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Tension Rises in the Hobart Apartments

Image Credit: Joseph Brady

Tensions have reached boiling point amongst UTas Studio Apartment residents over noise generated from ongoing construction work.

Many residents have voiced concerns over the noise throughout the semester but with the start of study week, and exams just days away, the complaints have escalated.

In an open letter sent last week to UTas Accommodation Services, residents have claimed “the disruption caused by the construction, overtly disturbing drilling and banging to the point where one is incapable of remaining inside the site, has been a constant feature since [February 18].”

“Extra effort ought to be made at this time to keep the noise to a minimum.”

Construction began on the 430-room studio apartment complex in the Hobart CBD in 2014, with residents told to expect the building to be finished by early July.

Accommodation Service staff have responded to student concerns by providing a quiet area to study at the Welcome Centre, located across the street from the apartments.

However, with stress levels rising, some residents took the apartment’s private Facebook group to voice their concerns.

A number of residents claim that the noise from the construction has resulted in lack of sleep, often being woken up to the sound of drilling in the early morning.

“I can’t do anything productive with all this noise,” one resident said.

It has been suggested they should be entitled to financial compensation.

“Rent should be reimbursed or partially refunded for the past three and a half months.”

Some residents have argued that students can relocate to other areas, away from the apartments, to study. The comment has received backlash.

“I’ve never read such a condescending statement. Please get fucked,” one resident said.

“This is my home. I shouldn’t have to leave it just to do something basic like study,” commented another.

Another claimed that they are spending over 15 hours a day at the university campus just to avoid the noise.

“It’s not fair that we are being charged full price, but only receiving half the services.”

Holding a collective action against Accommodation Services has been suggested within the page.

“Just imagine if 150+ students walk over there and seeing if they can actually accommodate us,” a resident commented.

In contrast, others have realised the wait for the completed building complex is almost over and recognise contractors are working hard to finish work by the July deadline.  

“We all just want [the] site to be finished, so why halt the progress? Please stop complaining.”

“Just because we are university students doesn’t mean that the building, builders and the world is going to work around us and cater to our needs,” another student commented.

“My alarm clock broke this morning, so if it weren’t for the tradies I wouldn’t have woken up in time to make my morning lecture,” one tenant said.

Part of a lease agreement, signed by every resident, states that tenants “accept that at certain times there may be construction, maintenance or upgrading new or existing buildings. During such periods every effort will be made to keep noise and inconvenience to a minimum.”

The open letter concluded that residents “would like to see what contingency plan Accommodation Services has in place to ensure they uphold their responsibility to provide reasonable hours of quiet enjoyment during the most stressful and demanding period of the student calendar.”

An Accommodation Services staff member stated they have had meetings with the contractors and are “working towards reducing the impact of building noise during study week and the exam period.”

 

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