“ Part of Campus Lifestyle / Address: 108A Borough Road / Middlesbrough / TS1 2HJ „
I stayed in Teesside House and would not recommend it to my worst enemy. The so called 'maintenance men' are rude, one man called the Police on me after i came home after a night out and got inside the luggage trolley that sits outside our apartment, this may be childish but we are students, we drink and do stupid things - i really don't think it was worthy of a Police call. The reception staff are rude and act superior to tenants. If you want to hover your apartment you need to book out a hover - a real nuisance. Not to forget the 2 lifts that constantly break, we lived on the 10th floor and for 15 days both lifts were 'out of order' carting bags, books and drunken bodies up 10 flights of stairs several times a day was not the best of fun. Not to forget the obscene amount of rent to be paid and restricted communal areas i have recently checkout of Teesside house and only getting £60 of my £200 bond back, £50 was down to them needing to replace my mattress, i questioned them on whether they were going to recycle my mattress and they said yes they would have been, this is disgusting, i really doubt anyone would find it acceptable if they found out they were sleeping on a students second hand mattress from the year before. We checked out with our parents and were told by a 'maintenance man' the apartments and rooms were in perfect order, the whole apartment was clean with no breakages and therefore out bond would be in fine order - 2 weeks later we are told we needed new couches, mattresses, painting, cleaning, and charged for re-inspection, we are all now back in Scotland 6 hours away from Teesside house, how are we possibly meant to fight our corner over a phone? Yes the halls are in perfect location and handy but do not come here, Linthrope halls would be my suggested option, same price although much more 'luxurious' and my friends that stayed there had no issues with there bonds or staff.
Teesside House, is and I quote a "luxury student apartment complex", located close to Teesside university in Middlesbrough.
Although it houses many hundreds of students, you will find little in the way of information or indeed reviews, on the internet. Even it's website, contains limited information and stock imagery which doesn't even appear to have been taken within the UK, let alone this decade. I personally felt it was important to write a review on Teesside House, because I feel there are some issues with it, disconcerting issues which in all honesty are a disgrace, considering the amount of money it costs to live there. Although you may have never heard of this accommodation, I hope you will read and rate my review, as I feel this is probably one of the most important reviews I will ever write on Dooyoo.
So, what attracted me to Teesside House in the first place? I wanted an accommodation place sorted for the following year as my friends had sorted a house together, so I decided to sign a contract for a room here so that no matter what, I had a place sorted. It later turned out, a couple of my friends then had a spare place with their accommodation which they asked me to fill. You cannot leave a contract with Teesside House once you have signed it unless you find someone to fill your place (even if you are months away from moving in). However, that wasn't my real issue with Teesside House, although I know it's a factor which creates nightmare situations for students, particularly those who drop out of uni or have found a place to live elsewhere.
Before I get into greater detail, I realise this particular accommodation review may not be of much relevance to those on Dooyoo, however given the lack of information (particularly on the internet) the company has for potential and current tenants, I feel this review will bridge the gap and hopefully answer those unanswered questions, as well as giving a detailed opinion from someone who has experienced living here.
To make it easier to pinpoint a specific matter of interest, I am going to divide my review into sections.
Teesside House is located on Borough Road, in Middlesbrough. It is within close proximity to the main university buildings, and so makes for a popular choice for students as university accommodation is only available to 1st years. The accommodation comprises of either 4,5 or 6 rooms, each ensuite with a shared kitchen/dining area. The building has 10 floors and approximately 380 places, based on a 50 week contract.
To enquire about getting a place here, it is probably best to go in (there is an office located next to the main entrance) at around Christmas time, the sooner the better really, especially if you are looking to move in as a group and want to secure a place. When you do go in, you will be shown around by Stacey J, who fronts the office and you will later deal with when it comes to moving in. I have to say the tour is quite brief, and you don't get to look in any of the rooms just the kitchen area, so I would advise to ask as many questions whilst you have the opportunity.
After the tour, and given you wish to proceed, you are asked to read and sign the contract. Perhaps what they should do at this stage is give you a copy of the contract, and some additional information as it's a further 8 months until you hear from them again!
A list of contact numbers can be found on the website:
The move in date is typically around the 13th of September, although it's worth double checking as they seem to be incredible sketchy on detail. Needless to say, the whole moving in process was the area in which I had most difficulty with the company, and at one point questioned why I went with them in the first place.
A couple of months after signing my contract, I asked Teesside House when we would be receiving our information packs about our new accommodation. I asked this because when signing my contract, I was told we would receive a pack. One of the ladies in the office informed me "ohhh she won't be doing those yet". Well okay then. I later found out they don't do information packs whatsoever. Why on earth miss match information?
Time passes and I received an invoice via email by the main lady which runs Teesside House, or so we think. This email honestly appeared like spam, as it had no header nor was it addressed from Teesside House. This invoice demanded £500 plus a £35 "admin fee" before we were allowed to move in, due before 31st August. I made sure everything was sent in, and was given no conformation that the money was received.
As far as I knew, the rent was from the 13th September so that's when we were due to move in.
The 13th September arrives, and I make the 3 hour journey to Middlesbrough to collect my keys to my new place, intending to move in 2 weeks later. I asked the lady if "this was the place where you collect keys", to which she replied "well don't you have an appointment?" Err... what are you talking about?
Apparently, we were "emailed" appointments to when we were allowed to collect our keys and be shown our rooms etc. I swiftly informed her I had NOT received such an email, and even had my BlackBerry out, with my email inbox to prove this was the case incase she then denied it. Other new tenants in the office seemed to be repeating the same thing, that they had not been informed about the appointment. She tried to tell me to come back on Thursday of that week for my keys. I told her otherwise. £35 admin fee on what exactly?
This is where it made me rather angry. How unorganized can you be? What on earth did that £35 of admin fee go on... staples?!! Forty minutes of my time passed as I waited in the office for someone to get back to me. Finally a lady came out to show me my room (without the welcome appointment bit), with the words "she has come down and she will see you now" as if it was my fault they had stuffed up. Then to my horror, and probably the most shocking part of the day... she leads me to my room in the apartment only to open the door, to find there is a guy in there painting it.... My room wasn't even ready, even though it's moving in day, and I'm now paying rent on the place! Needless to say this lady swiftly left without explaining the situation and handed me my keys.
I know I wasn't the only person with problems that day or since with Teesside House, but I have to say the situation really angered me. It seems they can't do enough for you until they have your money, then they fail to organize any sort of efficiently from there on after. The staff in the office didn't want to give out much information, which really wasn't good enough.
All of the rooms in Teesside House are finished to a high standard, and it's certainly one of the leading factors which attracts students. Each room is painted white, with a blue carpet. The size and layout of the rooms differ depending on the price you pay, which is typically between £77-£83 per week. In each room you will typically find:
*¾ bed (if you are given a single you can asked for it to be changed or vice versa)
*Large desk with draws
*An additional bedside cabinet, as well as a coat hook.
For those rooms which are ensuite (I think there are only a couple of flats which aren't), you will find a fully fitted bathroom with a shower, however it doesn't have any towel rails or additional storage. My bathroom is quite small compared to others in the building, despite having a larger room and paying more per week. It's really the luck of the draw! Overall the bathroom is finished to a high standard, although there are some mold issues which were not rectified from the previous tenant(s).
I would also like to add something which a couple the 1st years I live with have asked me, which is "what is the difference between the rooms here and the university halls". Well, the university halls are run to a much higher standard in terms of organization, although the standard of furnishing and fittings, is considerably less than what you'd find at Teesside House. Halls also have internet included within the rent, where as Teesside House charge astronomical rates to sign up to it, so most students end up sorting their own mobile broadband contracts. You can also stay at Teesside House for the duration of your course, were as with halls you can only live there for the 1st year. I would also stress that university halls are more sympathetic towards those moving away from home for the first time, in the way of greater information, wardens on call, and also carefully pairing each flat, i.e with those on the same course, or from similar locations.
In each flat, there is a shared Kitchen/living room area. Again the size really does vary, as does if you have a large window similar to a balcony, or if you just have normal windows. Our kitchen contains 12 cupboards (6 normal ones and 6 overhead ones), one per person. There are also 2 fridges and 2 cookers, as well as a table and chairs, 2 settees and a television affixed to the wall.
The overall the quality of the kitchen is quite satisfactory, and it was repainted within the first couple of weeks of us being here, although I can't say it needed doing really.
Teesside House has 2 lifts, meaning if you live on the 10th floor you don't need to climb the stairs every time! More importantly, it is ideal for those requiring disabled access.
There is also a small laundry room located next to the post area, although to be honest it's not really cut out for the amount of students in the building. There are 5 washers/dryers and 380+ tenants! Granted, we don't all need to use it at the same time, however I do think they could do with a couple more. Also, it is £2 a time so it gets a little pricey as your student loan balance decreases!
Out of office hours, if you have a problem, there is a number you can call to speak to one of the staff on duty. I recently had to do this when faced with a noisy neighbour.
I must say they are quick to respond to such issues, and the matter was later passed on to management who swiftly dealt with the situation. It's very reassuring to have someone on hand in such situations, so I can't fault them for this.
Having been a tenant here for a little while now, I have certainly warmed to the place a lot more than when I arrived and was faced with such disorganization and general chaos. As a flat, we have also noticed the staff in the office seems to have slightly changed and although we have had to report several issues, generally we have been satisfied with the response.
What I would like to see happen from the company, is a better informed and up to date website (I have the skills to do this... let's call it a months rent?!), better information for new arrivals, and also a more organized system, especially when it comes to moving in. Also, all maintenance work should really be completed before the tenant starts paying rent... what if I had brought all my stuff up with me on the day I had come to collect my keys? It really doesn't make for good practice.
If you are a potential student who has stumbled across this article, I would advise having a viewing of Teesside House, although it might not all be plain sailing. I do think they are striving to improve their practices, certainly when we have spoken to them about certain issues they do respond and take on board what we have said. I also appreciate that dealing effectively with the sheer numbers of tenants, must be quite an undertaking and hence the situations which arise from this, however when you are charged £35 admin you really do expect such issues to be dealt with.
I've really thought about this, and I'm going to give Teesside House 3 out of 5 Dooyoo stars. The three stars are for the high quality of the rooms, and the fact there are lifts and laundry facilities, as well as help when you need it. The other two stars cannot be presently awarded because of the cost of the internet (which was free in halls!), and the chaos which surrounded the moving in, which honestly left me feeling very stressed and helpless towards the whole situation... not good when you've paid so much money to just move in! If they strive to improve the areas where the stars were not awarded, then becoming top class for student accommodation, is certainly within their reach.