Many accommodation providers have taken the decision to allow their residents to surrender their tenancy early. In effect this means that students would not have to pay some amount of remaining rent should they move out. However, not all providers have taken this step, some are still expecting students to pay out the remainder of their contract.
Reproduced below is the letter send to all housing providers to make clear CUSU's position. We should also note that as of 14:45 on 2/4/20 the Government's advice to students currently resident in halls is to remain where they are. We would urge our students to follow the government's advice. If you attempt to leave you may be stopped by the police and could be fined.
I am contacting you in my position as the Vice President Welfare and Community for Coventry University Students’ Union, on behalf of the 40,000+ students we represent on campuses across the UK.
As the current situation with Covid-19 continues to evolve nationally and globally this has driven uncertainty amongst our students. We have seen students who have chosen to leave their accommodation to return to their homes in light of the guidance published by the University and the early information given by the UK Government. Therefore, there is uncertainty about where they stand with their contracts and rental payments.
Coventry University and some other accommodation providers have begun offering the option of a no-penalty release and refunds to students who have already left or who want to leave their accommodation safely before the start of the third term. We therefore request that you to continue to show support to our students by offering a similar option.
In the midst of a national emergency, students should not be penalised for taking precautions that protect both their health and the health of others in a pandemic situation. Please be aware that the National Union of Students’ (NUS) will be setting up a petition for student’s who has left or are about to leave their room to be reimbursed the remaining fees. If we are unsuccessful locally we will be joining this national action.
With confidence, we trust that you will act in the good faith which other providers have demonstrated and work to settle one of the concerns that our students currently face.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Abimbola Ojo - Vice President for Welfare and Community
Coventry University Students’ Union