Waive All Final Rent Instalments for Student Tenants in the UK

Waive All Final Rent Instalments for Student Tenants in the UK

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Alex Elizabeth started this petition to Newcastle city council and

In March 2020, the UK government announced a nationwide lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19. By this time, precautions had already been taken by many UK institutions, who initially opted to suspend lectures and seminars. This was later amended to include the closure of all campus facilities. While some students remain in term-time rentals, the majority are now isolating at home. 

As the UK death toll soars, an immediate return to normal daily life becomes increasingly idealistic and poses a threat to those with no safety net amid the mass closure of bars, clubs, offices and retail outlets. Most students rely on additional streams of income to remedy the discrepancies in loan payments and rent; without which, they cannot afford to survive. 

Amazingly, many institutions have waived final instalments to remedy the financial burden. However, those in private accommodation remain bound to contracts that were signed as early as January 2019, at a time when the COVID-19 mutation had not yet entered the public consciousness. For those who were set to graduate this summer, the future is bleak. With only their final student loan payment to carry them throughout this lengthy unemployment period, lingering rent fees can feel like a death sentence. We cannot say with certainty when or how this crisis will end. Yet, many landlords continue to issue refusals to their tenants, furthering their grief. 

In times like this, it is vital we set a precedent to protect future generations from befalling the same fate should we experience a second global pandemic in the future. This is why I ask the UK government to introduce additional legislation that protects current and future student tenants from financial exploitation. It is unethical and inhumane. 

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