We appreciate that these are exceptional and difficult times for our students. The University is now recommending that students who are currently staying with us remain with us due to travel restrictions.
Unfortunately, accommodation agreements are still legally binding, and it is up to accommodation providers to decide whether they will agree to end agreements early or negotiate with residents/tenants. Your housing contract is with your landlord/agent and there is no contractual relationship between them and the University.
Most student tenancies do not have a ‘break clause’ so you will remain liable for the rent until the end of the fixed-term.
If you have a joint tenancy agreement, as most students in private-rented accommodation do, and one of your housemates doesn’t pay their rent, you have “joint and several liability” for the rent. This means that that you and your housemate are liable for all the rent due - so you could be asked to pay it (as could guarantors).
The University of London Housing Services has more useful information about Covid-19 Coronavirus & Private Housing Rights. Shelter has also recently released some specific guidance on Private Housing Rights, both in which we advise you read.
If you are in a private hall of residence, the above information generally applies to you too.
Most student agreements do not have a ‘break clause’ so you will remain liable for the rent until the end of the fixed-term. Therefore, as you are legally liable for your rent, you should continue to pay it. Speak to your provider and see if you can negotiate an agreement with them. Whilst there is no obligation for them to make any concessions, you may be able to arrange something.
Nottingham Trent University have released a statement on their website on 13 January 2021 stating that they were waiving accomodation fees for students not occupying their NTU or UPP accomodation during the 2021 national lockdown. This relates to students in NTU directly provided accommodation or those in partnership with UPP. Full details on the statement can be found here, Your accommodation | Nottingham Trent University.
Please see further information from the Money Saving Expert website as two major halls providers, Unite Students and Student Roost have also decided to offer part refunds, Unite Students and Student Roost offer rent refunds to students delayed returning to university (moneysavingexpert.com). Please ensure that you read any communication from your accommodation provider carefully as there maybe specific instructions that you need to follow.
Please get in touch with NTSU’s Information & Advice Service if you have any queries relating to private-rented accommodation.