Rent Relief Campaign Update

An update on your Elected Officers work to campaigning for rent relief for students. Including an update on a new fund that the University have created for those renting from private landlords to apply for rent relief!

Feb 17, 2021

Student accommodation and rent has been a hot topic during the current pandemic and as many of you are aware, your Elected Officers have been working with the University to lobby for rent relief for many of our students who are facing financial difficulty paying rent for accommodation they aren't able to live in. 

Since the Officers campaigning began, we've seen several wins for students and this week marks another big win in the University creating a Rent Assistance Fund for those liable for rent in a private property. Read on for more detail.

The University has been provided with additional funds to assist those of you struggling to meet your rent costs as a result of Covid-19 pandemic and recent lockdown. The new Rent Assistance Scheme is designed to help students who are liable for rent in a private property which they have not been able to occupy due to the recent lockdown and have not received any form of rent rebate or assistance with this cost.

In order to be eligible to apply to the scheme you must fall into one of the following categories*:

  • Home UK student with a household income below £35,000 
  • Home Postgraduate Student (Taught) who has taken out the Masters Loan 
  • International or EU student who is able to demonstrate financial hardship

You will be required to show evidence of your financial hardship and rent liability despite being unable to occupy your rented accommodation for the current lockdown period.


If you feel you may be eligible for support please visit the webpage for the application form and full terms and conditions. Applications will close at midnight on Sunday 28 February 2021.

*PGR students should apply for rent assistance via the University Support Fund.

The Union and University sent a letter in January to private landlords asking to support students with their rent and accommodation where possible. The letters and responses can be viewed below:

  • University owned halls offered an 80% rent reduction to any students unable to use their University-owned halls which was backdated to 4 January 2021.
  • Eligible students in Unite-owned halls of residence were able to apply for a 50% rent discount for a 4 week period from 18 January to 14 February 2021.
  • Europa House processed a 4 weeks rent discount to the value of 100% for all of our students that could not return to site.
  • We are aware other private halls providers have provided a 50% reduction too.
  • We have contacted all halls providers asking them to offer rent relief. If your private halls provider has not provided any kind of rent relief, you may be eligible to the apply for the Rent Assistance Funding.

Last year, your Elected Officers launched Marks Out Of Tenancy. It allows you to rate your landlord and letting agents in your private housing, allowing you to share your experiences with other students (especially during the pandemic) and let them know the positives (or the negatives!) about where you have lived. If you want to find out more about the platform, check out our previous article about how to leave a review and rating.

You can also check out our Renters Rights Pack - created by your Elected Officer Hayley, which has all the information you need to know about your rights as a renter.

You can also find a letter template to landlord about asking for rent reduction here.

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