations may not yet have begun and the issue may therefore not yet have arisen. Requests for clarification were raised at the Bristol Student Community Partnership meeting in July 2023. If this issue bothers you, raise it with the CLO. (I will be interested in hearing any insights into how this is working in practice. Andrew Waller, thenoisepages@gmail.com.)

 

How to Get Landlord or Agent Details for an HMO

Most students live in HMOs (houses in multiple occupation), which can be houses or flats. These properties are subject to licensing by the council and details are required by law to be made available in a public register. Bristol's version of this is the interactive Pinpoint map. You can use this to identify the landlord and the agent (if there is one) for a property you are interested in.


To use the map:

  1. Click the "+" sign next to "Housing and property" on the left hand side.

  2. In the list that opens, tick the left-hand box against "Property Licence - Mandatory HMO" and "Property Licence - Additional HMO". These are different types of HMO: "Mandatory" HMOs (green icons) house five or more unrelated people sharing facilities. "Additional" HMOs (blue) house 3 or four people. Some residential properties may contain two or more HMOs.

  3. Your map will now be densely populated with green and blue icons. Zoom in to street level to see more detail.

  4. Click an HMO icon to see when the property was licensed, and for how many people. This panel now also includes the name and address of the landlord and similar information for the managing agents, if any. ​

Contacting landlords and agents.

The panel contains only postal addresses, so to contact a landlord you will have to write a letter and mail it. However, if the landlord is a company, an internet search may yield an email address. Or you may be able to find an email address for the managing agent (if there is an agent—not all landlords have one). You could email a letter to the agents and ask them to forward it to the landlord. Or simply deal with the agents themselves. The Noise Pages recommends that, either way, you insist that the landlord be made aware of your letter. It's the licence holder—usually the landlord—who bears the legal obligations set out in the HMO licence. (See Resources for more HMO information.)


Note: If you live next to an HMO, the landlord or agents are required by their licensing conditions to give you their contact details—and should already have done so.

 

September 2023






Comments


Free Newsletter

Want to stay up to date? It's easy—just take a few seconds to sign up to my email list.  I send out a periodic e-bulletin summarising recent news. I may also send brief alerts if there's an important development.

 

There are about 370 subscribers as of October 2023. Join them—and encourage me to keep going!  

Comments? Questions? Want to report noise?

Let me know what you think!. Please email thenoisepages@gmail.com.

I will get back to you as soon as possible. If you'd like to send me a comment for publication, make it clear you'd like me to post it.

bottom of page