Covid-19: Rent discount FAQs

18 Jan 2021
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 our rent discount, due to the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions. This information will be updated as the situation develops.

If you make your payments to your educational institution, their cancellation terms and conditions will apply, so you will need to contact them directly about whether there is any offer in relation to a rent discount. Here is a list of useful contact details that may help.

How do I access the web form?

We will send you the web form via email no later than 22nd January 2021, so please check your inbox (including your junk) regularly. There is no need to contact us in the meantime. Once you have been sent the web form, you will have until 11.59pm on Sunday 14th February 2021 to submit your application for a rent discount.

Please remember that this offer is only applicable for those students who have an existing tenancy or one starting before 15th February 2021 (but are not currently living in their accommodation due to the ongoing lockdown). You can view the full terms and conditions here.

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. Here is a list of useful contact details that may help.

How will I know if I am eligible?

You will be eligible for this rent discount if:

  • You have a 20/21 academic year tenancy agreement with Unite Students.
  • You pay your rent directly to Unite Students.
  • You are not currently living in your Unite Students property.
  • You do not move back to your Unite Students accommodation between 18th January 2021 and 14th February 2021.
  • You do not have any outstanding rent payments on your account as of 31st January 2021, in accordance with your payment schedule.
  • You do not cancel or leave your contract during the rent discount period. Our standard cancellation terms still apply.
  • Your tenancy has started or will start by 15th February 2021.

You will be eligible for the four-week extension if:

  • You have a 20/21 academic year tenancy agreement with Unite Students
  • You pay your rent directly to Unite Students.
  • You are not currently living in your Unite Students property.
  • You do not move back to your Unite Students accommodation between 18th January 2021 and 14th February 2021.
  • You do not have any outstanding rent payments on your account as at 31st January 2021, in accordance with your payment schedule.
  • You do not cancel or leave your contract during the rent discount period (subject to standard cancellation T’s and C’s).
  • Your tenancy has started or will start by 15th February 2021.
  • Your current tenancy ends by 31st July 2021.

You can read the full terms and conditions here.

I’m having difficulty logging into, completing or submitting my web form. What should I do?

We would first recommend trying to complete and submit your form on your mobile. Please make sure you are logging in using your Unite Students registered email address.

If you’re still having difficulty, please get in touch with a member of the team by emailing webform@unitestudents.com.

I have filled the form out, but I’m worried that I’ve made an error. Can I fill it out again?

Once you have submitted your completed web form you will be unable to re-submit it. We will contact you by 28th February to let you know if this has been validated or not and at this point raise any queries we may have if the form has not been filled out correctly.

I accidentally logged back into the web form after submitting it. Do I need to resubmit it?

No, once you have submitted your web form, we will receive it as expected and there is no need for you to re-submit it.

What is the deadline for submitting the web form?

You must complete and submit the web form by the end of the day on Sunday 14 February 2021. If your form isn’t completed and submitted by this date, we will not be able to review and process your request.

How do I request the four-week extension to my tenancy?

When we email you to confirm if you are eligible for the rent discount, we will also outline the next steps for requesting the free four-week extension to your tenancy. This will be by the end of February.

How will the discount be applied and when will I receive it?

We will let you know if you have been approved to receive this offer by the end of February 2021, following completion of our validation checks. If you are eligible, the rent discount will be applied to your Unite Students account by the end of March 2021. If you have already paid in full any credit on your account will be repaid to you once you have checked out.

I am in debt, am I still eligible for this rent discount and extension?

To be eligible for this rent discount and extension, there must be no outstanding rent payments on your account as at 31st January 2021. Any student who is struggling to keep up to date with rent payments is urged to get in touch with their local property team, and to contact their university’s student finance team for further support.

Why are you only offering a partial rent discount?

All Unite Students’ customers, in common with customers of other private landlords, signed legally-binding assured short-term lease agreements for the 2020/2021 academic year against a backdrop of Covid-19. However, this discount recognises these are exceptional circumstances, which Unite Students has taken into account.

I am an international student and I am unable to check in currently due to travel restrictions. Can I cancel or amend my booking?

If you are unable to check in due to travel restrictions where you booked directly with Unite Students please get in touch with customerservices@unitestudents.com, giving your RN booking number, full name and property name. Alternatively, if you booked via an agent please contact them directly.

If I request to stay for the additional four weeks, 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 or move rooms/property. If your current room is not available for an extension, we will offer an alternative room to you if one is available. Any offer of an alternative room would be sent to you by email, where you can accept or decline this digitally.

My tenancy already runs up until the end of the summer. Am I still eligible to extend my booking by four weeks?

No, the four-week free extension is only available if your tenancy starts before 15th February 2021 and ends on or before 31st July 2021.

I am only booked on a semester stay from January until April, can I still extend my booking by four weeks for free?

Yes, if your tenancy starts before 15th February 2021 and ends on or before 31st July 2021 you are eligible for this, provided you meet all of the other eligibility criteria.

My booking is from January 2021 till June 2021. Am I eligible for the free four-week summer extension?

Yes, if your tenancy starts before 15th February 2021 and ends on or before 31st July 2021 you are eligible for this, provided you meet all of the other eligibility criteria.

The lockdown started on 4th January 2021, why is the offer from 18th January to 14th February? What is the reason for these dates?

We believe four weeks is a reasonable period. The 18th January to 14th February 2021 is the date range when the majority of students across the country would have been due to return to their accommodation following the winter break prior to the Government announcing this latest lockdown.

My tenancy doesn’t start until after 18th January 2021, am I still eligible for the rent discount and extension?

If your tenancy starts on or after the 18th January 2021 but before the 15th February 2021 then you are still eligible for the rent discount and extension. The amount of discount you receive will be worked out pro rata to reflect the start date of your tenancy, provided you meet all of the other eligibility criteria.

My tenancy ends between 18th January 2021 and 15th February 2021, am I still eligible for the rent discount?

If your tenancy ends between 18th January 2021 and 15th February 2021 then you are still eligible and the amount of discount you receive will be worked out pro rata to reflect the end date of your tenancy, provided you meet all of the other eligibility criteria.

If the current lockdown is extended and I can’t return in February will you extend the rent discount?

We will continue to review government guidance and should there be any further changes that impact students returning to their accommodation we will review this accordingly.

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

No, rent instalments should be continued to be paid on the planned date.

I have paid all of my rent in full upfront. Will I still receive a rent discount? And when will I receive the discount?

We will let you know if you have been approved to receive this rent discount by the end of February 2021, following completion of our validation checks. The rent discount will be applied to your account by the end of March 2021 and any remaining credit on your account will be repaid to you once you have checked out.

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. Here is a list of contact details that you may find helpful.

What if I apply for this rent discount and then want to return to my flat before 15th February 2021?

This offer is only available to those students who are not in occupation between 18th January 2021 and 15th February 2021. Should you return to your flat between these dates you will no longer be eligible for the rent discount.

I am an international student and due to travel restrictions, I don’t have a choice over my arrival date. If I book a flight that arrives before 15th February 2021, am I still eligible for the rent discount?

Unfortunately not. To be eligible for the rent discount, you must not reside in a Unite Students property between 18th January 2021 and 15th February 2021.

I don’t want the rent discount, can I cancel my tenancy instead?

Our standard cancellation terms and conditions still apply. You can find these here.

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Staff writer at The Common Room at The Common Room