A STUDENT from York claims her £1,600-a-month accommodation was like a "prison" - with broken heating, cockroaches crawling about and a bag of sick left out for a day.

Alicia Sowerby, 23, moved into the high-rise block in Aldgate, London, when she began studying law in the capital last September.

She finally moved out on Friday, July 29, after a torrid year - which she says affected her physical and mental health.

But IQ Student Accommodation claimed the allegations did not reflect the reality of life at Aldgate and said the issues raised by Alicia had been addressed.

Alicia shared the accommodation - which cost £412 a week - with other students from across the world.

And she has now lifted the lid on the living conditions - which she described as "overwhelmingly upsetting".

Alicia, who is studying at the University of Law - London Bloomsbury, said: "It's absolutely horrendous. You wouldn't believe it.

"It's such a lot of money - I have no idea how they are getting away with this. The whole block stinks and there is rubbish everywhere. It's disgusting.

York Press: Alicia Sowerby. Picture: SWNSAlicia Sowerby. Picture: SWNS

"There was a bag of sick left on a chair for a whole day - it was spilling out everywhere. Living there was so bad for my mental and physical health.

"Those living conditions are a breach of human rights. It's like living in a prison.

"I used to sit and work near the reception area and people were complaining all the time but nothing changed."

Alicia, from York, says she moved in on September 4, 2021.

Despite the problems, she decided to stick it out - although others quickly cancelled their contracts, she said.

Alicia claims a group of Chinese students even sought help from their embassy, and many contacted the local MP.

Residents also organised a petition over complaints, she claims.

York Press: Picture: SWNSPicture: SWNS

Pest control was called to an infestation of cockroaches, but the insects kept spreading throughout one of the floors, Alicia said.

Mucky water then started leaking from the fifth to the fourth floor eight weeks ago, and from the light fittings in the smoking area, she claimed.

The lifts then broke at the start of May, so students were then forced to trudge up and down 32 flights of stairs until they were fixed, Alicia added.

Alicia said: "I heard that one guy got stuck in the lift overnight. He couldn’t get out, because the emergency button had been taken out.

"The pest control man said they were German cockroaches that spread really quickly, and they tried to get rid of them.

"We're just young people trying to live away from home for the first time. It was overwhelmingly upsetting and I really couldn't handle it."

York Press: Picture: SWNSPicture: SWNS

An IQ Student Accommodation spokesperson said: "We pride ourselves on the high-quality accommodation we provide to our students and ensure common areas are cleaned multiple times each day.

"We are disappointed that Alicia has made a series of allegations, supported by misleading photographs, that do not reflect the reality of life at Aldgate.

"We frequently inspect our buildings and over the last year we have addressed every issue that Alicia has raised.”

The University of Law - London Bloomsbury would like it made clear it has no relationship with the accommodation provider named in the story.