With a combined total of over 10,000 students residing in private accommodation in Bath, the private sector houses play a crucial role in housing the vast majority of our student population in the city.
There is so much uncertainty around students’ lives, with significantly diminished finances due to the lack of jobs, stressed family situations, and illegibility for benefits. Students also face a lack of clarity around their future prospects, concern for their loved ones around the world and a significant change to their learning.
Student officer teams and Vice- Chancellors from both universities have written an open letter pleading for some leniency and flexibility in arrangements from the private housing sector. We have also written a letter to the leader of the local council to support students, their constituents, at this time and utilise their power with landlords to offer some relief to students.
If you are living in private accommodation in Bath, we have put together a template letter which we suggest you tailor and send to your landlords to begin having discussions with them on this issue.
Stable, suitable and quality housing is essential for our students and we will continue to fight for your rights as tenants. We are here to support you through this process.
We hope that our actions help achieve positive results in the private accommodation sector, however each case is individual, and the landlord responses will likely vary across the sector. Therefore, we recommend the following steps if you are trying to negotiate your contract with your landlord:
1. Check the guidance detailed on University private accommodation page.
2. Download and amend the ‘template letter’ to send to your landlord. Personalise it to your situation as much as possible and to the level you’re comfortable divulging, this will help your landlord see the personal impact on you and why you need to negotiate your contract.
3. If you would like further advice on information to include and/or feedback on your draft, please contact the SU Advice and Support Centre.
4. Our Advisers may be able to provide further advice with your ongoing negotiations, so do check with them if you’re not sure about certain elements.
5. If your negotiations aren’t successful, you may want to speak with the Money Advice Service in Student Services to see what advice and support is available. You can also speak with Citizens Advice.