What's happening with housing and accommodation? *UPDATED*

Student Housing

Updated: 20th May 2020
All of the students' unions in Birmingham are working together towards making it possible for students to end their tenancies early without payment of fees if they choose not to return to their student accommodation. 

 

Maltings and Cambrian Hall

On 7th April, the University announced that any students who are no longer living in The Maltings or Cambrian Hall will be able to be released from their accommodation contracts with effect from Saturday 11th April 2020. 

Students who wish to be released from their accommodation contract needed to have completed this questionnaire by Friday 10th April: https://portal.ucb.ac.uk/#/surveys/survey/Accommodation_Contract_Release

You must arrange to return your keys and key fob and can do this by post, to:

Caroline Norton
The Maltings
Granville Street
Birmingham
B1 1SB

 

I still have my keys but I want to cancel my contract?

Don't worry, if it is not safe for your to be able to return your keys to accomodation, you can still cancel your contract. Your tenancy deposit will not be returned until UCB have received your keys. However, please abide by the relevant social distancing meassures and government advice before attempting to return them.

 

I have left possessions in my room, can I still cancel my contact?

Since the change in government guidance, the University have now said that students that want to collect their possessions may do so if they are able to do it safely.

In order to collect your belongings, you must contact the University in advance so that they are able to let other residents in your flat know, so that they can make arrangements to be at a safe social distance.

You will only be permitted to go into the flat for as long as it takes for you to remove your belongings. There are some other safety requirements too, which will be explained to you when you arrange a time and date to visit.

To arrange collection of your posessions, please contact the halls office at: 

Cambrian: cambrian@ucb.ac.uk / The Maltings: maltings@ucb.ac.uk

Your belongings remain insured whilst they are in University accommodation – see our insurer’s link for more information:  https://www.endsleigh.co.uk/faqs/question/coronavirus-update-block-possessions-insurance/ 

 

I'm still in my accommodation but I'd like to leave now, can I?

Students needed to have given notice of intention to leave by Friday 10th April using this form: https://portal.ucb.ac.uk/#/surveys/survey/Accommodation_Contract_Release 

You could indicate a notice to leave later than the 10th April and would then only be charged for any time after 10th April when you are still occupying your room.

If you have not undertaken these steps, then you must get in touch with the accommodation team at accommodation@ucb.ac.uk to discuss your options.

When you leave please ensure that all your possessions are removed, and the keys and fob are returned to the Hall Managers.  The University will be progressing with maintenance and repairs of empty rooms so please make sure the room is completely empty of your possessions when you vacate. 

 

I want to stay in my accommodation, is that still ok?

For students who wish to stay in university accommodation it will remain available, and the University will continue to support you. For many students their next payment will be due in May. If you are likely to have problems making that payment, please contact University Finance and they will discuss payment options with you. 

 

Liberty Living

If you do not plan to continue staying in your Liberty Living home for your third University term, then you can return your room and not have to pay any of your outstanding rental payments.

How?

Liberty Living are still working out the details, although they require you to let them know by 5pm on Friday 10th April

More info: Liberty Living website

 

Unite Students

If you do not plan to continue staying in your Unite home for your third University term, then you can return your room and not have to pay any of your outstanding rental payments.

How?

You needed to have let Unite know by Friday 10th April by emailing cancellations@unitestudents.com

More info: Unite Students website 

 

Canalside Homes

Canalside Homes have agreed to the following allowances: 

  • They will allow the deferral of rent payments for 3 months
  • You will be able to transfer rent you have already paid from May onwards to your next academic year if you have rebooked or plan to rebook with Canalside Homes.
  • They would allow you to stay on for up to a further month free of charge after your tenancy ends, but this needed to be requested by 30th April 2020
  • Allow you to be released from your tenancy from May 1st 2020 on 'compassionate grounds'

You can contact them at: CanalSide@wearehomesforstudents.com for more information

General Housing

Renting your home?

The government has introduced a package of measures to protect renters during Coronavirus, with the purpose being to make sure that no one is forced out of their home during this crisis. 

Landlords have to give all renters 3 months' notice if they want to end someone's tenancy, and can't start any court proceedings until after these months have passed. 

All ongoing housing possessions have also been suspended, which means that no one can currently be evicted. This measure is due to last for 90 days from 27th March but can be extended if needed. 

You are still liable to pay your rent and should continue to pay this, but if you are facing financial hardship, support is available. Government advice is to speak to your landlord in the first instance if you think you will have trouble paying your rent, and they are encouraging tenants and landlords to work together to put a rental agreement scheme in place. 

Your landlord will also be protected by a 3 month mortgage payment holiday if they have a Buy to Let mortgage.  Landlords remain legally obligated to ensure properties meet the required standard – urgent, essential health and safety repairs should be made. If you require any non-urgent repairs, the Government advise that an agreement should be made between tenants and landlords to complete these later. 

More info: Government website

 

Own your home?

If you own your home and are struggling to make mortgage payments due to Coronavirus, the government has a number of packages available. These include three month mortgage payment holidays for those with certain mortgages. This can differ depending on the mortgage you do have,  so we advise that you speak with a housing specialist such as Shelter for more information, or check out the Government's own website.

More info: Government website

If you are experiencing difficulties and would like help, please contact Cassie at c.oboyle@ucb.ac.uk with your information and details, and one of the team will get back in touch with signposting advice or information.