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Nottingham students welcome lockdown rent reprieve

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image copyrightGoogle
image captionThe majority of students have been told to not come back to their accommodation during lockdown

Students have welcomed a university's decision not to charge rent on accommodation they cannot use during the coronavirus lockdown.

More than 500 students at Nottingham Trent University had backed a "rent strike" set up by those complaining of being treated like "cash cows".

Most students have been told not to return to the university campus after the Christmas break.

The university said it was doing "the right thing" by not collecting rent.

A rent strike was launched last week by students concerned about paying for university accommodation during the lockdown.

"We are paying for rooms that are not even allowed to be used," said student Rebecca Hyde.

image copyrightNotts Rent Strike
image captionThe rent strike follows a similar protest by students at the University of Nottingham

Nottingham Trent University's vice chancellor, Edward Peck, said: "Due to national restrictions, the vast majority of our students are paying for accommodation they are being asked by the government not to use.

"We believe that the government needs to show leadership to find a solution that is fair to all students - however we have decided not to wait any longer for the government to respond to student concerns, and so have now taken action today.

"All students that are not occupying or using their rooms in NTU-owned or operated accommodation will have their rent waived from Monday 4 January up to and including Sunday 21 February 2021.

"This reflects the known period of the current restrictions. We will review this again in February when the position on national restrictions, and their impact on universities, will be clearer."

Those eligible for a rent reprieve have been told to notify the university by 22 January.

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Miss Hyde, co-founder of NTU Rent Strike, said she welcomed the university's decision but has called on them to do more to help students in privately-rented accommodation.

"NTU must pressure private providers to do the right thing and provide students with a fair and appropriate rent reduction," she said.

Lewis Tibbs - another co-founder of NTU Rent Strike - said the university's delayed decision on rent had been "frustrating and disappointing" for many students.

He said: "It is not an easy time to be a university student.

"We are under huge pressure at the moment and the emotional and financial strain of lockdown is massive.

"Many students are also rightfully concerned about the impact of Covid-19 on their education and their future prospects."

An estimated 15,000 students from universities around England have pledged to withhold rent on rooms they cannot use due to the lockdown.

On Friday, the University of Nottingham announced a financial support package for students following similar protests.

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Related Topics

  • Students
  • Renting

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