UoB freshers will have to live in a hotel for a month because their halls aren’t finished

Well at least it’s not Newport again

Bristol Uni has told students who are moving in to Deans Street Works accommodation that they will have to stay in a hotel for a “minimum of four weeks” because their halls aren’t finished yet.

In an email the university said the developers at Deans Street Works accommodation, due to house 181 students, have “confirmed to us that the building will not be completed for the tenancy start date. The developer will provide suitable alternative accommodation this is typically a hotel.”

The students do not yet know which hotel they will be staying in, or how long for, but the university have said if “suitable alternative accommodation” is found students will be given a week rent-free before being made to pay the full fee.

According to the Deans Street Works accommodation page, which still features a mock-up image of the building, rent for the city centre accommodation begins at £175.30 per week for an ensuite room.

Last year, freshers were re-located to Newport as Bristol University ran out of accommodation spaces.

Incoming freshers have been left frustrated and confused by the announcement. One student, who wishes to remain anonymous, has said “we have been asking for information for weeks and many of us were assured we wouldn’t be put into hotels, no one at the accommodation office really knows what’s going on and we still don’t know when or where we will be moving in.

“When you call or email either no one replies, or they don’t know anything about the situation. They asked us for patience and then gave us one day to decide what to do based on absolutely no information.”

Students still do not know how they are going to prepare food or do laundry in a hotel. Another student, who also wishes to remain anonymous, admitted he doesn’t know “how I’m going to get food or when we are allowed to move in to the hotel”.

A Bristol University spokesperson told The Bristol Tab: “We appreciate this situation is far from ideal and are very sorry for the inconvenience and disruption caused.

“The work to Dean Street Works has unavoidably been delayed due to the impact of COVID-19. During the summer, the developers were hopeful the building would be completed on time but this week they confirmed that would not be possible and we were looking at an approximate four-week delay.

“We contacted students due to move into the accommodation as soon as we were made aware of this and offered them the option of moving into another residence, which some students have decided to do. For those that wish to stick to their allocation at Dean Street, students can study remotely from home until the residence is ready (in this case rent would only become payable once the accommodation is ready to move into) or the university will house them temporarily in a city centre hotel.

“Whichever option they choose, students would still have full access to the range of virtual welcome events and pastoral support available to all students in University-allocated accommodation. Details on the hotel provision is still being finalised and will be communicated to students in due course. Breakfast, evening meal and free wi-fi will be included.

“We will be block-booking to ensure affected students can be housed together and form living circles whilst at the hotel – these will be based on their existing Dean Street flat allocation.

“We would expect our students to maintain social distancing from people outside their circles during their hotel stay in the same way that they would be expected to in our residences.”

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