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Nearly 40% of on-campus maintenance requests being fulfilled late 

Close to 40% of maintenance requests for on-campus accommodation are being fulfilled late, according to data obtained by The Boar under the Freedom of Information Act 2003 (FOIA). 

Approximately 62% of maintenance requests received by the Estates team over the past five years were fulfilled within the timescale provided by the ‘Service Level Agreement’, which states that broken fridges should be repaired within 24 hours, toilets within 36 hours, and broken radiators within seven working days.  

This comes despite an overall fall in maintenance requests over the past five years, which may be due in part to the Covid pandemic. There were just under 25,000 maintenance requests in 2019, but only 19,282 in 2021, with just under 17,500 made so far this financial year. The process of making a request is relatively straightforward, merely requiring students to fill out an online form.  

The Boar can also reveal that while the overall size of the maintenance team has risen since 2018, with a net increase of five full-time equivalent staff members, this disguises the fluctuating staffing levels in the Estates maintenance team over the previous five years. The number of staff employed by the maintenance team fell by 12 between 2018 and 2019, then increased by 13 in 2020, and then fell by six in 2021.  

The rate of maintenance requests completed within the SLA timescale does not, therefore, seem to be connected to the number of maintenance requests submitted each year, or the amount of staff employed in the provision of maintenance. The University declined to disclose its spending on accommodation maintenance so it is impossible for any inference to be drawn as to whether it may be due to any changes to expenditure on accommodation maintenance.  

The Boar surveyed students’ experience with the maintenance of their on-campus accommodation. Of those surveyed, 63.6% described themselves as either ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with the maintenance of their accommodation when they lived on campus, while 32.4% described themselves as either ‘unsatisfied’ or ‘very unsatisfied’.  

My flat had rats and it took over two weeks and far too many emails for them to even set traps and bring in professional pest control

– Warwick Student

One student noted a positive experience with the maintenance of their on-campus accommodation, stating “Radiator [sic] in room would not turn on. I rang at 10pm ish. They arrived within less than 10 minutes and problem was resolved almost immediately”.  

However, those who described themselves as ‘unsatisfied’ or ‘very unsatisfied’ were more likely to share specific experiences, with one describing an unsatisfactory experience with their kettle and microwave. They said: “After asking for new kettles/microwaves, we were given faulty ones again. Our microwave even blew up. The door hinges are practically falling off.” 

Another stated that an issue with rats in their flat had taken two weeks to resolve: “My flat had rats and it took over two weeks and far too many emails for them to even set traps and bring in professional pest control. We were told it was our fault for leaving crumbs out. It’s a shared kitchen, what did they expect?” 

The University of Warwick told The Boar: “Over recent years, we know our maintenance service response times have not met the standards we aspire to, and we’re now working hard to improve and address these issues as a matter of priority. 

“We have a started a major programme to improve the quality of our maintenance services.” 

That includes an increase of training, the introduction of localised zonal teams for different buildings, and an increse in staff numbers for planned maintenance. 

The University adds: “We expect these changes to begin to show improvements across the coming year, with quicker repairs and better communication throughout the repair process.” 

Graphs created by The Boar


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