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ACCOMMODATION

We are working as quickly as possible to update our current advice to students. Please keep checking these pages regularly – they are being updated throughout the day and as soon as new information and advice becomes available. In the meantime, if you have any concerns please contact Ask4Help through your Student Portal.

SOME OF THE LINKS IN THE BELOW INFORMATION WILL TAKE YOU TO ARTICLES ON THE STUDENT PORTAL. PLEASE LOG IN TO THE STUDENT PORTAL FIRST AND THEN YOU WILL BE ABLE TO SEE THE CONTENT YOU WANT.

May 28 Update - Collection of Belongings from Accommodation

Can I collect my belongings from my accommodation?

Yes. The UK Government advice to students, has now changed regarding the collection of personal belongings that have been left in University Accommodation.

We will be running a structured process for residents to return to site to collect their belongings, and you will shortly be invited to book a one-hour slot on a range of available dates to collect your belongings.

How can I book a collection slot?

You will shortly receive an email, to both your University email and Personal email address, will which will include a link to a booking portal (slots are booked on a first come / first served basis).  This email will advise how to book a collection slot, and also include important guidance on Social Distancing, and expectations, when you arrive at your accommodation.  You will be asked to collect your belongings (including those from shared kitchen areas) and to leave your room/kitchen in a reasonably tidy condition – inspections will subsequently be carried out.

Can I turn up any day and any time to collect my belongings?

 

Unfortunately this is not possible.  The safety of students, their families and the staff must be our first priority and for that reason we will only be operating a “by appointment only” system.

 

What if I cannot make any of the dates/times available?

 

There will be guidance within the correspondence you receive which will advise you what you need to do if you are unable to make any of the dates/time available.

 

Can I bring my family and friends with me?

In order to minimise the risk of any students coming into contact with others, you will only be permitted to bring a maximum of two additional people with you and they must be members of the same household.

Can I ask someone else to collect my belongings for me?

 

The preference is that you return to collect your own belongings.  If you are unable to do this, please use the contact email within the email you receive and clearly advise of the issues you face.  You will receive a personal response from a member of the team.

 

What if I arrive early, can I access my flat?

 

Unfortunately, you must stick to your allocated booking slot.  If you arrive early we will not be able to grant you access to your room any earlier, however, we will have an overflow car park where you will be able to wait, social distancing guidelines being adhered to, until it is your allotted time.

 

What if I do not live in England?

 

If you live in Scotland, Wales or another country outside of England, you will need to check what lockdown arrangements are in place locally before arranging any travel or committing to any journeys.  Please contact us directly via the email address which will be contained in the booking email, and you will receive a personal response from a member of the team.

 

What if I am an International Student who has returned home?

 

Please respond to the booking email you receive and advise that you are an International student who has returned to your home country, and alternative options that are available will be shared and discussed with you. 

I have returned home but my landlord will not cancel my tenancy agreement - what can I do?

Both the University and Students’ Union have written to the community of landlords in the Newcastle area, appealing for support for our students at this difficult time – with financial assistance being one of the key requests.

Your tenancy agreement is a legally enforceable contract and unfortunately a number of landlords will inform you that they intend to hold you to your contract and will not waive rent payments.  Our advice to you is to speak to your landlord.  Understand how they are financially impacted (your rent may be paying the mortgage on the property) and explain how you will be financially impacted – with evidence of financial hardship.  Where possible try and come to an arrangement with them, options could include a discount, a rent deferral or a longer term payment plan 

If you still remain concerned about your financial difficulties or would like further advice or support, you are advised to raise an enquiry on your Student Portal or contact swi@northumbria.ac.uk for a confidential conversation.

I live in student accommodation and I have coronavirus symptoms. What should I do?

If you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus illness (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started. If you are displaying these symptoms then you should not leave the house.

 If you live with others, whether this is in University Accommodation or any other accommodation, and you or one of your flat/housemates have symptoms of coronavirus, then all residents of the accommodation must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill

It is likely that people living within a household will infect each other or be infected already. Staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community

Further Steps to Follow

  • University Accommodation

If a resident of your flat/house does display symptoms 1 member of the flat should make contact with staff in the building, as soon as possible, and give details of the resident who has symptoms and the details of the other residents within the flat.  These details will be shared with the Student Life and Wellbeing Team.  All residents must remain in the flat/house for 14 days.

Private Student Accommodation Provider

If a resident of your flat/house does display symptoms 1 member of the flat should make contact with the staff within the building as soon as possible, and give details of the resident who has symptoms and the details of the other residents within the flat.  You should also make contact with the University Student Life and Wellbeing Team at swi@northumbria.ac.uk and advise you wish to report student self-isolation details. These details will be acted upon by the Student Life and Wellbeing Team.  All residents must remain in the flat/house for 14 days.

  • Shared Student House

If a resident of your flat/house does display symptoms 1 member of the flat should make contact with the University Student Life and Wellbeing Team at swi@northumbria.ac.uk and advise you wish to report student self-isolation details.  These details will be acted upon by the Student Life and Wellbeing Team.  All residents must remain in the flat/house for 14 days.

  • Private Residential Home

If a resident of your flat/house does display symptoms you should make contact with the University Student Life and Wellbeing Team at swi@northumbria.ac.uk and advise you wish to report student self-isolation details.  These details will be acted upon by the Student Life and Wellbeing Team.  All residents must remain in the flat/house for 14 days.

In all situations you will receive contact from the Student Life and Wellbeing Team, via email, who will be able to provide further guidance and support.

Can I terminate my accommodation tenancy agreement, and does it apply to my building?

The University has taken the decision that students are able to terminate their tenancy agreement with us for the rest of the academic year and return home or to another accommodation, without being penalised. If you have already chosen to do this, then all rent will be waived from 17 April 2020. 

This offer to terminate a tenancy agreement for academic year 2019/20 applies to University tenancies in the following buildings:

• Claude Gibb

• Glenamara House

• New Bridge Street

• Trinity Square

• Lovaine Hall

• Winn Studios

Students who wish to end their accommodation contract should request this by email to cr.accommodation.fees@northumbria.ac.uk. Where the request is received by Friday 17 April 2020, the contract will be ended with effect from 17 April 2020. Where the request is received after this date, the contract will be ended with effect from the end of the calendar month in which the request was made.

Students will not be charged after their lease has ended, however will remain liable for all outstanding debt incurred to that date and any costs related to damage to the room.  

If you wish to hand in your notice, please do so by email to cr.accommodation.fees@northumbria.ac.uk. You must include your name, address and student number, in addition to your intended departure date. A member of the accommodation team will provide further advice as to the departure processes by return email – please bear with us while we work through a large volume of correspondence.

I live in Camden Court, Liberty Quay or Liberty Central - does this apply to me?

The owners of these buildings (Unite/Liberty Living) have taken a similar decision to the University and are willing to release students from accommodation tenancy agreements.

We have been informed that you will be receiving a communication from your landlord and a request that students engage directly with Unite/Liberty Living to arrange termination in line with the specific terms and conditions set out by them (as your tenancy agreement is between yourself and Unite/Liberty Living).

Of course, if anyone has any questions or would like clarification, please contact the University Accommodation Team on cr.accommodation.fees@northumbria.ac.uk

I live in Portland Green - does this apply to me?

The owners at Portland Green Student Village have taken a similar decision to the University and are willing to release students from accommodation tenancy agreements. You should have received communication from your landlord and a request to engage directly with the team at Portland Green to arrange termination in line with the specific terms and conditions set out by them (as your tenancy agreement is between yourself and Portland Green). Please make contact with Portland Green for any questions, or to request release from your tenancy.

What is the position on tenancies with The Student Hotel in Amsterdam?

The Student Hotel have taken a similar decision to the University and are willing to release students from accommodation tenancy agreements.

Students are liable for the rent until the end of March, and would lose the initial deposit, However if you choose to return to your country of origin you will not be charged for the remaining months, April, May, June.  Please liaise directly with The Student Hotel in relation to cancelling your tenancy agreement.

Of course, if anyone has any questions or would like clarification, please contact the University Accommodation Team on cr.accommodation.fees@northumbria.ac.uk

My building isn't one of the ones set out above and my landlord will not release me from my tenancy, what can I do?

We are aware that many students have tenancy agreements with private sector landlords.  The University is actively engaging with our contacts in as many organisations as possible to encourage them to take a similar stance to the University at this difficult time.  There will unfortunately be landlords though who will not be willing to release a student from their tenancy agreement.  If this is the case, and you are experiencing serious financial difficulties, please contact the University Student Life and Wellbeing Team via the Student Portal.

I am staying in my accommodation - does this meant I'll be getting a refund?

Students are very welcome to stay in their accommodation until the end of their agreement and should keep paying their rent as normal.

We ask that all students who are continuing to stay with us let us know as soon as they can, if they haven’t done so already.

I am experiencing financial hardship - what should I do?

As with any other time the Student Life and Wellbeing Team are here to support you. Please visit the Student Portal and raise enquiry in the usual way.

I want to end my tenancy buy my belongings are still in my room - does that mean I can't end my tenancy?

No. You can still end your tenancy and you will not be charged beyond 17 April.  Please bear with us in respect of your belongings – this is an unprecedented situation and you will understand that we are trying our best to reach the best solution for all. For other residences, please liaise directly with your landlord in respect of their policies on possessions.

Will be belongings be thrown away?

We will not enter your room unless it is for a H&S reason. We will not throw away any of your belongings.  We are currently working to find a solution that works for everyone, however please understand that we are working with the challenges of social distancing for our teams and therefore there is no easy solution.

Something we do need to address is food content within fridges,  we will need to avoid food waste going mouldy and causing health and safety issues.  Therefore, it is possible that in time we will enter flats to empty fridges and cupboards – but again this is resource dependant. Unfortunately, you will not be reimbursed for the cost of any food that has to be disposed of.

"We do not accept any liability for loss or damage for anything left in University accommodation". What does this mean?

We will do the very best that we can to ensure that your belongings remain safe, however should belongings be damaged or lost, we are unable to accept liability for them. We will endeavour to provide you with further information on how and when you can collect your belongings in the near future, which will be in line with government guidance.

Are my possessions insured if I am not occupying the room?

The University has talked at some length with our insurers and in a fantastic gesture, Endsleigh Insurance have made the following statement: 

“We know students may have suddenly left your accommodation to return back home, as a result they may have not taken all of their possessions with them. To support this, we have waived our un-occupancy exclusion of 60 days and want to reassure you that in such a situation, student possessions will be covered under your policy for an unlimited period of time during the policy period”.


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