Update on PBSA's from Kate

Last week, alongside Mary Foy (MP for Durham City), I wrote to the Purpose Built Student Accommodation providers (PBSAs) in Durham asking for students to be given the opportunity to end their contracts early if they wish to.

I have had positive responses from some providers in the city and I’m really pleased that Student Roost, Hello Student, Student Castle and Unite Students have now all given tenants the opportunity to cancel their contracts.  However, I’m disappointed that I have not heard back from other providers, who still have not agreed to allow students to end their contracts.

I feel it’s important that as students, members of the Durham community and possible future or current tenants, you are fully informed about the actions being taken by PBSAs to support students during these challenging times. The table below summarises the information provided by PBSAs regarding tenancy agreements and tenants’ belongings.

I will continue to lobby for all PBSAs to allow students out of their contracts early, and will be sure to keep you updated with any responses I receive. As always, if you require further advice you can contact the SU’s free, confidential and impartial Advice Service using the contact details below.

helpline (available 09:00-17:00): 07922648802*
email: dsu.advice2@durham.ac.uk
*Please note: the Advice Service helpline is not a crisis number, in an emergency please use 999 as usual.

Provider Accomdation Response* Policy Summary More information
Student Roost Chapel Heights   Students given the opportunity to cancel contracts if they contacted Student Roost before April 13th. Those wishing to leave but are unable to at present can pay rent on week-by-week basis until they are able to leave when restrictions are lifted. Those with belongings still at Chapel Heights must collect by May 1st, or June 1st if unable to travel due to restrictions. Pages 6-9 of FAQs document
Hello Student St Margaret's Flats   Students given the opportunity to cancel contracts if they contacted Hello Student before April 17th. Those with belongings still in rooms asked to arrange collection before April 25th. Link to policy
Student Castle Student Castle Durham   Students who have left Durham given the opportunity to cancel contracts if they contacted Student Castle before April 10th. Those with belongings still in rooms given 2 weeks to collect them (or arrange collection) after restrictions are lifted. Those still living in Student Castle but wishing to leave when possible will not be charged rent from 2 weeks after restrictions are lifted if Student Castle were made aware of intention to leave before 10th April. Link to policy
Unite Students Elvet Studios; Houghall Court; Rushford Court   Students given the opportunity to cancel contracts if they contacted Unite before April 10th. Belongings to be stored by Unite until restrictions are lifted. Update on Covid-19
Prestige Student Living Duresme Court; St Giles Studios  

St Giles Studios tenants who have left Durham offered 50% rent reduction from May 1st.

Duresme Court tenants offered 3 months rent deferrment. 

Update on Covid-19
Fresh Student Living Dun Holm House   Dun Holm house dealing with rent refund requests on a case-by-case basis for students who have left Durham. Update on Covid-19
City Block City Block The Village @ The Viaduct Durham   City Block have offered to pay £600 to students not currently in residence at City Block, as long as they respond to this offer by 5pm on 27/04/20. Durham SU has requested an extension to this deadline and will provide an update as soon as we know more.

Update on Covid-19

Mansion Student Ernest Place   No response to letter sent by SU President (Kate McIntosh) and MP for Durham City (Mary Foy). Normal 2019/20 cancellation policy applies. Update on Covid-19

*Responses have been ranked and colour-coded based on their approach to ending tenancy agreements and storing belongings until restrictions are lifted. The responses ranked as green are which we deem to be most appropriate and reasonable during the current circumstances. We will endeavour to update this table as and when PBSAs update their policies. 

Page last updated: 12/05/2020