A FORMER Huddersfield University student has been charged £2,500 for a room he lived in for only five weeks.
Mungo Pay, 19, from Oxford, came to Huddersfield to study Music Technology last September, but after five weeks he began to have doubts about his move and decided to quit the course.
He returned to the family home in Oxford and his room, at Storthes Hall student village, was let to another student.
The university refunded his tuition fees, but Storthes Hall owners Digs - a private company based at the Huddersfield University accommodation office - refused to allow Mungo out of his contract.
He has just finished paying off the money Digs demanded.
He said: "I did not really think about the contract at the time - I suppose it is the last thing on your mind.
"A week after I left the room, someone else was in it and soon they found someone to stay there permanently - so I guess you could say the company got paid twice.
"I know we are not going to get the money back, but I just want to warn other students who may be about to get a flat at Storthes Hall for next term that they need to make sure they are definitely not going to drop out because they may still have to pay for the accommodation they left behind."
Mungo's mum, Suki Pay, said their concerns were not about the money.
She said: "Mungo has paid half and we helped him with the rest.
"We were lucky in that we could afford to help him out and that Mungo got a job and was getting paid. My fear is that other students will fall into this trap and not be able to afford to pay it like we have."
Digs' operations director, who did wish to be named, called Mungo Pay's case "exceptional". Other students who left their courses early were released from their contracts.
He said: "Out of the 1,432 students who live at Storthes Hall the vast majority are happy and everything goes smoothly.
"Students do decide for whatever reason they want to leave and we then assess each individual case using all kinds of criteria.
"To suggest that students will not look at the contract and understand it fully is wrong. If they want to be treated like adults then they need to start acting like adults."