It was advertised as luxury brand new accommodation featuring a “range of top-class amenities” including gym, home cinema and rooftop terrace.
What students arriving at Bridle Works, in Glasgow, found, however, was a complex still under construction with holes in floors, exposed wiring and leaking plumbing.
Youngsters – some of whom paid more than £10,000 up front for a year at the complex – are now demanding money back and immediate upgrades.
Some 38 international students have written to provider, Novel Student detailing issues at what they call a “filthy and unfinished building site” - including no hot water for long periods, dust and dirt in bedrooms from ongoing building work, and radiators falling off walls.
The complainants say they were “misled” because the company never revealed the 20-storey, 422-room block was still being built.
"There was never any mention online, on the phone calls or in any correspondence with Novel Student that it was still under construction until after I paid my rent,” one student said. “My parents and I were under the impression it was finished."
It was only four days after she made her payment, she says, that the company mentioned her room was not yet actually ready. That was a fortnight before she was due to move in mid-September.
Speaking to the BBC, she added: "My room just gets coated with dirt. I can only open my window at night, and have to vacuum three times a day to manage the dust from internal construction. Not how I want to spend my time.
"What was advertised was a space that has amenities, where you can peacefully study in your room. But what we got was a place full of hazards and noise. It was the opposite of peaceful.”
Novel Student, which also runs other sites in Edinburgh, Belfast and Sheffield, said it was disappointed to hear of the complaints but blamed the Covid-19 pandemic for being behind schedule.
It said it had offered to reimburse rent costs for days missed at the property and accommodate students in hotels – but the company did not address student requests for reduced rent for disruption and discomfort faced while living there.
“We greatly appreciate the patience of our residents as we navigate these challenges and sympathise with the disruptions they have endured over the last several weeks,” it added.
Although Bridle Works is not attached to any university, many of those living there attend the University of Strathclyde. It did not immediately respond to the Independent’s request for comment.
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