More and more student accommodation providers agree - students should not have to pay the price for the Coronavirus pandemic. Across Birmingham, Universities and private providers are releasing students from their accommodation contracts. University of Birmingham is the latest university to announce that it will not require students to pay rent if they have left accommodation.
We think this is the right thing to do - students shouldn't have to pay for accommodation they cannot live in - but we also don't think this is enough.
Coronavirus has resulted in a worldwide pandemic which has led to students fleeing their student halls often at very short notice in order to get home, either to their countries of origin or to homes in the UK. But due to such last minute advice that the UK would be on lockdown, many students who wish to have been able to return home have been unable to, and have no choice but to remain in their halls of residence even though they want to be with their families either in the UK or further afield.
It is unfair to expect students to pay hundreds of pounds a month for accommodation they cannot use and for a service that is not the one they were promised.
We ask UCB to:
- Release all students from their accommodation contracts without penalty
- Refund all students any accommodation costs already paid, from the 23rd March - the date lockdown was announced
- Ensure students who have left halls don't have to pay anything for rooms they are unable to use
- Release students who have had to return home at short notice from having to pay for rooms with their belongings in, as they were unable to take these with them due to the situation