Although these are unprecedented times, bills still need to be paid, and I don’t see why uni students should be exempt from paying their rent for student let houses. Make the most of your new found free time and do some thinking about responsible living and use this isolation time to get your head together and sort out your finances.
I’m a second-year student, and I rent a student house in Norwich. At the end of first year, when I didn’t have a secure part time job, I purposely picked a second year house that I knew my (minimum level) student loan would be able to cover. I didn’t ever want to have to rely on something like an unstable job or unpredictable circumstances meaning I couldn’t pay my rent. I knew if I didn’t find a job, lost a job, or had unexpected events pop up, I’d be able to use my student loans to pay my rent. I signed a contract when I moved in and I as a renter have a duty to my landlord to live in his house and thus pay them their rent.
As of now, students are still getting their student loans, which means they can still pay their rent if they have properly prepared and budgeted. If you’ve chosen accommodation so expensive that it means you cannot afford to pay your rent and survive, then maybe it’s time to use this isolation period to learn about budgets.
I don’t mean to sound unsympathetic and I do understand that people would rather leave their student properties to go and live with their families in these terrible times, but a house doesn’t just go away because you do. If you were just able to magic rent away with a magic wand that would be great, but it wouldn’t teach you any lessons about the real world and we’d just be living in a fairytale.
For first-year students living on campus, I think it is fair enough that they won’t have to pay the rest of their universities fees. The campus fees are extortionately large and I don’t think having a mass amount of students living on campus would be safe for the university students, or staff. However, older year students are not living on campus; they’ve chosen a property with cheaper rent and signed a contract where a landlord may be dependent on their rent. A university is a massive institute that can afford the loss in rent, the individual landlord can no way match that on the same scale.
If your landlord is kind enough to give you reduced rent or cancelled rent, that is amazing and you should be saving that money to use smartly, but if not, you need to just deal with it. This won’t last forever and you signed that contract, so do the responsible thing, and pay it.