Following the government lockdown announcement at the beginning of January, and the additional requests to universities not to offer on campus activity for most students, and to most students not to travel back to campus, BU has been speaking with our accommodation partners and reviewing our own position to see what support we may be able to offer to students who are not currently living in their accommodation but are still paying rent.
Where a student pays rent direct to BU (i.e. those students whose accommodation contracts are directly with BU) we have already offered a 50% accommodation rent credit to students who are not in their accommodation from the start of term until the end of this initial lockdown period (11 January to 5 February). Last night, 22 February, the Government also requested that we extend the period for limited face-to-face teaching and campus access for most students until after Easter. Therefore, we will also extend the 50% accommodation rent credit offer to cover the period up to 29 March.
Many private housing providers, including some of those who partner with BU, have also been able to offer a accommodation rent credit, rebate or similar to students in their properties and we welcome this. However, we also recognise that not every housing provider is in a position to be able to offer financial support and students living with one of these providers who are facing financial hardship in respect of their rent can apply for support via BU’s student financial support funds.
For those students eligible for the BU accommodation rent credit, the 50% credit will be applied to the final rent instalment due in April 2021. Please note, to be eligible you must not be in rent arrears at this time and would not have used your accommodation between the period of 11 January-29 March.
We will continue to work in your best interests as we deal with and respond to the ongoing impact that the pandemic, and associated restrictions, bring to university life. We will continue to keep the situation under review as we receive further government advice about future restrictions.
If you have any questions, or would like any more information, please contact AskBU.