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Unite Students today announces further rent discount for students

Unite Students (@Unite_Student) announces further rent discount up to 28 March
All eligible* students will receive an additional three-week 50% rent discount, taking the total rent discount to 10 weeks during the Covid-19 lockdown of 2021
The rent disc…

Unite Students (@Unite_Student) announces further rent discount up to 28 March

  • All eligible* students will receive an additional three-week 50% rent discount, taking the total rent discount to 10 weeks during the Covid-19 lockdown of 2021
  • The rent discount reflects the Government stay at home rule ending on 29 March 2021
  • The total combined rent discount package in 2021 represents an average value per student of c.GBP1,300
  • Unite Students' rent support since the start of the pandemic in March 2020 now totals in excess of GBP100million

Unite Students, the UK's largest owner, manager and developer of purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA), is today announcing a further three-week rent discount due to the Government's ongoing Covid-19 restrictions. This further rent discount, when added to the two previous rent discounts already announced in 2021, will provide eligible* students with a 50% rent discount totalling 10 weeks, up to 28 March 2021. In total, the combined rental discount package in 2021 represents an average value per student of c.GBP1,300.

This decision has been taken following the Government's roadmap out of lockdown, set out on 22 February, which includes an end to the stay at home rule on 29 March. Subject to no further major changes in Government guidelines, it is anticipated this will be Unite Students' last rent discount relating to Covid-19. Students are eligible for the additional three-week discount if they pay their rent directly to Unite Students.

To be eligible, students will need to be up to date with their rent payments as of 30 April 2021 and not be in residence in a Unite Students' property between 8 March and 28 March 2021. In England, the Government's stay at home rule ends as of 29 March 2021, with similar restrictions having already been lifted in Wales. All eligible students will be emailed by Unite Students in the week commencing 8 March.

There's no need for students to apply or contact Unite Students. Unite Students has announced two previous rent discounts in line with Government guidance at that time:

  • A four-week 50% rent discount from 18 January to 14 February was announced on 11 January 2021 with the option to also apply for a four-week complimentary summer extension, if the tenancy contract end date was prior to 1 August 2021.
  • A three-week 50% rent discount extension from 15 February to 7 March, which was announced on 3 February 2021.

Unite Students was the first purpose-built student accommodation provider to forgo summer term rents for students returning home during the first national lockdown. In total, Unite Students has provided rental discounts to students totalling in excess of GBP100million throughout the pandemic, alongside multiple other support measures.

Only those students who have previously applied for a rent discount will be considered for this additional three-week rent discount. Students will receive a cash refund in relation to this final three-week discount period when they check out of their property at the end of this academic year. This announcement provides further proof, as highlighted by the recent National Student Accommodation Survey 2021, that PBSA is the most affordable type of student accommodation, demonstrating the additional benefits of this type of accommodation.

Since March 2020, Unite Students has provided more financial support than any other student accommodation provider in the UK.

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A recent survey carried out by Unite Students found 86% of students are keen to get onto university campus once it is safe to do so. Richard Smith, Chief Executive of Unite Students, said: "Since the outbreak of Covid-19, we have strived to play our part and do the right thing for our students in a fair and proportionate way.

We also know from our own survey of students that the majority want to return and enjoy university life. This final rent discount means we will have provided a total of 10-weeks of financial support while students were asked to stay at home by the Government. This comes on top of the waiver of rent for the third term of the 2019/20 academic year during the first national lockdown, when we were the first provider of purpose-built student accommodation to offer this.

"All our properties continue to remain open, as they have throughout the pandemic. Like any private landlord, we do not normally provide refunds for time students choose to spend away from a property during a tenancy. However, we acknowledge students have faced challenges this year and that's why we have supported them consistently through the pandemic.

We remain committed to ensuring that students can continue to experience the real life-long benefits of university life."