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London graduate launches website to expose dodgy hall providers

By Elizabeth Stromme Mar 12, 2015
22-year-old Kristian Else

A London graduate launched a new website this week to expose the awful standards of student accommodation across the UK.

Australian student Kristian Else, 22, moved to London in 2011 to study at Westminster University and was shocked at the poor standard of accommodation provided by private hall owners.

Else said: “Private hall providers have always operated in complete secrecy which has meant some of them could offer poor standards and never be exposed.

“Hallbookers will change all of this, our platform has shifted the power away from hall providers and balanced it with students who can now expose the best and the doggy hall providers.”

In response to his own experience, Else created the “TripAdvisor” style website called Hallbookers, where students can rate their experiences in private halls and the project has already received backing from 20 Student Unions across the UK.

Figures from the NUS show that half of the students who lived in privately owned accommodation felt that it was not good value for money, yet the prices of student accommodation have doubled from 2002 to 2012.

Kingston University is currently not listed on the website, but the Student Unions and private hall providers who are backing the project encourage all students to review their local accommodation on the Hallbookers site.

Hall provider, Jacqui Hawthorn, Chief Operating Officer of Student Castle, said: “At last a good honest student accommodation review guide. This should sort the good from the bad, give students all they need without having to trawl the streets.

“Well done Hallbookers and thank you!”

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