Updates: These are the unis offering rent rebates for lockdown
Find out how much you’re gonna need to be paying
Thousands of university students are currently on rent strike and planned to do so even before the lockdown announcement. Students at over 30 unis are asking for rent rebates in the biggest strike in 40 years, because they are not permitted to return on-site and live in their accommodation.
After students at university began setting up their own rent strike groups, weeks of campaigning, and a lockdown announcement that seemed to mention everyone in the country except students, universities are finally listening. Institutions are beginning to announce potential plans for lowering or scrapping rent.
While some haven’t begun to draw up plans for next term’s rent, others have gone as far as to reveal they will not be charging rent at all while students are away. We will be continually updating this list of rent rebate policies across the country.
If you hear any updates from your uni about rent, please email [email protected] and let us know.
Update – 5 pm, Tuesday 12th January
University of Bath offers seven week rent rebate
There will be a seven week rent rebate for students in University-managed and Nomination accommodation. A statement from the university said:
“In recognition of the exceptional circumstances faced at the start of 2021, and with the overall approval of our governing body, the Council, the University will be offering a full rent rebate covering the period of 4 January 2021 until 14 February 2021 to those students in University-managed and Nomination Accommodation who have not been able to use it because of Government restrictions during this period of national lockdown.
“Therefore, if you are not studying on a programme that currently allows you to return for in-person teaching and you are not using your room, you will not have to pay for your University accommodation for this period.”
Update – 3.45 pm, Friday 8th January
Warwick will waive rent for students renting on-campus accommodation
A statement from the University of Warwick has said: “In light of the latest Government imposed student travel restrictions, the University of Warwick will be providing a rent waiver for students with on campus accommodation who are not currently living on campus.
“The waiver will cover the period from 9th January until at least mid-February, by which time we hope that more information and guidance about the lifting of student travel restrictions will be available. In addition, we will defer on-campus rent payment dates until 1st March by which time the position may be clearer. Further, more specific, details will be provided to students via email early next week.”
Update – 3. 40 pm, Friday 8th January
Nottingham will give rent refunds to students not on campus
The University of Nottingham will not be charging rent fees to students not living at the university. Fees will be waived from January 10 up until students reoccupy their rooms. This follows a 950 person rent strike with students planning to withhold up to £2 million in rent money.
Nottingham will be offering care packages to students living in university accommodation.
Update – 2.30 pm, Friday 8th January
Sheffield will stop charging rent until late February
The University of Sheffield emailed students to say they would stop charging rent until late February. This will apply to students in university-owned or managed accommodation from January 4 to February 22.
For students renting privately, Sheffield said: “The University cannot control the decisions of private landlords, but we will work with our Students’ Union to support their lobbying on this issue and we would urge landlords to be as flexible as possible.”
Update – 10.30 am, Friday 8th January
Loughborough offers rent refunds to its students
Loughborough University will be refunding students who are unable to return to their flats during lockdown. Students have been reminded to stay home. Online teaching will be in place until at least mid-February with exams online.
Update – 7pm, Thursday 7th January
KCL waives rent due to the national lockdown
King’s College London will not be charging rent to students unable to return to university accommodation this term. King’s students have been rent striking to get money back for the conditions have been placed in.
A King’s College London spokesperson said: “Students who have not been able to use their accommodation because of the impact of travel restrictions during the national lockdown will not be charged for the period they have not stayed with us.
“In response to the uncertainty caused by the pandemic, since September, we have ensured a range of flexible options and support for our students living in King’s accommodation. This includes the option to defer and cancel their accommodation contracts in line with the teaching plans for the semester, reimbursement for any periods of self-isolation or quarantine and the delivery of food care packages.”
Update – 4.30 pm, Thursday 7th January
LSE waives rent for students not returning to campus
LSE has announced that students not living on campus will not have to pay rent this term. Teaching has been moved online for the rest of the year. A statement from the university has said that:
“Students who are not returning to LSE-managed halls until a later than scheduled date, due to government advice or travel difficulties, will have their accommodation fees waived until the date they return.
“Students who do not wish to return to LSE-managed halls this year, and have vacated their accommodation, can have their contract ended and fees halted.
“Otherwise, our halls remain open and have supported students who remained during the winter break and welcomed those returning due to extenuating circumstances.”
Update – 2 pm, Thursday 7th January
Exeter waives rent charges over lockdown
The University of Exeter is waiving rent charges for those in university accommodation, or have contracts arranged through the university with a nominated partner. This was announced in a statement from the University of Exter Students’ Guild.
The Guild went on to say that: “there are a large portion of students who rent or are in private accommodation, please know that we have not forgotten you. We are still working hard to see what can be done to support you.”
Newcastle, UCL and Cambridge are not charging rent to students living out of university
Newcastle students living in halls will not be charged rent for the weeks they are not staying on university grounds. For students renting private accommodation, a spokesperson from Newcastle said: “We are acutely aware of the difficulties facing students in private accommodation and are actively working with other universities to raise this issue with government and the housing sector.”
After UCL announced that all teaching would be moved online for the foreseeable future, they have told students that those unable to return to halls or UCL accommodation would not be charged rent. A statement from the university said: “Facilities on UCL campus remain open. So if you are living near campus you can continue to order and collect books from the library, use centrally bookable workspace cafes, etc.”
Students at Cambridge are not required to pay rent either if they are being prevented from returning to their College by government guidelines. Only students with special exemptions, such as those studying medicine and clinical veterinary courses or those with health concerns and personal reasons, will be able to move back to College. The university is still “seeking advice on whether students on any other courses not mentioned above will be expected to return.”
UEA announces eight-week rent rebate costing ‘up to £4.7m’
Yesterday, the University of East Anglia offered students an eight-week rent rebate that will cost them “up to £4.7m”.
A UEA spokesperson said: “This has been a very difficult year for students and UEA is acutely aware of how challenging the national restrictions have been and continue to be. It is with this in mind that the University has taken the decision to move to online teaching until at least 01 March, and our hope is that this will enable students and staff to plan more effectively.”
Students in Bristol, Cumbria and Manchester will also receive partial rebates
Bristol will be offering a 30 per cent rent reduction from 19th December 2020 for seven weeks. There will also be a separate 10-day rent rebate during December.
An article MSE News claims that the University of Cumbria is to give students a 20 per cent discount on rent for the full academic year.
At Manchester Metropolitan, rent will be refunded for the period between 4th January and a student’s eventual return date.
Rent strikers at the University of Manchester won a 30 per cent reduction in rent for semester one. According to UoM rent strike, the 30 per cent reduction means every student in halls will receive between £600-900 back, costing the university millions and they say is the “biggest win for student rent strikes in the UK”.
Leeds and Sussex will be offering refunds, but details have not been worked out yet
In a joint statement from the University of Leeds and Leeds University Union, it was announced: “Students in University-allocated accommodation will be offered an appropriate rent refund and will be sent further details as soon as possible – we are working through the implications of the latest Government guidelines.
“University and Leeds University Union colleagues continue to work together to address the issue. We understand the concerns of students at this extremely difficult time, and their health and wellbeing remains our top priority.”
Yesterday, Sussex emailed students to say they are looking into rent reductions for those unable to travel back to campus during lockdown. Rent payments that were due to be paid on 12th January will not be collected as the university works through the details
The university has said, however, that “students who do remain on campus during the lockdown will need to continue will their contractual arrangements”.
Rent rebates at several universities are still under review
Warwick: A spokesperson from the University of Warwick said: “Following the announcement by the Prime Minister on the 4th of January of a new national lockdown and the restrictions on movement which have been imposed, we are reviewing our position on campus accommodation fees for this term.
“We expect to be able to give students the details on the outcome of that review in the coming days.”
Southampton: This is a statement from a spokesperson at the university: “We understand that the current lockdown guidance has caused concern for many of our students and we are reviewing the various ways in which it will affect them. We will inform students of any actions we plan to take as quickly as we can.
“In the meantime, our Student Services team are available twenty-four hours a day to provide advice and support to students who are concerned about their financial situation.”
Lancaster, Middlesex, and the University of London are also in the process of reviewing their rent policies.
Cardiff and Birmingham are not providing rent relief
Cardiff is evidently in Wales and not England, so Boris Johnson’s lockdown has no effect on their rent policy. A Cardiff University spokesperson said: “All of our student residences remain open. As a result, we have no current plans to offer rent rebates but we keep the position under constant review in line with Welsh Government guidance.”