Hope you guys can help.
On December 22nd 2021, the accommodation at Derby University (Cathedral Court) I was staying at was evacuated for safety reasons and all students were forced to move out on that same day.
Some more info :
Huge Derby student block evacuated over safety fears - Derbyshire Live
It's about a fire protection issue at the 350-room complex
So after December 22nd 2021 no students were allowed back into the accommodation and this has remained closed ever since.
The rent for the accommodation was paid in full for the autumn term, ie 1st Setpember - 31st December.
The university offered the following support package to the students :
Each affected student will receive a rent holiday or equivalent from 22 December 2021 to 16 January 2022 inclusive. This covers this period of disruption and totals £566.74. In addition to this, we are offering a £200 goodwill gift to each student. The total package is £766.54 per person. How this is applied will vary, depending on the accommodation choice you have made.
If you chose to stay in Student Living accommodation you can either:
Accept the rent holiday between 22 December 2021 and 16 January 2022 (inclusive) and receive a £200 payment into your bank (the rent you have already paid from 22-31 December 2021 will be credited to your account for the next term)
Continue to pay rent between 22 December 2021 and 16 January 2022 and receive a payment of £766.54 into your bank. You will be charged your new room rate from 22 December 2021 if you chose this option.
If you have been or are being released from your Student Living contract and are moving to private accommodation (with or without our support) you will receive a payment into your bank of £766.54.
I chose the 3rd option, being released from your student living contract and moving to private accommodation.
The student living people are now demanding £265 for rent arrears for Cathedral court, even though I haven't lived at this accommodation since 22nd December, I would understand this if I had refused to return to Cathedral Court if it was open but the fact that the accommodation is closed by no fault of mine or any other students I don't understand how they can even ask for this rent ?
I am going to send the following email to student living and see what they come back with, however any advice on this greatly appreciated :
I refer to your letter dated 25th March 2022
Please note that I paid for my accommodation to live at Cathedral Court for the term dating 1st September to December 31st. I was told that I cannot go back to the accommodation on 22nd December.
I would like to turn your attention to the email I received on 14/01/22 which stated that "Each affected student will receive a rent holiday or equivalent from 22 December 2021 to 16 January 2022 inclusive". Due to the fact that I was unable to live at my chosen accommodation due to reason that were outside of my control, and I had paid for the accommodation on in the amount of X I do not owe any further monies.
Please refer this matter back to the University of Derby Student Living.
What rights do I have in regards to this ? Will I have to pay the rent they are demanding, even though they were the ones who broke the contract and forced us to leave ?
Thanks in advance.