Bristol SU are asking private landlords for rent reductions for Bristol students

‘Please help ensure students are not financially penalised for doing the right thing for their city’

Bristol Students’ Union has written to landlords and accommodation providers today, to request an alleviation of financial pressure on their student tenants. This letter was written following the announcement of the third lockdown in the UK, which has led to Government guidance preventing a return to the city until at least mid-February.

In this letter, Bristol SU and Student Living Officer Ruth Day stress that the city must “come together as a community and support each other in any way that we can”. They highlight the difficulties students are currently facing, with jobs being “incredibly precarious” and “leaving many without the money they need to pay their rent”.

In light of this, the SU request either a significant rent reduction or cancellation for the period of lockdown. They also ask for a no-penalty contract release for non-returning students, and aid for those who are suffering financially due to the lockdown restrictions.

Their last request to both landlords and letting agents is to only allow virtual house viewings for the duration of lockdown, in order to prevent the spread of the virus.

Despite legislation allowing for in-person house viewings to continue, there is a concern of this encouraging students to return to Bristol to complete their property lettings for the upcoming academic year.

“Please help ensure they are not financially penalised for doing the right thing for their city”

The Pro Vice-Chancellor, Sarah Purdy, sent a supporting letter alongside these requests. It asks for landlords to help students “overcome this most difficult of times” mirroring the SU’s demands for the new lockdown. Professor Purdy also outlines the support package created for students in university residences, asking that private landlords carry out the same measures. The letter ends with a plea for students to “not be financially penalised for doing the right thing for their city”.

If you would like to contact your landlord and ask for a change in your tenancy agreements, the SU have a template letter for you to do so. 

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