“ University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology. „
Location: Greencoat House managed by Unite Student Accommodation, Kingston Upon Thames
Stay period: 2012/13
I have lived in Greencoat House for the 2012/13 academic year. However, it is absolutely the worst student accommodation that I have ever lived before.
Greencoat House, which is situated in Kingston Upon Thames, is managed by Unite Student Accommodation. The photos and all the booking procedures listed in the Unite website are detailed and looks to be a reliable student accommodation, considering the scale it covered in the whole UK.
However, the actual management onsite is absolutely not satisfactory once I have moved in. I rented a single student studio in Greencoat House. I have to say all of room facilities are in satisfactory condition, with no broken pieces. However, it is all about the management which messed up all my experience in staying in Greencoat House.
Firstly, the fire alarm rang on almost THREE to FOUR times per week. I am not sure whether it is a fire alarm or someone deliberately set on the fire alarm just for fun, the fire alarm just ranged TOO frequently. Sometimes during daytime, sometimes during midnight, without any notice. It is not acceptable to trouble a paid customer for such a frequent amount of disturbance.
Secondly, there is at least ONE maintenance access to your room every SINGLE week, considering I am staying in that building for a year. The number of times to access the student room is too frequent and not acceptable. Also, there will surely have other workers (i.e. strangers) outside your room door every week. This cause unreliable and unsafe feeling to my room safety, considering they also have the right to access the room.
Thirdly, some of the public facilities situated inside the building is also not acceptable. For example, there is no space for dropping garbage inside the building and you have to carry your own stinky garbage walking right front of the crowded Kingston rail station and turn to the building backspace (i.e. car park) to drop your garbage.
In conclusion, all of the points that I have mentioned above did not exist in other student accommodation that I have lived in. For example, I have lived in Nido Spitalfields in the year which the building is also newly opened. They DO NOT have all of problems mentioned above. They have the private garbage space every floor, and there is only one to two times in ONE YEAR the fire alarm has rang or the room required maintenance. The Greeencoat Staff argued that it is a new building thus it is not doubt that there will be some issues. In fact, I have to say I don't care what problem you have because I am a paid customer to stay that building and thus I am expected the standard FULFILLS the price. If the building is not ready, do not open it.
A Kingston University Student
I would honestly recommend choosing this place last. It's liveable, but barely.
Basically, the best thing about this place is the community with people on your floor. IF you get a good few people, that is! The rest of the place, for what you pay, is crap.
Chandos Hall is pretty much an old, old building falling a part everywhere. I moved in for the 2011/2012 year, made some AWESOME friends but I'm sick to the teeth of this place. Here's a few problems for you:
- Maintenance is terrible at Chandos Hall. We've had a broken toilet seat for 6 months and, since moving in, my window STILL doesn't close completely and they still haven't bothered to fix it. It's freezing in winter.
- We lost heating for MONTHS and only had electric heaters. They, when they switched the HOT water off one weekend (they provided no alternative for showers), they forgot to mention the WHOLE water supply went off. So imagine students waking up, about 5 sharing a toilet, using the toilet, going to flush then realising it didn't work. No one in over the weekend so we had that stench and NO toilet for the whole weekend. No apology, no warning, NOTHING from Chandos.
- There have been floods all over the place on the floors because pipes seem to constantly break.
- Chandos Hall seriously has the worst water in the city centre. My friend's tap spits out little stones, I don't have cold water (only luke warm in BOTH taps) and it ALWAYS comes out cloudly. It's disgusting and you'll spend more money buying bottle water in all honesty.
- The plaster on the walls near the doors is falling off. These doors slam really, REALLY loudly and WILL wake you up if you live next to them. We have to keep them open constantly.
- Kitchen looks like something from Charlie Bucket's house before he got that stupid factory.
- Things constantly break. And I don't mean by force or drunk students... the handle has fallen off the grill three times now, just by pulling it down.
- The hobs and ovens have a tendency to 'stop working' randomly. It takes forever for someone to come and fix it.
- Three plug sockets in my room have failed SAFETY tests and have a huge "FAILED" sticker on them. Grim.
- You can literally break into any room with a card or prying at the doors. I'm lucky because everyone I know here who does this are my friends and we get on so well - but it's not very secure.
- The pipes make a really weird sound almost constantly. You get used to it... eventually.
Seriously, this place is falling a part. Last option only. Chandos Hall maintenance is rubbish; they may be nice people, but they really don't seem to care. Ridiculous living conditions and that's just the tip of the iceberg. However, the community here is awesome - but you're taking a massive risk because if you get stuck with boring people you will have a horrible time.
When I was at Manchester University the one problem was accommodation.Before you even start your course you really need to sort the accommodation factor out. Accommodation can be very costly and you should really think about having somebody else living with you or else the expenses of living in a place can be expensive.
The best thing to do is get a flat because its small and the rent price for it is not high at all. They have some fantastic prices for flats in Manchester but other bills will make it still costy.
If you know somebody who goes to the same university as you ask them to live with you and go halves on the rent. By doing this the rent is much cheaper for both of you and you are getting to save money on the side.
Accommodation in different areas can be a problem to. If you do not live in a area which is not close to university it can be most costly to those renting out. You need to make sure that you are living close to your university as it helps more being nearer to the university.
Never look for accommodation with any agencies as they will charge more. There are a few flats and houses available for students given by housing agencies but they charge more. Universities can help you find better ones at cheaper prices.
I stayed in Weston Hall for 2 years during my time at uni in manchester, and can definately reccommend it to others. It is right next door to what used to be my main departmental building, and no more than a couple of minutes walk from what was then the main UMIST building. Although there was no free car parking, it didnt matter to me, as i didnt own a car then. Its only a few minutes walk from the main city centre, closer than most other halls of residence. Broadband internet can be accessed for an addittional charge.
For around six months I lived at Chandos Hall (no longer as I left my course at the University of Manchester for another) and I would commend it with only one reservation as I found it too far for comfort from the Manchester University, as it always took me around 15, 20 minutes to go between the two at the sort of speed I like going places and this is a conservative representation as I always felt myself rushed. Don't be fooled by the accommodation map - the scale's a fair bit smaller than it appears. I thought the massive motorway roundabout would be a quaint little thing with flowerbeds and adverts placed by local businesses in the middle bit! - For UMIST students it's right on top of things, unless you're at the business school or materiel sciences thing, which are a bit further away. The actual building was is your typical 1960s concrete job, from the "let's have all the working class people living happily together in a commune just as I did before daddy stopped sending me money" school of architecture, but don't let that put you off as it is in good condition and is well maintained. There's one basement floor, housing a table tennis table and a laundry, the ground floor with the office and the common room and then residential floors of which there are about fourteen, I forget exactly. Right at the top is the warden's floor, with a well hidden roof-top garden and a meeting room for the annually elected Residents Association Committee - or RAC - which organises social events and represents the concerns of residents to the warden/UMIST accommodation bosses. The bulk of the floors have a dozen or so people living on them, I'm not sure exactly as the one I was in had less, as like three other floors it housed a tutor's flat (the tutors being there to quieten us down/make sure we don't kill ourselves etc.,) and a cleaning cupboard which together accounted for roughly a quarter of the available space. The
rooms are spacious, no doubt about it, on the small floors there's two shared rooms and seven single ones though most of the double ones aren't shared and are instead designated "super single" rooms with the inhabitant paying extra for double the space, unless their room-mate moved out for somewhere else in which case they end up getting more for less, har har (I speak with experience...) Each single room has a sink (in Chandos Hall there seems to be no uniform standard of sink, there're all shapes and sizes which is typical of the nature of the place) with a mirror that somehow manages to be inherently manky without actually being unhygienic or mucky. The wardrobes are spacious, and built in the wall so they can't fall over/get nicked/fall from a window and kill someone, etc., and have capacious cupboards above them which are very handy. The desks are a nice size and quite new, the mattresses on the beds are nice and firm, the linen's good and the chairs are comfortable (each single room has one high-backed normal chair and one low down slob-chair). There are enough lightbulbs/powepoints/lightswitches/shaving plugs and the windows open and a good temperature is maintained. Apparently on the lower floors the bedroom sinks have been known to overflow somewhat but on the upper levels they do nothing but gurgle a couple of times in the evening, for no apparent reason. The floors are carpeted throughout (with the exception of the kitchen) the corridors are well-light, a little narrow, and painted either yellow, red or blue depending on the floor. Just outside the lift/stairwell there's always a full-length mirror and a snazzy little letter signifying what floor it is you're on. Getting TV reception in the rooms is tricky. According to my former room-sharer you can obtain keys for your desk and your wardrobe from reception. All the rooms have telephones installed (but it's easier just to use your mobile!) and an Etherne
t socket. Double rooms have double the facilities, with the exception of sinks, mirrors, windows and radiators. On my floor there were two toilets, two showers and one bath which no one ever used. I personally had no problem with the showers though one of them was a trickle rather than a shower and the other had no lock or ventilation so it was a trade off between privacy and comfort, though the one which was lacking a lock did have a curtain that could be drawn. The toilet cubicles were a little crampt and the only place to wash your hands would be in your own sink. Washing/toiletry provision was adequate and there were never any queues. The kitchens are excellent - however both the 2001 and 2002 UMIST/MANU accommodation brochures advertised the presence of Satellite TV and two microwaves, though my floor had but one and no sky (there isn't a computer cluster in the hall either, as it claims, the room it once occupied having at some point been commandeered into becoming - well, let's just call it the UMIST North Campus's debtors prison...) Everyone gets a locker to keep their food in, there's two fridges, two freezers, a kettle, a toaster and two electric ovens as well as a microwave - crockery, cutlery and pots and pans are all provided, and again provision is adequate. Kitchens are cleaned on all weekdays, and the washing up liquid topped up, and provide a good place for gathering to watch TV or just "chilling" and are exactly the right size for the number of people who use it. The only thing is that the water's a little minging, it's warm and has a disturbingly smooth, silky flavour but then I think it's the same in London. I am very much of the provinces. The hall is an excellent place in which to get drunk - resident hall tutors are there to pick you up and lead you to your bead/calm you down and there's no end of things to shout out of the windows and the little egg-cups constitute a good supply of ready made
shot-glasses. The atmosphere of the place is brilliant - I had no problems with any of the guys on my floor and had a great time there and the better I got to know them the more I liked them. It's literally a minute's walk from the UMIST bar, a stone throw's away from the station and not far from the city centre which in some ways is as good as it is bad!! The office in the reception has some decent secretaries in it by day and security guards in there by night so there's always someone to let you back in to your room if you lock yourself out 24-7 and there's also a security lodge just down the road full of burly UMIST-troopers - in this respect (having its own reception) it is unlike the other halls in the UMIST North Campus (Wright-Robinson, Lamberts and Fairfild's Hall) who are all served by this office and picking up post is really easy. As someone who served on the RAC for a couple of months, pre-me executing a deedpol, until I became an absentee member (!!) and once attended a higher-level meeting (which was not confidential, may I just point out seeing as I am going to mention some of what came up for your benefit) where it transpired that there was a greater frequency of crime/unauthorised entry in the other residences as well as an increased problem with leafleters (all the leaflet sprees in Chandos were inside jobs) who'd come in and stuff loads of leaflets everywhere, though the harsher crime problems such as burglary were generally speaking more in the Univeristy of Manchester's halls in Moss Side and places like that, where GMP patrol with machine-guns! The Chandos Hall entrance was, when I was there (until Feb 2002) opened by a key card from the outside, and to get to the lifts you had to open another door with it, though people who shouldn't be inside have been known to slip in after others when they opened the door as though they were residents just coming in with them, though this is rare. To discourage
leafleters people are allowed to leave the odd pile of papers in the foyer, with most of the rubbish that gets pushed under people's doors being adverts for the Paradise Factory, a local club. And don't be taken in by the big macho CCTV camera - it's placing's a little dodgy and more often than not it can't see anything by virtue of its positioning though by Sept. 2002 they'll have probably sorted it and I think that to be fair security is pretty tight - although there are prostitutes and tramps on Granby Row/Sackville Street, none of that sort of thing gets through the measures that are in place and once inside the hall you can go about your business there with a well-founded sense of security. As someone on my floor said, all the crime's going on eleven floors down! - In my crime there I encountered no crime other than the ones we committed!! To summarise: In the words of the accommodation brochure, "Friendly, relaxed supportive environment" - it's secure, has its own distinct, pleasant ambiance to it, is well located and has good facilities. It provides a quality environment for both work and play. I enjoyed every moment of my time there, both dull and memorable!! - As someone starting at the University of Warwick later this year, looking at the type of accommodation they have, it seems unlikley that any of them will equal Chandos in terms of facilities and customer service, though this of couse remains to be seen...
Just ignore the title ok? It's the result of a bored night last Christmas when some of my flatmates made up a song about the wonderful (can you hear the sarcasm ?) place in which we live. Actually it's not all that bad. I was dreading having to share a bathroom with 15 other girls, for example, but it's not that bad. Big thanks of course are due to our daily cleaners who leave everything spotless. The hall had 11 corridors which can house up to 16 students each. There's a kitchen / common room on each floor with a TV and enough fridge and feezer space and cookers etc. They provide crockery and cuttlery (and washing up liquid if you beg) but you have to do all the cooking – unless take aways are on the menu as they frequently are. There's also a communal common room on the ground floor with pool tables and a TV but I don't think any one's been in there all year....... The rooms themselves are huge compared to normal halls. You get a lovely big desk (large enough to hold a desktop computer, printer and CD player and still give you enough room to work on) and lots of shelves for CDs, smelly stuff and, some strange thing students sometimes need called books...... There’s a wardarobe, again with shelving inside and an ample supply of coat hangers unless the person in the room last year knicked them all – it has been known..... The bed is an off ground one which gives plenty of underbed storage, and you get a desk chair and a relaxing chair. The room’s come equipped with sinks mirrors and towel rails. There would be more than enough room to fit in another bed, and this comes in handy when 6 people want to crash on your floor for the night. Each room has its own private telephone and all have internet facilities if you buy the special card. This is a different line so you can phone your friends while surfing the net – bonus! All phone calls within the building and to other UMIST resid
ences are free, and everyone also had their own personal voice mail. The hall provides sheets and quilt covers which have to be changed on a set day each week – some of us cannot be bothered and so just use our own. Rooms on my side of the corridor have an extra fan thing to keep you cool as it can be noisy trying to sleep with the window open (these rooms look down onto London Road). The other rooms don’t as they’re quieter and look onto the SU courtyard. On each floor there are 4 showers and 3 toilets which are spread between two bases – the north and south ends of the corridor. As I said, these are cleaned daily which is a wonderful bonus. Individual rooms are also cleaned every 2 weeks, and the kitchen, again, every day. There’s a laundry room in the building with 2 washers, 2 dryers (which often don’t really dry) and space to hang things and wash by hand. It’s 1 pound per wash, and 20p per dry, although you need to put in 60p really to get anywhere. There's a fairly active residents association who organise a ball and a shopping bus etc - the latest event was the summer BBQ last weekend with free food and a bouncy castle (yes we're all 'mature' students, but sometimes you just have to act like kids, especially at exam time :) ). The location of the hall is great : the postcode is M1 and that says it all really. We're opposite Picadilly station and less than 15 mins walk from the town centre. The hall's at the heart of the UMIST campus, but close enough to the uni of Manchester if that's where you study.
Lambert Hall is one of the newest halls on the UMIST campus, and on the campus it certainly is - the UMIST main building is literally next door, and the rest of the campus just a two minute walk away. Each room has it's own ensuite, with shower, toilet and sink, which is really nice although the floor floods very easily. The rooms are nice, not too small, and are arranged in flats of 5-10, sharing a lounge and kitchen. The kitchens have fridge freezers, microwaves, ovens, hobs etc, and the lounge has a TV with licence and a satellite or digital decoder. The lounge and kitchens are cleaned 2/3 times a week, so no rotas. =) Overall, this is a very nice hall, very convenient. It is expensive, but in my opinion, it's worth it.
Grosvenor Group of Halls, is by far the most popular UMIST student hall of residence. If you tried applying for a place here after your 1st year, then you would know how difficult this place can be to get. Having spent 3 years in either one these halls, I find it the best of the UMIST student halls mainly cause it has the best price-location combination. The fact that is it midway between Manchester and UMIST is an attractive option especially when you know that both universities share most of their facilities. You will also find the city centre, Asda (its like the best place for you to do your weekly food shopping), and Rusholme being only 15 mins walk in either direction a convenience you will not get with most other halls. What more, UMIST's only sport centre is just opposite the halls and better yet, the Manchester Commonwealth 2002 swimming pool right inside the hall compound! The four halls come with the standard facilities that most other halls come with, a standard study-bedroom with a washbasin. And if you are one of those people who can't live without the Internet, you're in luck. All four halls come with ethernet connection sockets (of course you have to pay for it, but its not that expensive). Now the best part is, all this comes packaged with the cheapest (as far as I know) of rents for any the UMIST hall. And when you are paying £8800 a year for tuition fee like me, you will find this very helpful. To find out more, use the link below: http://www.man.ac.uk/services/accom/brochure/grosvnor.html
Having stayed in Wright Robinson Hall for a year, I would recommend it to everyone and it's simply the best UMIST hall. If you are a UMIST student, you have a big advantage in term of distance as the hall is located at the heart of UMIST campus. It is also just a few minutes walk from the city centre, close to students Union and Refectory. Everywhere is easily approachable! The hall is a white-coloured 16-storey building, one of the highest blocks in UMIST. Accomodation is in single or shared study bedrooms, which are fully furnished and equipped. Each floor has about 12 rooms which share bathrooms, toilets and kitchen. Apart from that, satellite tv is available in the kitchen of each floor. The hall has an active organisation run by the students which provides many activities for its residences. You definitely won't be bored if you stayn here. So stay in Wright Robinson Hall if you are coming to UMIST!
In campus, 5 minutes walk to city centre, en-suite facilities and clean. What could be a better place to experince student life than to stay in such a hall. I have to agree it is more costly than other non-en-suite UMIST halls but it is one of the cheapest en-suite halls, considering the good location and complete facilities. Better still you do not have to worry about other bills such electric, gas and water, for all are included in the hall fees. Affraid of putting up with untidy flatmates (which I had experience that before, not pleasant at all)? Not a problem at all when there is cleaner to clean the communal area two to three times a week. What could be a more pleasant experience as a student.
I had been staying in this hall of residence for two years and in my opinion it is a good place to stay for your university years. First of all, it is very near to UMIST. It is only 5 minutes of stroll to the university. The room is big and clean. Most of the furniture is new. It has a ping pong room, piano, TV room where you can catch all the UK Premiership football and also laundry service. Apart from that, it operates a student bar, called the GROT. There is also an active student representative organising numerous activities throughtout the year. It makes your stay in the hall much more exciting and there is always chance to interact with other people from other nations.
If you are coming to study in Manchester and still scratching your head thinking of staying in private house or university accomodation, I definitely suggest you to stay in UMIST hall...... It can't be argued that UMIST hall rate is undoubtedly cheaper compared to most of the other universities in UK. Most of the UMIST halls are strategic in term of location and within walking distance from the university main campus and city centre. In quality-wise, what else do you want for the cheap rent you pay? Most if not all UMIST halls provides laundry facilities, TV room, library and some even have personal telephone and ethernet point for network connection. Furthermore, staying in univercity hall means you can safe the trouble of paying the electricity, gas and water bills. So.....what else do you need to consider?? If you are new student to Manchester, it can be almost certain that you can get a place in one of the univercity halls. But for those returning students, be prepared to stay out!! Seriously I think UMIST need to increase the amount of halls due to the fact that the amount currently avaiable is insufficient to accomodate the ever-increasing students that come to the university. The number of students is rising every year, and yet the number of halls still remain the same. In fact, some of the halls have been closed down for renovation or transformation into office block since last year.
If you decide to come to UMIST for studies, I'll give a suggestion that it is much more convenient to stay in the halls. This is because UMIST, together with University of MAnchester, they offer a wide choice of halls, each giving different type facilities. The range of halls include traditional and modern halls with food provided and also the self-catering type. The other advantage of it is the campus facilities are immediately on the doorstep, including the libraries. The residence halls are also within walking distance to towns and stores. Bus service is excellent where it connects the two campuses and the town. At present, I'm staying in one of the halls and I'm very satisfied with it. It's real convenient for me to go to campus and also shopping in the town. And I'm also quite sure that staying in the halls will give me less hassle in terms of paying electricity, water and gas bills.
Having stayed in Grosvenor Place for two years as an undergraduate here at UMIST, I believe this is the best hall when taken into consideration cost versus quality. LOCATION: This Hall is situated in between UMIST and The University of Manchester thus making it a strategic location for students from both universities. It is also not more than 10 minutes walk to either university. It also runs along Oxford Road which boasts a large selection of pizza and fast food joints. VALUE: Its probably one of the cheapest halls of residence here in Manchester and would set a student back by about 45 pounds per week. Its room size is comparable to the other more expensive halls and it has ethernet connection as well in the rooms. FACILITIES: It has a TV room, Laundry facilities and a kitchen for those of you who cook regularly. The new Olympic size Commonwealth swimming pool in Manchester has been built beside this halls of residence. The UMIST sports centre called The Sugden Sports Centre is situated beside it as well. However, it is heavily subscribed every year and its difficult to get a place. So, be prepared for other alternatives. Nevertheless, if you are an overseas student and are coming here for the first time , then you stand a good chance of getting a place.
If you are coming to UMIST and want to stay in halls.. then check this out. This is my first year staying in this hall( I was at Wright Robinson Hall for 2 years). This hall although one of the more 'pricey' (expensive) halls in UMIST, is great especially if you are coming in as a postgraduate student as you can remain in the hall for the whole academic year. It has en-suite facilities, ethernet connection, private telephone line and a tv in every kitchen. You can watch SKY in the hall common room which is really fantastic as it has just been redecorated. The hall is basically made up of flats, each flat housing 5 or 8 people which is good for those of you who want more peace and quiet. besides that, the hall Residents Association organises great events.. like Movie Nights etc. Security in this hall is one of the best among the other halls in UMIST. the staff here are friendly as well. So I would recommend this hall to anyone who wants the convenience of living in a hall and do not mind paying a little bit more for it.