Leicester students forced to pay rent for empty houses

Written by Max Ashforth

University of Leicester students left frustrated at being forced to pay rent for vacated student houses.  

The recent decision by the UK government to place the country into lockdown has left students with strict instructions to stay put and not travel back to university accommodation.  

Anna Maria Power (3rd year, Ancient History and Archaeology) said: “The decision [whether to return to university] was taken out of my hands as the government imposed a lockdown and I was told to remain where I was.” 

Anna added: “I’m not too mad at not being able to live in the property as I know this [lockdown] is only around for a month. My problem is not being able to access university facilities. The online resources are simply not good enough.” 

Some students have said they don’t mind remaining at home: “I live in a two-person flat and my housemate is unable to return. I would rather live with my family during this time than on my own,” said Chloe Edwards (3rd year, Medical Physiology).

The University of Leicester’s SU provided an open letter addressed to landlords, asking them to consider offering rent reductions.

Not all students feel comfortable doing this, as Imi Hunter (2nd year, Politics and International Relations) said: “I saw some posts on LeicFess about landlords being able to sue students who want to remove/reduce the rent so I was tempted to just leave it, it’s not ideal but I would rather not have a lawsuit on my hands!” 

Sulets, a private letting company in Leicester, announced a four week rent discount on Thursday 21st January, with CEO Irving Hill stating: “We are very aware of the impact that the current lockdown is having on students.

“As an educational charity, with a clear mission to do the best for students, we are committed to helping where we can at this time.”

Max Ashforth is a first-year journalism student with aspirations to pursue a career in journalism. You can find him on instagram @Max_Ashforth.

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University of Leicester's Student Magazine

Leicester Student Magazine

University of Leicester's Student Magazine

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