We are now in another national lockdown and, as your elected officers, we recognise that this has had an immense impact on our student community.
The increased restrictions and changing messages from the Government and the University have understandably caused much uncertainty and frustration for all of our student community. University of Plymouth students have repeatedly shown huge resilience as we continue to navigate our way through the ever-evolving guidance.
We are aware of the many concerns our students are facing through their social media posts about their accommodation. As your elected officers, we will continue to raise your concerns with the University and ensure that your voices are heard.
As your VP Wellbeing and Diversity, I have put together this message to provide you with information about your rights as a tenant, some tips for negotiating the early release of your tenancy agreement and how to request rent reductions.
Your Elected Officers have written to the local MPs asking them to support our students during this ongoing pandemic. You can access it here.
We have also drafted a template letter you can use to send to your local MP to ask for their support during this unprecedented time. Please find here.
We hope these frequently asked questions will help to provide you with some clarity regarding private renting.
Should you require additional help, guidance and support please do not hesitate to reach out to your Advice Team
The University of Plymouth has been allocated additional funds by the UK government to assist students during the pandemic. You can apply for this financial assistance if you are struggling to meet your rent payments.
The SU Advice Centre is still open and can offer advice by email, telephone, and zoom (face to face by arrangement). Please forward a copy of your tenancy agreement when making contact so that advice can be tailored to your individual situation. The Student Advisers will be able to speak to you about your situation and what choices you may have.
Check your contract
If your contract has a break clause or a Force Majeure clause, seek advice on how to effect this as it may offer you a legal way of ending your contract without being liable for further rent.
Speak to your Landlord
The government encourages tenants and landlords to compromise and find options that are mutually acceptable. The best way to start is by asking your landlord, politely, if you can end your contract early without penalty. You can do this individually or as a group of all the housemates which may have a greater impact if you have a joint tenancy rather than individual tenancies.
Click here to view a template to request for early release from your contract to your landlord
Request a Payment Plan
If you are having difficulties paying your rent, contact your landlord to discuss paying your rent in instalments. If the landlord is reluctant to do this, remind your landlord that guidance has been provided by the government asking landlords to show compassion and encourage tenants affected by this to stay whenever possible in their homes. View Government guidance here.
Alternatively, ask your landlord if it is possible to have a rent reduction given the current pandemic.
Click here to view a template for rent reductions/payment plan to your landlord