Unite Students extends rent discount as lockdown continues
- The UK’s largest provider of student accommodation announces an extension of its 50% rent discount to 8 March 2021
- All eligible* students who applied for Unite Students’ original rent discount will automatically receive this extension due to the Government’s continuing lockdown
Unite Students, the UK's largest owner, manager and developer of purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA), is today announcing an extension to its original rental discount announced on 11 January 2021. This provides eligible* students with a 50% rent discount totalling seven weeks, up to 8 March 2021.
Eligible students who pay their rent directly to Unite Students, and who successfully applied for the original rent discount announced on 11 January 2021, will now receive the additional 50% rent discount automatically, providing they have not returned to their Unite Students accommodation since 18 January 2021.
The three-week rent discount extension is being announced in light of the continuation of lockdown restrictions to at least 8 March 2021. Student accounts will be credited during March. In addition, the four-week complimentary summer tenancy announced on 11 January 2021 is still applicable to students with a contract end date prior to 1 August 2021.
Unite Students recognises that students are having a challenging time during the national lockdowns. However, all its UK properties remain open and operational with current occupancy levels at approximately 50%.
To be eligible for this extended rent discount period, students need to be up to date with their rent payments as of 14 February 2021 and not be in residence in a Unite Students property between 18 January and 7 March 2021.
Students who applied for the original four-week 50% rent discount will receive an email confirming their eligibility for the three-week extension. There is no requirement for students, or their guarantors, to contact Unite Students again to apply for this extension. For those students who haven’t yet applied for the original rent discount, they will still be able to do so up until 14 February 2021 and will be reminded how to do this directly by email.
Like any private landlord, all Unite Students’ customers sign binding assured short-term lease agreements. Tenants’ rental payments in private accommodation are not normally reduced for time spent away from a property. However, Unite Students recognises the continuation of these exceptional circumstances.
Should further Government guidelines on lockdowns be issued prior to 8 March 2021, a further review will be carried out.
Richard Smith, Chief Executive of Unite Students, said:
“Supporting students has been our priority throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, and we will continue to play our part during these exceptional circumstances. We recognise this is a challenging time for students which is why we’ve extended our current 50% rent discount period.
“All our properties remain open for the tens of thousands of students who are still living in their accommodation, with our staff on hand to help. Our focus is on keeping all our students and our staff safe across all our properties.
“We also continue to work closely with our university partners and will review any material changes in government guidance on universities remaining open.”
Notes to Editors:
- For students who pay their rent directly to Unite Students only (direct let and nominations referral students only)
- For students who have a valid, current and continuing Tenancy Agreement for the Academic Year 2020/2021 with a tenancy start date prior to 8 March 2021
- For students who are currently a Unite Students tenant but will not be in residence for the 7-week period between 18 January – 7 March 2021. This includes students who have not yet checked in but who have paid in line with their instalment plan
- Students whose accounts are fully paid, in accordance with their instalment plan, as of 14 February 2021
- As announced as part of the 11 January 2021 rent discount, a four-week complimentary summer tenancy is applicable to students with a contract end date prior to 1 August 2021
- Rental discounts to be applied to accounts in March 2021
- Cancellation of contract or departure before or during the rent discount period stated above will invalidate the discount
- Any student who is struggling to keep up to date with rent payments is urged to get in touch with Unite Students, and to contact their university’s student finance team for further support
- Additional support can be found at the following organisations:
- Citizens Advice help with debt - https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/debt-and-money/help-with-debt/
- Money Advice Service (0800 138 7777) https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en
- National Debtline (0808 808 4000) http://www.nationaldebtline.co.uk/
- Step Change Debt Charity (0800 138 1111) https://www.stepchange.org/