Coronavirus: Student FAQs

02 Apr 2020
By Unite Students, Staff writer at The Common Room

In light of the current situation and our recent update about living with us, we wanted to answer some of your most frequently asked questions.

Below, you’ll find detailed information about cancellations during the coronavirus outbreak. The answers here are for those customers who have already left, are thinking about leaving or would like to stay, plus anyone who has a Short Term Let booking in the 2019/2020 academic year.

If you make your payments to your educational institution, their cancellation terms and conditions will apply, so you will need to contact them directly with your request.

Please note - the information here will be updated as the situation develops.

Jump to:

FAQ for students planning to stay with us for the third term

Please note, if you are planning to stay with us for the third term there may be a slight delay in your payment being taken.

If I want to extend my tenancy or stay for the summer, who do I need to contact?

Please send your request to cancellations@unitestudents.com from your Unite Students registered email address. From the week beginning 6 April 2020 you will be emailed a web form to complete and submit by 5pm Monday 13th April.

For up to how long could I extend my stay over the summer?

You can extend your stay up to the end of the summer period. In most cases, this will be 31st August 2020.

If I stay, will I end up sharing my flat with new flatmates? 

This depends on the property you are staying at, but there is a possibility you may need to share with new flatmates.

I’m self-isolating. Can I move to an empty flat or studio so I am more isolated from others?

No. You will need to continue to self-isolate in your existing flat.

Where can I find information on how to self-isolate?

You can find up-to-date guidance on self-isolating in your Unite Students home here.

What if I want to stay for a while after Easter, but leave before the end of my tenancy?

If you haven’t travelled home yet, but still want to leave, you will need to notify us of your decision by 5pm on Friday 10th April. In line with government advice, you will then need to stay in your accommodation until non-essential travel is allowed again. If you are planning to stay beyond this, our standard cancellation policy will apply. This means you’ll have to find a replacement tenant or will remain liable for the rent. 

Please note, if you make your payments to your educational institution, their cancellation terms and conditions will apply, so you will need to contact them directly with your request.

Why is my reception closed?

All reception areas are now closed. If you need to get in touch with your property team please do so by emailing your property-specific email address or contacting them via WebChat.

I need to have something posted to me. Will you still accept my delivery?

Unfortunately, we are no longer able to accept your deliveries. We’d encourage you to leave your contact number with the delivery service so the driver can call you and you can collect from them directly. 

What facilities and services are still available at my property?

In line with government guidelines, all communal areas, including common rooms, gyms, receptions and study rooms, are now closed. These areas must not be used until further notice.

Bike stores and lifts remain open.

As we’re operating with a smaller team than normal, there may be a delay in our reaction to any maintenance requests. We appreciate your patience with this.

Will my property still be cleaned if the majority of students choose to move out?

All kitchen cleans have been postponed until further notice, but communal areas outside of flats will still be cleaned.

How do I get in touch with my property team?

If you need to get in touch with your property team please do so by emailing your property-specific email address or contacting them via WebChat.

I can’t go home, but I can’t afford to pay my rent. What do I do?

If you don’t think you’ll be able to pay your next rent instalment please contact your property team via email or WebChat.

I’d like to update my payment plan. How can I do this?

Please get in touch with your property team via email or WebChat to discuss updating your payment plan.

My next rent instalment is due soon. Are there any changes to the date that this will be taken?

If you are continuing to stay in your property, instalments due to be collected from 1st to 20th April will not be collected and you will be notified of a revised collection date.

There are no changes planned for instalments due to be collected from 20th April onward.

My educational institution is closed, but I can’t get home because of restrictions. Can I stay for the third term and the summer for free?

If you choose to stay for the third term, you will still have to pay any outstanding rent. If you need to extend your stay beyond the end of your tenancy, we will allow you to do this free of charge, for as long as we are able to. You can find out more about this in our recent announcement. If you would like to extend your stay, please email cancellations@unitestudents.com with your request. You will be emailed a web form to complete and submit by 5pm Monday 13th April.

However, if you are wanting to leave but currently are unable to due to the government lockdown please refer below to What if I want to leave, but am currently self-isolating?

FAQ for students who have left or are planning to leave 

What if I want to leave, but am currently self-isolating?

We understand that the government is advising against all non-essential travel. While the current government measures are in place, you should not travel unless absolutely necessary. However, if you want to leave when restrictions are lifted, we’ll still need you to send your request to cancellations@unitestudents.com by 5pm on Friday 10th April. You will then be emailed a web form to complete and submit by 5pm Monday 13th April.

Please note, if you make your payments to your educational institution, their cancellation terms and conditions will apply, so you will need to contact them directly with your request.

Do I need to hand back my keys?

You’ll need to return all keys, fobs and postbox keys to your property team when you leave. If you have already left, but still have these with you, we will need you to return them, but understand that you might not be able to do this right now. We will update this page shortly with further information on how you can return your keys to us, and the timeframe in which you’ll need to do this.

I have already emailed the staff in my building to tell them I’ve left or am leaving. Do I need to email you again?

If you have already left and have emailed staff in your building, we kindly ask that you also make sure to send your request to cancellations@unitestudents.com by 5pm Friday 10th April. We will then email you with a web form to complete and submit by 5pm Monday 13th April..

If you haven’t left yet, but have emailed staff in your building, you will also need to send your request to cancellations@unitestudents.com by 5pm Friday 10th April. However, in line with government advice, you should stay in your student accommodation until non-essential travel is allowed again.

To help us process your request as quickly as possible, please email us from your Unite Students registered email address.

Who do I need to contact if I made my booking direct through my educational institution?

If you make your payments to your educational institution, their cancellation terms and conditions will apply, so you will need to contact them directly with your request.

I've sent through my request - what's the latest I can leave my property?

If you have not already left, the government is advising that all students must stay in their accommodation while the latest measures are in place. Once non-essential travel is again allowed you will need to return home with your belongings. We will review this policy in line with government advice, and update this page with information on the time frame in which you will need to leave as soon as possible.

When will I be sent the web form, and how long will I have to complete it?

If you have emailed cancellations@unitestudents.com with your request by 5pm Friday 10th April you will be sent a web form. You will need to complete and submit this by 5pm Monday 13th April for your request to be processed.

Who can request the cancellation?

Only the student named on the tenancy agreement is able to request a cancellation. If you are the parent or guarantor of a student who has left or is planning to leave, please ask them to email us at cancellations@unitestudents.com by 5pm Friday 10th April.

To help us process your request as quickly as possible, please email us from your Unite Students registered email address.

FAQs on payments and belongings

What should I do if I’ve left my possessions behind?

We understand that you may have left your possessions in your room and common areas but are unable to collect them while the country-wide lockdown is in place. Please rest assured that we will keep your items safe during this time. 

If you live in the UK and have left possessions behind, you will have two weeks to collect them from the date the government travel restrictions are lifted. If you fail to collect your belongings within two weeks of travel restrictions being lifted we may have to dispose of them. 

If you are not a resident of the UK and need help getting your items home, please let us know using the web form, which is being emailed out from 6th April and must be completed by 13th April.

If you have no plans to collect your possessions, please let us know by completing the web form so we can dispose of any remaining items in your room and common areas. 

For peace of mind, Endsleigh, our contents insurance provider, has waived its un-occupancy exclusion of 60 days. This means any possessions left in your room will be covered under your policy for an unlimited period of time during the policy period. 

This cover will still apply for possessions that may need to be moved into storage. This includes all valuables up to the limits and perils on your policy certificate. More information on your  Endsleigh cover can be found here.

We will continue to update this page with further information on collecting your possessions once the lockdown has ended. 

I paid for my rent in advance. When will I get my rebate, and how much am I due?

We are calculating rebates on an individual basis dependent on a number of factors. This payment will be processed as swiftly as possible. We are handling a large volume of requests so please bear with us while we arrange your rebate. Thank you for your patience.

I have a payment due before 10th April. Will I have to pay this even if I have chosen to leave?

If you have emailed cancellations@unitestudents.com by 5pm Friday 10th April, you will not have to pay for your third term, even if you are having to remain at your accommodation due to the government enforced lockdown. We will review this policy in line with government advice, and update this page with information on the time frame in which you will need to leave once the lockdown has ended as soon as possible.

I have a direct debit set-up. Do I need to cancel this?

No. Our team will cancel your direct debit on your behalf.  

I have made a booking for the next academic year (2020/2021) but my educational institution hasn’t confirmed that my course is running. Will I have to pay the rent even if my course doesn’t go ahead?

If your course for next year does not go ahead you will be covered by our No Place No Pay policy which you can view here.

I have left my property and notified you of this. If I change my mind and decide to move back in, can I do this?

If you’ve already taken advantage of our early leave policy but decide you would like to come back, you will need to start a new tenancy. Please note, this would only apply following the lifting of the government enforced lockdown.

I’ve left my property, but haven’t checked my inventory or cleaned my room. Is there a chance that I could be charged?

We are waiving any charges for those customers who have taken advantage of our early leave policy. 

I’m in arrears for previous semesters. Will I still have to pay?

Yes, any arrears from previous semesters will need to be paid for in full.

Does this mean that my 2020/2021 booking is also cancelled?

No. We’re looking forward to welcoming you again in the new academic year.

FAQs for students with a Short Term Let booking in the 2019/2020 academic year

A Short Term Let is any booking that you’ve made that lasts for less than an entire academic year.

What if I’m currently part way through a Short Term Let tenancy, but I would like to leave early?

Please ensure that you have sent your request to cancellations@unitestudents.com by 5pm Friday 10th April. We will then be in touch with you to collect the information we need to process your early departure. To help us process your request as quickly as possible, please email us from your Unite Students registered email address.

In line with government advice, if you have not left yet you will then need to stay in your accommodation until non-essential travel is allowed again.

I have booked a Short Term Let for a future date in the 2019/2020 academic year, can I cancel it?

Please send your request to cancellations@unitestudents.com using your Unite Students registered email address and we will process this for you as quickly as possible. You will receive a refund for any payment made in advance.

If I cancel an upcoming Short Term Let booking, am I liable for the rent that is due?

No, even if you have a confirmed Short Term Let booking, you will not be liable for the rent. Any amount you have paid to date will be rebated.

I had booked a Short Term Let for a date that has passed, but I couldn’t check in because of travel restrictions. Am I liable for the rent?

No, if you could not get to us due to travel restrictions, you will not be liable for the rent and we will rebate any payment made. Please send your request to cancellations@unitestudents.com using your Unite Students registered email address and we will process this for you. You will be emailed a web form to complete and submit by 5pm Monday 13th April.

Does the same policy apply if I also have a booking for the 2020/2021 academic year?

No, these answers only apply to Short Term Let bookings made for the 2019/2020 academic year. Any cancellations for the 2020/2021 academic year are subject to our standard cancellation policy.

You haven’t answered my question here

We will be updating this FAQ with further information, so please do check back in the coming days.

f
Enjoyed this article? Give it a like
Staff writer at The Common Room at The Common Room