Landlord told Newcastle student ‘put dryer and cooker on’ to keep warm after heating broke

Charlotte’s housemates were forced to sleep in coats in order to keep warm

Charlotte, a Newcastle University business student, was told by her landlord to to turn both the “tumble dryer and cooker” on in order to heat her student house after the heating broke.

Student living is never ideal, whether you have to share a bathroom between one too many boys or are constantly arguing over who left toast crumbs everywhere. But one thing we all resonate with is the scale of which the cost of living crisis is having on students; it was recently revealed that a quarter of students have been forced to skip meals. 

Charlotte had been living in a student house with a broken boiler meaning she had no heating, alongside a broken shower. Despite the shower being recently fixed, Charlotte and her housemates were still without heating for four days and were told by her landlord to use kitchen appliances in order to heat the property.

In an email sent to Charlotte, her landlord said: “I am concerned about you and the cold. You will get some warmth in the kitchen if you put the tumble drier and cooker on.”

Charlotte was forced to wear multiple layers in order to stay warm while in the property, but admitted she stayed elsewhere whenever possible in order to escape the cold.

She said: “I wear many, many layers when I’m there, my Oodie is always on, but generally I stay at my boyfriend’s house for a long time. My housemates have bought multiple heaters and have been known to sleep in their coats.”

Charlotte was also forced to shower at her friends’ house for weeks due to her own being broken.

Charlotte told The Tab Newcastle: “We had been waiting for a new shower since we moved in in September. The old one constantly dripped, meaning we were always stood in cold stagnant water anytime we showered – and the mould was crazy.

“We had no shower in the house for eight weeks and had to use friends’. The plumber finally came round eight weeks ago and “finished” the job but coincidentally, the boiler broke as he was leaving the house. It must have been a coincidence, apparently.

“Finally we got a new shower but with no hot water, and the house had no heating, leading to the landlord kindly telling me to sit in front of the cooker AND tumble drier to keep warm.”

Without proper advice or means of keeping warm, Charlotte was left with little option but to sleep in multiple layers and stay elsewhere when possible. All the while paying full rent for her own property whilst being unable to properly live there.

Charlotte was understandably conscious about her landlord’s advice and how much it would cost her so has avoided running the appliances in order to dodge paying expensive bills.

She said: “We haven’t dared touch the tumble drier since moving in due to the cost of living. The landlord has not offered to pay toward our new method of keeping warm. My rent hasn’t been subsidised”.

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