We hope you are all keeping safe and well, and taking good care of yourselves in these increasingly difficult times. Many students are experiencing great difficulties at the moment and this is further compounded by the growing concern amongst students about their accommodation and the issue of rent payments. The Students' Union firmly believes that students shouldn’t be charged for accommodation that they have not or cannot use as a direct result from the COVID restrictions and guidance coming from Universities and government.
Over the past few months we've had meetings with the University Accommodation Services Management Team to ask for improvements to support and facilities for students and through this we are lobbying Private Landlords to discuss the issue of rents and the right of students for a fair deal. The Students' Union will continue to lobby the Vice Chancellor and the University Leadership Team, calling on them to provide more help and support for students who find themselves faced with difficult circumstances.
The Students' Union have also been engaging with the Hallam Rent Strike student group, and we have been helping them to voice their opinions and demands, whilst also offering advice to ensure that students do not put themselves at risk and are aware of the possible consequences and legal implications of withholding rent. You can find more information about the Rent Strike campaign here. We commend the work the group of students have done to fight for change in an effort to secure better material conditions for themselves and their fellow students.
If you are thinking about joining the strike or you are currently striking we would strongly encourage you to make sure you understand the consequences of not paying your rent. The NUS has released guidance on campaigning and legal advice so please make sure you are fully informed if you decide to take part. You can access the guidance by clicking here. We would also encourage you to contact ACORN: Union for the community, a membership organisation that supports renters and campaigns for their rights, you can find out more about ACORN here.
If you need further support and advice, the Students' Union Advice Service has lots of useful information on this issue, including links to University financial support and guidance. The Student Advice Service information can be found here.