Unite Students announces rent discount – 11 January 2021
Unite Students announces rent discount for UK’s latest Covid-19 lockdown
- All eligible* students can apply for a 50% rent discount for a total of four weeks
- They will also receive a complimentary four-week extension to their tenancy agreement over summer
- Package announced in light of the Government’s latest national lockdown
Unite Students, the UK’s largest owner, manager and developer of purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA), is today announcing a rent discount for students following the Government’s latest Covid-19 lockdown announcement.
Eligible students will be able to apply for a discount of 50% of their rent for a total of four weeks, to be credited in March. In addition, they will be given a four-week complimentary extension of their tenancy agreement at the end of the academic third term to extend their stay into the summer for their own enjoyment and convenience.
All Unite Student properties across the country remain open and today provide homes for thousands of students. However, this package provides support to students who have been asked by the Government to remain at home and comes on top of the additional safety measures and wellbeing support Unite Students has put in place following the outbreak of the pandemic last year.
Unite Students is emailing all students and guarantors informing them of this discount and inviting them to apply. To be eligible, students will need to be up to date with their rent payment as of 31 January 2021 and not be in residence in a Unite Students property between 18 January and 14 February 2021.
Since March 2020, Unite Students accommodation has continued to provide a home and support for students. All Unite Students’ customers, in common with customers of other private landlords, signed legally-binding assured short-term lease agreements for the 20/21 academic year against a known backdrop of Covid-19. However, this discount recognises these are exceptional circumstances.
Any student who is struggling to keep up to date with rent payments is urged to get in touch with Unite Students and to contact their university’s student finance team for further support.
Richard Smith, Chief Executive of Unite Students, said:
“We recognise that this is again a particularly challenging time for all students which is why their health, safety and security has been our priority since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We are now providing a 50% rent discount for a four-week period and an additional complimentary four-week contract extension at no extra charge, in recognition of the challenges and disruption that students face following the Government’s latest lockdown announcement. We feel this is the right thing to do.
“Working through this decision has had its challenges as there are a range of varying circumstances to consider in different parts of the country and across different universities. Universities remain open, unlike the first lockdown, and we continue to have thousands of students living with us as of today. Some students studying specific subjects have already returned to university and more will be returning for face-to-face tuition during January as per Government guidelines, while for other students our accommodation is their only home. All our properties across the country remain open and operational.
“Against the backdrop of the Government Covid-19 guidelines we are working closely with our University partners. We will continue to support students and maintain our focus to keep all students and staff safe across our properties during the pandemic.”
Notes to Editors:
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Eligibility criteria for rental discount:
- For students who pay their rent directly to Unite Students only (direct let and nominations referral students only)
- For students who have a valid, current and continuing Tenancy Agreement for the Academic Year 2020/2021 with a tenancy start date prior to 15 February 2021
- For students who are currently a Unite Students tenant but will not be in residence for the 4-week period between 18 January – 14 February 2021. This includes students who have not yet checked in but who have paid in line with their instalment plan
- Students whose accounts are fully paid, in accordance with their instalment plan, as of 31 January 2021
- Applications for the discount to be received by 14 February 2021
- Four-week complimentary summer tenancy applicable to students with a contract end date prior to 1 August 2021
- Rental discount to be applied to accounts in March 2021
- Cancellation of contract or departure before or during the rent discount period stated above will invalidate the discount
- Any student who is struggling to keep up to date with rent payments is urged to get in touch with Unite Students, and to contact their university’s student finance team for further support
- Additional support can be found at the following organisations:
- Citizens Advice help with debt – https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/debt-and-money/help-with-debt/
- Money Advice Service (0800 138 7777) https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en
- National Debtline (0808 808 4000) http://www.nationaldebtline.co.uk/
- Step Change Debt Charity (0800 138 1111) https://www.stepchange.org/
Further background on safety and welfare support measures:
Unite Students support throughout the Covid-19 pandemic has included:
- The first purpose-built student accommodation provider to forgo 2020 summer term rents for students returning home due to Covid-19 during the initial lockdown
- Extended the traditional check-in period into Unite properties thereby reducing the traditional peak
- Provided flexible check-in for students during September/October 2020
- Allowed international students to move to a January start date, forgoing September – December rent
- Option to check-in early, at no-extra cost, where students needed to quarantine having arrived from a Covid-restricted area
- Connected students via the MyUnite digital app before they moved in so they could get to know each other in advance
- To help foster a sense of community, introduced a Home Charter, designed to help foster a healthy supportive living environment for students
- Increased provision and access to student wellbeing and mental health support
- Enhanced student welfare services, including bespoke support for students who are shielding, support for those self-isolating, online welfare checks and a pilot peer-to-peer scheme
- Online chat rooms for students in the same building, and online events run by student ambassadors
- MyUnite App: students communicate remotely with Unite Students’ teams without having to leave their rooms
- 24/7 support through Unite Students’ Emergency Contact Centre and a partnership with Nightline
- Welfare leads in each city and provision of additional support for students in quarantine, self-isolation or shielding
- Unite Students was also the first student accommodation provider to have its Covid Secure status accredited by the British Safety Council.