Glasgow University Student Tenant Union have started a petition to cancel all student rent for January

The petition states that students should be exempt from paying rent until they are able to return to Glasgow

Following the announcement that the majority of students are not to return back to Glasgow until February at the earliest, the Glasgow University Student Tenants Union have started a petition calling for the Scottish Government to cancel all rent due over this period where students are unavailable to return to their places of study.

The University sent out an email last week announcing that a  rent rebate will be available for students living in University residences whose return to accommodation is delayed. GUSTU requests that the treatment of students living in halls is extended to all students renting properties.

Credit – @gustudenttenantsunion Instagram

The petition can be found here:

Speaking to the Glasgow Tab, a member of GUSU said: “The Scottish Government has told students to stay away in the interest of public health, but has provided no support, material or emotional, to facilitate this. Not only are people paying rent for properties they’re not staying in, but they’re also being asked to stay in places where they hadn’t prepared to remain. Often their festive households will be difficult places to spend long periods of time, with issues from cramped and uncomfortable work spaces to living arrangements which take a toll on people’s mental health, in potentially unsafe environments. In order to help students stay where they are, the government must cancel rent so that they can help students in this tumultuous situation, by relieving the pressure that rent brings and giving people extra money to cope with their unexpected living situation.

Any failure to cancel rent amounts to a serious neglect of the government’s duty to public health, but it comes as no surprise from an SNP government of whom 40% are landlords.
The Scottish government has the power to pass a ‘waiver’, which means that rent simply won’t be due, and landlords will soak up the hit – we’re not asking that this comes out of the public purse. There’s a working example of this already with UofG’s halls, where rent for the start of the year has been cancelled. UofG as a landlord is taking the hit for this rent, and at a time when so many across the country are making sacrifices for the sake of public health, we expect landlords to do their bit. We would like to reiterate that we don’t want landlords to get public money, we think that landlords must shoulder this burden. We’ve got support from Labour and Green MSPs, and a suggestion coming from them is that the government could set up loans for any landlords who struggle through this cancellation.”

If you want to be more involved with GUSTU and it’s upcoming events,  follow @gustudenttenantsunion on Instagram or Glasgow University Student Tenant Union on Facebook.

Featured Image credit via Instagram @gustudenttenantsunion

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