Non-University Accommodation Update Feb 21 image

As the third lockdown continues, we wanted to give you an update on our work to get a better deal for those of you renting non-university accommodation. We are still working hard to represent you during these difficult times. 

Rent rebates for private accommodation

Working with the Students’ Union at the University of Bath and both Bath Spa University and the University of Bath, today we have sent an open letter to all landlords in Bath asking them to support students during this difficult time. We hope that by reaching out to them directly, it will persuade them to consider leniency in rental agreements for their tenants.

We know this isn’t a straight forward issue and we want to see more direct Government support to fund rent rebates for private accommodation you have been told you cannot use. However, we believe landlords should also do what they can to address the economic and generational injustice of the situation students currently face. 

You can read the letter here.

Rent rebates for Unite accommodation

Whilst we recognise Unite have extended their 50% rent rebate until 8 March, we remain disappointed their offer falls short of that offered to those in University managed halls. Since our last update, we have signed a joint letter from Students’ Unions across the UK which has yet to receive a response and given our University has a partnership agreement with Unite, we have also asked the senior management team to write directly to Unite to ask that they reconsider. 

Today, we have sent a letter to Unite Students, imploring them to reconsider their decision to offer a 50% rebate and instead offer students a full refund for the period students have been told they cannot use their accommodation. 

You can read the letter here.

Our recent work 

In January we met with MP for Bath, Wera Hobhouse to discuss students being forgotten during the pandemic. We particularly discussed the issue of rent rebates for students and we are pleased that Wera has raised these issues in parliament and called for a review of student compensation. 

We have continued to raise the public profile of the injustice facing students in privately rented accommodation. Your Vice President Welfare and Community, Meg, and some Bath Spa students spoke to the BBC about their experiences. 

Read the article here.

What you can do

We encourage you to be vocal about the issues of private rent and the injustice of having to pay for something you have been told you can’t use. Use social media and talk to your family and friends about how unfair it is to expect students to keep the private rental sector going. The issue has recently been discussed on TV news programmes, radio programmes, in newspapers and has been repeatedly raised in parliament. The more we continue to speak up about the issues students are facing and maintain public support, the better. 

BBC Watchdog on The One Show recently launched a #rentfornowt campaign. They want to hear from students who are paying for accommodation they aren’t able to use. Use the #rentfornowt hashtag on Twitter and let them know.

Make your voice heard and write to your local MP. Whether you’re in Bath or based elsewhere in the country, we need politicians to know about the injustice students in the private rental sector are facing. MPs are obligated to listen and they should respond.

Find and write to your local MP here

We encourage you to support the UniteStudents_is_cap campaign, a campaign being run by students to put pressure on Unite to improve their rent rebate offer. You can find them on Instagram and Twitter.

Emily, Ceri, Meg, Jack

Your 2020/21 Sabbatical Officer Team