Reduced rent and a Covid Cancellation policy in our contracts

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Sulets Rent Strike Committee started this petition to SULETS

Dear Sulets,
The current pandemic has affected everyone, especially university students. The physical and mental struggle we had faced in 2020 has not only affected our studies but also our financial circumstances. In the midst of this we are writing this petition to inform you that we will no longer pay rent from the 30th of January 2021. In this petition we will discuss the following realistic demands and Issues:
·      COVID-19 cancellation Option introduced into our contracts commencing the 30th of January 2021.
·      Reduced rent for the period where accommodations that include gyms, common rooms and study rooms were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
·      The poor management of buildings and incompetent staff
As a student accommodation company, you are well aware that students rely on part time jobs and due to the current climate of the pandemic we were unable to find jobs affecting those who receive low loans to pay for accommodation. We believe that as a company of many accommodations within Leicester, this can be seen as inconsiderate.
A recent announcement from De Montfort University explains how most course subjects will no longer attend face-to-face lessons therefore should not return to Leicester till the week commencing 25th January 2021. The University of Leicester has also said that face to face sessions will re begin at the end of January. For many of us there is no need to be in Leicester and to protect ourselves and those around us the safest option is to stay at home (for UK resident students). As a collective, we feel that the accommodation should not charge us for the weeks that we are not allowed to go back to Leicester following Government guidelines and emails from the university.
A COVID-19 cancellation option is a very fair clause to have in the contract as it gives students a sense of protection on their money but also protects yourselves from any further disputes. We strongly feel as though you have taken advantage of our financial circumstances during these unprecedented times. This clause will allow those who no longer have face to face sessions due to the virus pandemic to opt out of their contract and receive no fine or opt out fee.
Recently we have received emails regarding specific facilities within our accommodations closing due to government guidance. We urge you to reduce our rent as these facilities cannot be used by us and our rent includes the use of the facilities. We should not have to ask for this and as an establishment where their customers are predominantly young adults, we firmly believe you look at us as a financial gain for yourselves without considering the emotional impact you have caused.We feel like there is a discrepancy. We feel like there are inconsistencies between what we are being told and what office staff are saying.
In the recent government announcement, we were told not to return to universities and to remain in our current residents, therefore we should not be paying rent.
Nearly every person staying in sulets owned accommodation are experiencing plumbing issues and this is unacceptable. We have only been here for one term. These rooms were meant to be prepared and issues resolved within 3-5 working days but residents are having to wait months on end for draining issues to be resolved. This is unacceptable in times like this.
The management have not helped tenants during these difficult times at all, especially those who had COVID-19 themselves and their one support system that was in place was the accommodation office. Unfortunately they did not provide support thus other residents being kind enough to help take out their rubbish with full PPE on.
The unprofessional ‘security officers’ make many people feel uncomfortable in the buildings. Knocking on our doors perfectly ok but pushing past too see who is in the room and shower room is not only disrespectful but is extremely patronising. Many tenants have also experienced security making comments that make them feel uncomfortable and quite disgusted.
We hope you have understood our demands and take into consideration our wellbeing during these worrying times.

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