The NUS has received widespread reports of student accommodation providers refusing to let renters leave their contract early during the COVID 19 pandemic. Members of NUS Scotland’s Housing Action Group have written an open letter to all student housing providers calling on them to do the right thing, and to let them know that students who wish to leave are #NotStayingNotPaying!
The letter is below
Dear Accommodation providers,
We are writing to you collectively as elected representatives of over students from across Scotland, as we believe that providers of student accommodation are not doing enough to recognise and respond to the needs of student tenants in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.
During these difficult and unprecedented times, many students have already returned home to their families and more wish to do so, in light of new government advice and guidance. In addition, many students have lost part-time work and consequently can no longer afford to pay their rent for the remainder of their lease. This is a stressful time for everyone and no students should have the burden of needless financial worries during this time.
Many of our institutions have allowed students to end their contracts early should they have chosen to leave their University Accommodation. Examples of these are the University of Edinburgh, Stirling University, Aberdeen University, Strathclyde University, Abertay University and Heriot Watt University.
Unite Students and Liberty Living have announced that students who wish to leave their residence and end their contract can do so by notifying their provider, and that doing so will mean students are not liable to pay their outstanding rental payments.
We demand now that you do the same, to protect your student tenants during this global crisis. Students should not encounter any penalties by ending their contact and should be refunded if they have already paid for their accommodation. For those students who choose to stay in their term-time accommodation, providers must also ensure support is in place to allow students to follow the Government advice on isolation.
We cannot stress highly enough the need to alleviate students’ financial worries and allow them to return home should they wish to do so.
Liam McCabe, President, NUS Scotland
Matt Crilly, President, University of Strathclyde Students’ Union, President-elect NUS Scotland 2020 – 22
Louise Henrard, Communities Officer, Aberdeen University Students’ Association
Rosheen Wallace, Vice President Community, Edinburgh University Students’ Association
Cecilia Wallbäck, Student President, Aberdeen University Student’s Association
Alexander Acheampong, Welfare Officer, Aberdeen University
Owen Wright, President, University of Abertay Students’ Association
Eddie Baines, Vice President, University of Abertay Students’ Association
Josh Muirhead, Vice-President Communities, University of Stirling Students’ Union
Kieran Robson Renner, President, Heriot-Watt University Student Union
Dan Hutchison, Vice-President Education, University of the West of Scotland Student’s Union
Angela Calderon, President, NESCOL Students’ Association