Ben HaywardMay 5th
2020

There’s no getting away from the fact that the current situation has resulted in some pretty big upheaval for students over the last couple of months. 

From  the vast majority of classes moving online, to campuses closing down to the vital income from part-time work being lost, students are being profoundly affected as the UK tries to readjust to the new landscape. 

While a survey conducted by NUS and OneVoice Digital found that over 80% of students are concerned about how the pandemic will affect their job and career prospects, 72% are worried about their ability to pay rent and 70% are concerned over bill payments.

As a result, 46% of students in rented accommodation have contacted their landlords around issues such as rent payments, tenancy length and their own health. 

While 35% of students would like to be released from their rental contracts early, overwhelmingly 89% of their landlords have not given them the option to do so, which has led to hundreds of students joining the rent strike movement.

So, for starters, if you’re concerned about your accommodation, you’re certainly not alone!

Whether you need to leave your accommodation, change your arrival date or sign a new contract, here is what you can do to help ease the situation.

Specifics

The most important thing is to find out what the situation is at your own university. To do this you should check the website of your student accommodation. They should be providing regular updates as well as FAQs and advice. 

If you feel you need more information, try contacting your accommodation office directly and they should respond to you.

Review your finances

Check over your current financial situation to see how much worse off you’re likely to be. If having done that you’re concerned about your rent payments speak to your landlord - with mortgage holidays made available to many homeowners they may be able to help.

Where possible, the government is encouraging people to pay rent as usual and work together to come up with a rent payment scheme if needed.

What help is there?

The government has introduced legislation to protect private renters from being evicted to try and protect people from being forced out of their home. 

The mortgage payment holiday mentioned above has been offered to Buy to Let landlords, meaning your landlord may have the ability to be more flexible with payments. 

You can find more information here.

Safety and security

Don’t forget that throughout all this, landlords are still responsible for ensuring their properties meet the required standards and that urgent, essential repairs are carried out. 

You should still contact your landlord or student accommodation office if you need help with a repair.

If you have decided to leave your student accommodation to go home - especially if you’re the last one out - remember to do your basic security and fire safety checks. 

Lock your doors and windows and ensure all electrical appliances are switched off. You can always visit the NUS site for more advice on this.

Stay safe!

It’s still super important to follow the Government guidance on virus hygiene and social distancing to keep yourself, and others safe.

Take care of yourselves guys.

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