Letter from representatives of Students' Unions and universities in Bath

February 2021

Dear Landlord,

As representatives of both the Students’ Unions and universities in Bath, we hope that you are well and staying safe.

As ever, we are extremely thankful for the opportunity you offer our students to live and study in such a wonderful city and be part of such a unique community, in spite of the significant challenges that we have all faced since the start of the pandemic.

Whilst this pandemic has presented new challenges and heightened pre-existing ones, we know from our students that it is the community and the community spirit that has kept us all going.

Whilst we were all hoping the situation would improve, we have all found ourselves in another lockdown with significant Government restrictions. The timing of this has meant that many of our students, both campus and city-based, have been told not to return to their university address following the Christmas holidays.

This has led both universities to make the decision to offer a full rent rebate from the 4th of January until the 14th of February 2021 to those students in University-managed Accommodation who have not been able to use it because of Government restrictions.

This decision was not taken lightly, but we shared the belief that it was the right thing to do at this moment in time. This also offered considerable relief to a lot of our students who were increasingly worried about their finances and levels of debt, as many who would normally take on paid work during their studies have been unable to do so.

However, a significant number of our students living in the community are still facing similar anxieties. Alongside worries about academic achievement, studying environments, and mental health, financial issues are also a concern.

Many of them are unable to return to their houses in Bath and are still paying rent and associated costs. It is in this spirit that we would like to ask you to engage with your tenants and show leniency and flexibility over rent arrangements for the duration of the current lockdown, both for students who are unable to return to Bath currently and for those who, whilst living in your accommodation, are struggling to pay rent.

We do not ask for this lightly, and fully understand the financial strain so many members of our community are experiencing. We would be grateful for any leniency in rental agreements you could show for both current and future tenants.

Once again, on behalf of our students, we hope you are able to offer your understanding and flexibility through this difficult time, and that we can overcome this, together.

Yours Sincerely,

Freya Jackson Community Officer, SU Bath

Francesco Masala President, SU Bath

Megan Robertson Vice-President Welfare and Community, Bath Spa University Students' Union

Emily Casey President, Bath Spa University Students' Union

Professor Ian White Vice-Chancellor and President, University of Bath

Professor Sue Rigby Vice-Chancellor, Bath Spa University