Law student uses revision textbooks to sue landlord over ‘unfit’ university halls

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Jack Simm spent a year fighting the case and has now won. He said winning the case at a civil court last month was ‘perfect revision’ for his undergraduate law degree

Jack Simm
Jack Simm has won his first court case while still at university

A law student has used his revision textbooks to sue his landlord over his “unfit” university halls, winning his first-ever court case at the age of 19.

Jack Simm sued his landlord for an alleged breach of contract over his flat being “like a construction site” when he first moved in September 2020.

The undergraduate student, who was then a fresher and is now in his second year at the University of East Anglia (UEA), spent a year fighting the case and has now won.

He said winning the case at a civil court last month was “perfect revision” for his law degree.

Before his one-hour hearing, Jack referred to statutes and case law that he had learnt in his studies to build a 10-page legal claim for a refund on his deposit and first month’s rent – amounting to £859.

Jack successfully sued the company behind Velocity Student accommodation for breach of contract following a string of problems with the accommodation.

Jack used revision books to sue his landlord
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Jack Simm / SWNS)

The student, who is also a rugby player at the university, said: “It’s the best bit of revision I’ve ever done.

“Funnily enough while the case was going on I was studying contract law so I flipped open the textbook and went over the notes.

“I was in a real situation with real consequences. I was thrown into the deep end.
Winning shows that I can do it. It’s given me a massive confidence boost.”

Jack argued that his landlord was in breach of contract as the first-year accommodation in Norwich, Norfolk was not fit to be lived in.

He claimed there was no heating or Wi-Fi, dust everywhere and builders still working in the accommodation, which Jack did not visit before arriving as he joined UEA through clearing just days before the start of term.

Jack is a law student at the University of East Anglia
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Image:

Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Jack left the halls and stopped paying his rent after just a week as the landlord “didn’t rectify the issues” – and then started building his legal case.

The undergrad from Newcastle said: “We drove down and arrived at this place and it looked more like a construction site than a place to live.

“In my room the floor was covered in dust and there were loud noises from people hammering away.

“It was freezing at night with no heating. A smell was coming out of nowhere.

“We gave the landlord a week to sort everything out and at the end nothing had been resolved so I moved out and handed my keys in.”

Jack added: “Other people are more lenient and they just get taken through the long grass [by complaining].

“I thought ‘I’m not being taken for a fool.’ The most taxing part was making sure the case was tight. I kept tweaking the case right up until the court date.”

On November 2, Newcastle County Court ruled in Jack’s favour and ordered that he be paid £859 to cover his deposit and first month’s rent.

The court also ordered the landlords to pay £140 in court fees.

The accommodation was developed by the Freedman Project LLP and managed by a company called Estateducation.

The respondent in the case was Freedman Project LLP – landlord for the purpose-built student accommodation at 16, Velocity Student – 112, St. Mildreds Road.



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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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