Lancaster University asks for rent from students who have moved out of accommodation due to Covid-19

A student has criticised Lancaster University for insisting on rent being paid even if students have moved out of the accommodation.

By Gayle Rouncivell
Monday, 6th April 2020, 2:34 pm
Updated Monday, 6th April 2020, 4:22 pm

The student says he will not be returning to the Bailrigg campus due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, he said Lancaster University was going against most others in continuing to ask for £200 a week in rent.

"I attend Lancaster University and since October have lived on campus," he said. "However now, due to the coronavirus, most students including myself have moved out of our accommodation, and, due to the ceasing of face-to-face teaching in term three, have no intention of returning.

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Lancaster University.

"Almost all universities from Edge Hill to UCL to Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan respect this decision and have issued statements saying that students do not have to pay rent for third term.

"Lancaster however have broken the mould and have, without reason, demanded that we still pay rent for accommodation we are aren’t even using.

"Students at this time are already concerned with the lack of clarity on exams and assessments, worried about loved ones and are anxious about world events and now this has been worsened by the exploitative negligence of the university.

"A lot of students will need that money and aren’t in good financial situation and are now being forced to pay £200 per week for a room in a different city when the precedent for other universities has been set that rent is cancelled.

"I believe they should be shown for their exploitation of students in such a time, when people should be helping one another where possible."

A university spokesman said: "Our student accommodation remains open with around 1,700 students remaining here in their student flats and houses.

"The university and our accommodation partners are actively considering summer term rents and we will communicate a decision to our students as soon as possible.

"We are involved in such a dynamic and fast-developing situation that our first focus remains the safety and welfare of our students and staff, and making sure that appropriate services are in place for the significant number of students in accommodation on campus.

"Over recent weeks, teams of staff have been working to provide essential supplies including food boxes and medicine to our students on campus as well as practical advice and emotional support.

"We understand this is an extremely challenging time for everyone. We are encouraging any students who are experiencing additional financial difficulty, or who feels they need advice or support at this time to contact Student and Education Services ([email protected])."