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Student Halls at Derby Uni demanding rent after students forced out of accommodation


goofa316
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Hi

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 :

 

WWW.DERBYTELEGRAPH.CO.UK

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 :

 

Support package


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 :


***************
Dear Sirs,

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.

 

Goofa316

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Hi

 

What you need to know is how these Rent Arrears have been incurred i.e. the exact dates they are claiming these rent arrears for.

 

(note: something you could consider is the article you linked to look at the reporters name you could consider letting her know of what the university is doing to its students referring to her article)

 

Anyway this is my take on the letter you should send to university about the rent arrears and fell free to amend to suit your needs but with this make sure and title it Formal Complaint.

 

Dear Sir/Madam

 

Formal Complaint

 

Reference: Letter Dated 25th March 2022 - Rent Arrears

 

Further to the above letter for Rent Arrears I require you to clarify the exact dates these Rent Arrears were incurred and which accommodation you are referring to.

 

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 by the University.

 

I have already 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.

 

Due to the above we were given 3 options by yourselves and I chose the 3 option which was "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".

 

We had to move out of this accommodation at such short notice on 22nd December 2022 by the university due to fire protection measures issues the university had become aware of and would like this letter passed to the Derby Student Living for there action as to where these rent arrears have been incurred.

 

The stress this caused having to find accommodation at that time while still doing my studies and then to receive this letter has further added to that stress

 

I look forward to your reply within the next 14 Days.

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Thanks for your advise on this.

 

Just to add some further context to this :

 

The student letting people confirmed that Cathedral Court would close permanently on the 6th of Jan, it has never reopened, Between the 22nd and Jan 12th I had no accommodation allocated to me. On the 12th I was allocated another accommodation and I moved into this since I had no choice because of exams coming up and there wasn't enough time to find suitable accommodation. I stayed at this accommodation between 12th Jan until the 28th of Jan. On the 28th I moved into private rented accommodation. The student letting people also confirmed that there would be no further charges if students left their new accommodation during January.

 

The university are rightly asking for rent during my stay in the new halls (12th Jan - 28th Jan), I have no issues paying this. However they are also asking for rent between 1st Jan until the 12th, this is what I am refusing to pay since there was nothing allocated to me at this time.

 

Again any help greatly appreciated

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Hi

 

I would amend the letter I suggested in post#2 to adjust/amend to suit and add what you have mentioned in your post#4

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I cannot give any advice by PM - If you provide a link to your Thread then I will be happy to offer advice there.

I advise to the best of my ability, but I am not a qualified professional, benefits lawyer nor Welfare Rights Adviser.

Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

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