To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the covid-19 outbreak, whether he has plans to provide financial support to students that are required to pay private rent for their accommodation after being encouraged by their university to return home.
This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.
6 May 2020
Students will continue to receive scheduled payments of loans towards their living costs for the remainder of the current, 2019/20, academic year.
While it is for universities and private accommodation providers to make their own decisions about charging rents to absent students, we would encourage them to consider the fairness of doing so and to clearly communicate their policies to students. It is also important to stress that accommodation providers should not have instructed any student to leave. If any accommodation provider did formally instruct a student to leave the property then it would be unacceptable to continue to charge student rents.
We understand that, to date, 75 higher education providers have waived or refunded rents with 3 more making rent adjustments on a case-by-case basis.