Covid-19 rent and contract information

Lockdown 3.0

Following a tough 2020 we hope you and your loved ones are keeping well and staying as safe as possible.

We understand you are eager to know if you will be receiving a rent refund during the most recent national lockdown announced on Monday 4th January 2021.

All rent and contract queries are being treated the same way.

It is important for you to understand that your rent and your contractual obligations will continue and will be pursued, as per your contract, and set out in the government guidance for landlords and tenants.

At the moment there isn’t specific government support for student rent, outside of your loan or asking the University directly for help if you are struggling by applying to use the hardship fund. However, should we become aware of any reimbursements you can apply for directly from the government we will update you as soon as we know anything.
**UPDATE 17/02/2021**
The government have now provided universities with funding to support students who may need a little extra help at the minute. This needs to be applied for directly from the University before Friday 19th March 2021.
There are 3 different categories which may help you:

  • The Digital Inclusion Fund is for anyone who is struggling to get regular access to a computer that might need a laptop, needs internet access or other software or materials for their course. Students can email digitalinclusion@chester.ac.uk listing their digital needs.
  • The COVID Support Fund is for anyone paying rent at a home and term time address right now, has lost earnings or been furloughed due to Covid, or is having to pay more for course-related travel. Students can email covidfund@chester.ac.uk explaining what funding support is needed. You may also need to provide proof of rent (i.e. a contract).
  • The Financial Assistance Fund is available every year – if students have complex financial needs, or don’t meet the requirements of the two funds above, you can apply at www.blackbullion.com or speak to one of the student Union advisors for support with an application. www.chestersu.com/advice/contact

To try to help explain why; on behalf of the landlords we represent, the costs of providing and maintaining your house are still to be paid by your property owner as before. As you will understand this includes Gas, Electric, Water, Line rental, Internet, TV licencing, Buildings Insurance, Agency fees, Replacement appliances and furnishings through wear and tear, Home improvements, Licencing and Certifications.

You might have heard about mortgage breaks, these differ from landlord to landlord depending on the agreement they have with their lender and your landlord may have already used their mortgage break (if they were entitled to one) last year and now can’t have another.

We can reassure you that the student loans due on Monday 4th January 2021 and Monday 19th April 2021 have not been affected and should have been and will be processed as originally planned. The government have included the below in their guidance for students returning to, and starting, higher education in the spring term 2021.

“Because of the changing position relating to in-person teaching and learning and occupation of accommodation, students’ loan entitlements for the current term will not be reassessed if they are still incurring accommodation costs away from home, meaning that students in receipt of the ‘living away from home’’ loan rate will retain the maintenance loans paid at the start of term, which will be repaid in the usual way. This should help to ensure students have the financial support they need during these exceptional circumstances. Students who are no longer incurring accommodation costs away from home (e.g. because they have exited their contracts, or moved home permanently), or who no longer wish to receive the higher rate of loan, should continue to request reassessment.”

We hope that your student loan is sufficient funding to enable you to meet your rental obligations. However, if you feel that your student loan doesn’t meet all of your rental commitments, please provide accounts@chesterstudentlets.co.uk with a screenshot of your student loan amount and a brief explanation as to why you are unable to make up the difference at the moment. These details will be assessed and consideration will be given to your individual circumstance, as set out in the government guidance for landlords and tenants.

In the meantime, where the government rules and guidance permit, we will continue to fulfill our obligations as agents and property managers during your term of contract.

During this time, unlike the first lockdown, as many repairs and maintenance will be considered for action as possible, every preventative measure available will be undertaken such as protective personal equipment and social distancing by our contractors.

We hope this helps with your query.

We sincerely wish you, all your family and loved ones the best of health and hopefully our lives can resume a sense of normality soon.

Chester Student Lets