The University should make the process for leaving university accommodation more accessible, transparent, and fair

Passed: March 2021 (16th)

What do you want? / Why do you want it?

A more visible and accessible process for students who wish to leave their university accommodation contract. Some flexibility has been offered to students during the pandemic and I believe this flexibility should be offered in a ‘normal’ year to those students who experience special circumstances. The university should adopt a panel model, to include an exec officer and advice team staff member from LUU, to consider applications to leave residences. The process for applying should be made visible and readily available to students who feel they have a special case for contractual release.

The pandemic has highlighted the inflexibility of rental contracts that are offered by the university. Whilst some students have been released from their contracts, many have been held to their tenancy agreements even in situations where they have moved home to take on caring responsibilities, are severely struggling with their physical and mental health, and have been prevented from travelling to the UK by restrictions. Students that wish to leave their residences are faced with two options: drop out of university entirely, or find an external tenant to replace them in their contract. No student should have no choice but to leave university entirely, as finding an alternative tenant is an incredibly lengthy and stressful process, especially for a student who is already in difficult circumstances. I believe that as the university is in the financial position to offer this flexibility, it is their duty to ease the burden of their students who are struggling and make this process as visible and easy as possible.

Expires: March 2024 (16th)

Submitted By: Charlotte Morton

Officer: Community / Welfare

Area of Work: Accommodation

Updates

July 2021: LUU's Help and Support Team have been working with Residential Services in the University on this policy. Residential Services have agreed to provide more transparency around how key decisions are made.

April 2021: Lotti met with Residences and discussed how LUU can work with them to improve the process. A panel will be created which will take the form of an appeals panel to help students who feel that their request to leave has not been fairly considered by the Residences team in the first instance.

March 2021: New Policy