We know a majority of students renting private accommodation are currently facing an incredibly difficult time - physically, mentally and financially. Due to the national lockdown guidance, many students who had gone home for Christmas are still being instructed by the government to stay where they are and stay at home to reduce the spread of the virus.
Although some students will be allowed to return to campus after 8th March, a significant proportion of Queen Mary students are not studying subjects that are allowed to return to campus at this time. While we of course understand the importance of reducing transmission of Covid-19, this puts students renting in a difficult position where they are expected to continue to pay rent for a property they are not allowed to inhabit.
To support you we have put together some helpful resources that you can use. This includes a letter prepared by the Students' Union that you can download and send to your landlord. We have also met with local MP Rushanara Ali to explain to her the issues many students are currently dealing with, she has asked us to encourage students in her constituency with landlord and rental problems to contact her office directly.
Please remember, if you are struggling to afford your rent because of Covid-19 you should email or message your landlord. Legally you will still owe rent, but your landlord may be willing to compromise. Current government guidance says landlords should offer support and understanding to tenants. If this is not successful funding may be available from the University Financial Assistance Fund.
Letter to landlords
We have prepared a letter from the Students' Union that you are welcome to download and send to your landlord. The letter requests that your landlord considers a rent rebate / reduction considering the Covid-19 pandemic and the associated impacts of ongoing restrictions.
Download the letter
Shelter template letter
The charity Shelter have prepared a template letter you can use to help you negotiate a rent reduction during the Covid-19 pandemic and ongoing restrictions.
View Shelter guidance and template letter
Please note that most students are not eligible for benefits so you may wish to point this out to your landlord if your ability to work has been affected during the pandemic. You can find out more information about eligibility for benefits here if you are a full-time or part-time student.”
London Renters Union
We have recently been working with the London Renters Union. We had a chat with Alastair Cartwright from their team to find out more about the organisation and what support is available for those renting, including students! You can watch the video here.
Further advice & information
Our Students' Union website advice and support website contains lots of helpful information, resources and links to external support organisations. We have dedicated pages with housing advice and money advice.
If you are in need of support or would like any further information about the above please contact your VP Welfare, Jack Juckes, on email@example.com
Students in Queen Mary Residences
We continue to lobby the University to do more to support students who are renting in University-owned accommodation. You can read our previous updates on this here: