Students not returning to campus accommodation can claim “Rent Credits”, amounting to a rent deduction, from 11 January, the University of York have confirmed today.
The Accommodation Rent Credits will be deducted from students’ final accommodation payment in April 2021.
Credits will take into account periods of time between the beginning of the Spring Term (11 January) and the end of National Lockdown restrictions in which the student is not in York.
The University’s move to alleviate financial pressure for students adds another tick to a growing number of UK universities that are waiving rent costs for students who aren’t able to return to campuses.
On Friday, the Universities of Nottingham, Sheffield, and Warwick all put plans in motion to either waive or stop charging for accommodation on their campuses.
For students who return to campus, the University will be expecting rent payments as normal for the time spent in accommodation.
To claim Accommodation Credits, students are required to complete a form that will be sent by the Uni as national lockdown restrictions end, in order to verify whether a room is in use.
The University of York Student Union (YUSU) President told York Vision:
“After lobbying from sabbatical officers, I am pleased that the University has agreed to fully refund the rents of students who are delayed in coming back to their campus accommodation. No student should be left out of pocket due to following Government guidance.
“However, I recognise that students off-campus will be feeling left out. That’s exactly why we’re fighting nationally to get action from the Government to protect students’ incomes, as well as students’ grades. Last week, Vice-Chancellors and Union Presidents in both York and York St John universities wrote to York’s local Members of Parliament to lobby for further change and seek meaningful action from Government to address rents and incomes, where it is desperately required.”
The University have pledged to “continue to lobby our local MPs for support from the Government” for those living in private sector accommodation, with Charlie Jeffery co-signing an open letter on 8 January.
The Uni say they reserve the right to verify the non-usage of a room, which: “could include monitoring wifi usage data, door fobs, and other technology data, as well as referencing this to feedback on the ground from operational staff.”
International students due to start their studies in January 2021 will be contacted separately.