Simm Cruise

Student Simm in legal rookie court win

A 19-year-old law student has successfully sued his landlord, after claiming his student digs were like a "construction site."

In September 2020, Jack Simm was moving into the Velocity Student accommodation in Norwich, as a fresher. It was his first time visiting the flat, as he had obtained his place at UEA through clearing. The accommodation, developed by The Freedman Project LLP and managed by Estateducation, was like a "building site" when he arrived, Simm alleged.   

The bedroom was "in an obviously unfinished and dysfunctional state," with a plumber "still working in his bathroom", the student claimed in his submissions to the court, according to a report in The Times

There was no Wi-Fi, no heating, "dust everywhere" and a smell "coming out of nowhere" claimed Simm. He also said there were "loud noises from people hammering away", referring to builders rather than freshers getting acquainted with each other.

Simm said he didn't want to be "taken for a fool," and, after giving the landlord a week to recitify the issues, he moved out and stopped paying rent.

The landlord instructed a debt collection agency to recover the payments. But Simm issued a court claim to refund his deposit of £150 and first rental payment of around £700. He accused the landlord of breach of contract and fraudulent misrepresentation. 

The landlord submitted in response that Simm did not give "a reasonable period of time to respond to the repair request" and issued a counterclaim of £7,160 for the entire tenancy period, plus interest. 

At a virtual hearing last month, Newcastle County court found in favour of the law student and ordered that the landlord pay Simm £859 for his rent and deposit payments, plus a court fee of £140. 

Simm said that he was studying contract law during the case, so he "flipped open the textbook and went over the notes". The student also described his court victory as "the best revision" he'd ever done. 

Ben Smith, director of Estateducation told RollOnFriday that the company was appealing the decision and would be raising a separate claim against Simm for allegedly "not telling the truth".

"The error we made was not having legal representation in place so we did not submit the appropriate documentation such as the 3rd party check in report showing the condition," said Smith. "We will also be submitting various witness statements from the subcontractors so Mr Simm will have some more revision to do."

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Anonymous 17 December 21 09:16

His dad did the talking at court. Less impressive when daddy still has to look after you.

Hackaforte 17 December 21 09:26

Estateducation*: "Oooh look, here's some good money. Let's throw it after the bad."


* Because spaces between words are for SQUARES, man!

Anon 17 December 21 09:58

To Anonymous at 09.16 - that was a bit of a bitchy comment - most solicitors need someone to speak for them at Court, maybe they aren't that impressive either?

Anonymous 17 December 21 09:58

"We will be submitting some more documentation..." = "Someone is shortly going to have to explain to us about Ladd v Marshall."

Anon 17 December 21 10:05

Can you appeal of points of fact from the County Court?

Its amazing that someone who has to this point got away with being out £1,000 would hire lawyers to fight it for the sake of getting £7,000 - they have been APPALLINGLY advised by their lawyers who should be politely pointing out to them that the cost of fighting this is quite frankly dumb and they'd be far better off quietly writing this young man a cheque so this all goes away without any more appalling publicity.

Anonymous 17 December 21 10:51

@09:58 - only rubbish solicitors need counsel on run of the mill cases like this. It's simple landlord and tenant caselaw. He still required his dad to do the talking and is making out like he is QC material and this was easy when all he did was draft some basic documents and let daddy fight the case for him. 

Anonymous 17 December 21 10:52

Piss funny that the landlord should complain about parity of arms having been bested by a student.

Buzzkill2 17 December 21 11:24

Its absolutely outrageous that the landlord is complaining about not having the appropriate representation or submitting witness statements. What did they think the court hearing was for? Idiots. 

If it is true that the property was a building site and that no refund was issued, the landlord should be prosecuted and convinced (not merely have to write a cheque).

Outrageous way to treat people, you'd never get away with that in any other business. Imagine Amazon sending you a completely different product to what you ordered. Why do some landlords seem to think the law doesn't apply to them?

anonymous 17 December 21 11:34

Yeah, right. A successful ground of appeal from a small claim hearing  is that you lost because you decided not to produce some allegedly helpful evidence to the hearing - I think not!

UEA Grad 17 December 21 14:18

I graduated 10 years ago from UEA - and I was paying about £245 PCM for a double bedroom in a decent quality house. 

How on earth is it now that it's £700 PCM? 

I can understand a little inflation and wifi etc included but ffs some people really taking the piss. 

Anon 17 December 21 15:42

UEA Grad @ 14:18

You (and I) went to Uni in the days before students started living in purpose built accommodation blocks that look like Premier Inns (well, maybe Travelodges!) and get fleeced (or Mum and Dad do) for the privilege

Eggery 24 December 21 16:47

Student landlords are becoming a real problem. They also demand an unlimited guarantee. 

I inserted the words "Limited to £[x]" in the box for my electronic signature. Don't recall Cheshire and Fyfoot mentioning that one. 


Anonymous 29 December 21 18:33

Section 11 LTA 1985 - ain't necessary to give notice of disrepair to be in breach, bozos. Landlords who don't even trouble to check their property - you are simply bad landlords.  They probably didn't do electrical or gas safety reports or even give the deposit prescribed info.

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