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Our message to accommodation providers

This is your Students' Union message to accommodation providers. Download our letter template to send to your provider today!

Photograph of University Locks accommodation building University Locks

This is your Students' Union message to accommodation providers. Download our letter template to send to your provider today!

Your Students’ Union is deeply concerned about the impact accommodation circumstances are having on our students.

Government lockdown restrictions have caused the partial closure of campus facilities and students are subject to travel restrictions, meaning many students have chosen, or been forced, to return home as a result of the crisis. Subsequently, many students will not be in their student accommodation for the vast majority of the second term. Subject to Government guidance this could extend through till term 3 and furthermore to the remainder of the academic year.  

On one hand, for plenty of students staying in their term-time rented accommodation is their only option. However, it has been made aware to us by many students that they will be forced to pay for accommodation which they will not be using. Whichever situation a student finds themselves in, it is certain that it will be a huge challenge for tenants to pay their full rent alongside living costs.  

We know that for most UK students, their student finance will often not cover their accommodation costs, especially in high-value properties in Birmingham City Centre. Therefore, under normal circumstances, it’s common for students to rely on personal savings, family income and part-time wages to cover their rent.  

It’s obvious to understand that these are not normal circumstances. Retail and hospitality industries, that provide job opportunities to many of our students, have been halted at the request of Government guidelines and there are certainly fewer prospects for part-time, or full-time, work than ever before. This is just one of the many reasons why students need support during the national lockdown.  

What we think accommodation providers should do?

We’re calling on private accommodation providers and local landlords to protect and support our students during the remainder of this epidemic. It isn’t clear when the national crisis will end, in the meantime we would like accommodation providers to consider: 

  • Waiving rent payments for vacant rooms during national lockdown;  

  • Offering a no-penalty early release; 

  • Reducing rent (particularly where rent is all-inclusive of bills); 

  • Offering a personal payment plan when someone is struggling to pay; 

You may have seen that BCU accommodation have set the example of putting students first by waiving fees for tenants at University Locks. We’re hoping that other accommodation providers follow suit and do what is right by our students.  

 

Provider 

Summary 

BCU University Locks 

A 6-week rent free period from 4 January to 14th February. If the Government extends lockdown restrictions beyond this period and your course is unable to resume face to face teaching, this rent-free period will be extended.

Unite Students

50% rental discount for a four-week period from 18th January to 8th March for students not living in their property. Four-week extension could be available if you meet criteria.

Student Roost

Up to 6 weeks' worth of rent credit. Apply via online form before midnight Monday 25th January.

iQ Students 

Offering a 6-week rent free period from 5th January until 15th February. The relevant amount will be credited to your iQ rental account by the end of March 2021, provided you are up to date with your payments.

Hello Students

No-charge deferals for new bookings. Offering 'individual support' for each tenant when you contact them at: 0141 231 1498/book@hellostudent.co.uk

The Student Housing Company

50% discount on your rental payment for 6 weeks between 5 January 2021 and 15 February 2021 (inclusive) for students who have not been able to return to their accommodation after the December break. Check your emails for the form - to be completed by 31st January 2021.

BCUSU Student Homes Reached out to landlords requesting that they consider supporting students with a rent review during lockdown.

Some landlords have come back with offers to ease the students’ situation with discounts ranging from 10% to 30% reductions. Some landlords have declined to make any offers, mainly landlords who depend on the rent as part of their income, especially retired people.

Download and send our letter template to your provider

If you think your accommodation provider should follow suit use our template letter which you can send directly to them. 

As they did in March last year, Birmingham City Student Homes will be contacting associated landlords to ask them to consider offering tenants some rent support. 

We're still here for you...

For those of our students who are struggling please know that there are still support networks here for you!  

Our Advice Centre continues to take enquiries online, so if you have issues related to academia, money or housing log an enquiry to speak to one of the team.  

You can apply for the University’s Hardship Fund. The Hardship Fund is a pot of money reserved by the University for students experiencing financial difficulty. You may be eligible and you can apply here.  

If you’re struggling with your Mental Health and feel like you need support, reach out to the University’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Team. Click here for everything you need to know

As ever, stay connected to our social media for updates and drop us a message on our social media if you have any questions. 

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