We spoke to Sheffield students feeling trapped in rent agreements after the new lockdown

‘I felt alone and disappointed, I just wanted to go home’

A lot of students in Sheffield feel trapped and unable to leave their tenancy agreements due to a lack of leniency in their term contracts.

With mass online teaching and Boris telling students not to return to uni until mid-February, some students have been forced into switching from living in halls to returning home.

Following the new lockdown, they are concerned with the increased risk coronavirus presents to their academic performance and mental health. According to YoungMinds, 80 percent noted their mental health had declined during the pandemic.

One student said: “Having to pay rent for student halls when we are forced to return home is unfair. There should definitely be a more considerate, covid-friendly policy implemented which meets the needs of students.”

Another student added: “Because of coronavirus, I have to do my second placement in London as I am unable to carry on in Sheffield.

“My accommodation has not been understanding at all. I am in a tricky situation and cannot find a replacement tenant.”

Abby Somesan, a Law student at the University of Sheffield, is having the same problems. She told The Tab: “Finding a replacement tenant for my room has been an endless search. I’ve gone through many frustrating moments that have created unnecessary stress for me as a student.

Abby Somesan

“I know cancellations would be bad for business, but other alternatives should be offered in order to help struggling students.”

A mass return to campus had previously been planned over a two-week period from 25th January, but has now been pushed back by a fortnight as the country descends into a third lockdown. As it stands, students are still expected to pay their rent.

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