Pupil returning to school later attributable to Covid-19? You might be able to declare a hire refund – this is how
What can I do to try and get a rebate?
The Government’s guidance unfortunately doesn’t mean you’re automatically owed a refund or a discount on future payments, and the situation is likely to be more difficult if you’re in private (i.e. non university owned) accommodation. But there are steps you can take to try and get a partial refund or a discount of rent not yet paid:
1. Check your tenancy clause. Students should first check to see if their tenancy agreement includes any clauses on when they may be entitled to a rent rebate or discount for any time they can’t spend in their accommodation.
2. Negotiate with your accommodation provider or landlord. Consumer body Citizens Advice told us students could try and negotiate directly with their accommodation provider or landlords – although there’s no guarantee of success unless this situation is accounted for in your contract. Some unis, such as Middlesex University, also have varying policies depending on your circumstances. So it’s worth getting in touch, particularly if you’re already struggling with rent payments, for example.
3. Lobby your university or student union. Given many universities say this situation is under review, it’s worth trying to lobby your university to offer refunds. The National Union of Students (NUS) says students can contact their student union or student association to find out how best to go about campaigning for this.
4. Check if you qualify for other support. The Government has announced an up to £20 million fund to help students studying in England who are most in need of support during the coronavirus crisis. This is to cover exceptional hardship. You can apply for it by contacting your university and asking about its hardship fund. If you’re in rented accommodation also ensure you’re getting existing help, such as a 100% council tax discount. See our 50+ Top Tips to Stretch Your Student Loan guide and our round-up of Student Discounts and Deals.