Dear landlords: Hear us out

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Working with Councils and the University, we have written an open letter to private landlords about the impact the national lockdown is having on students at Staffordshire University.

Download the letter »


Dear Landlord 

The events of the last 11 months have had a significant impact on all our lives.? For our students at Staffordshire University, this has also been the case. 

The pandemic has often made the university experience different and challenging, and last year our students and staff quickly adapted to COVID-secure measures to ensure face to face teaching could still take place while also navigating increased online learning.

As you will be aware, on Monday 4 January 2021, the UK government implemented a national lockdown with immediate effect which also meant that?the majority of?our student population were unable to return to campus.

Staffordshire University remains committed to supporting our students throughout this?difficult period,?and our students have demonstrated their support for the national effort to restrict their movements and control the spread of the virus.? 

We appreciate the issue of rent payments is an important one to our students and we have moved to ensure?that they are not unfairly disadvantaged by the current restrictions.? 

While some students remained on campus during the end-of-term break and others have returned in line with the latest regulations, we are aware that many were unable to return to their accommodation due to the national lockdown.? 

As a result, we have taken a series of measures including the introduction of a rent reduction scheme for students with University Accommodation Contracts for our accommodation in Stoke-on-Trent and Stafford. This scheme applies to students who are unable to make use of their residences between 4 January and 22 February 2021 due to the current national lockdown restriction. 

While this only applies to students in University-managed and -owned accommodation, we are conscious that students may not automatically be afforded the same offer from private sector accommodation providers. 

We are therefore writing to property owners to encourage you to consider sharing the financial impact of the lockdown restrictions and making rent reductions for students through this period.  

Of course, we recognise the pandemic may have also impacted on your financial situation and that may be an important factor in any decision you make. 

But we strongly urge you to give this matter some consideration and, if able, extend some measure of help to our students. 

The University and the Students’ Union are working together to ensure outcomes which provide more support for our students to ensure they are not disadvantaged by their circumstances as they continue to dedicate time to their education and their futures.? 

This is an unprecedented time and calls for us all to make sure that those we have a responsibility for are supported and cared for.? 

So much has been achieved in the last 11 months, in the most demanding of circumstances, and this has been achieved in good spirits, humour and an upmost focus upon looking after our students and each other.?? 

We are all in this together and I hope you will take this letter in the good spirit it is intended.? 

If the University can help in providing guidance on this matter, we would encourage you to contact either: 

  • University Residence Life Team: 01782 294221 |
  • Students Union Advice Service: 01782 294629 |

I hope you stay safe and well in these difficult times.?? 

Yours sincerely,

Professor Liz Barnes CBE DL & Connor Bayliss
Vice Chancellor & Chief Executive and Students’ Union President and Staffordshire University


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