Students fury at paying rent for digs they're not 'allowed to be in'

University students vent fury at being forced to fork out for rent and bills, saying: ‘I’m paying £110 a week for somewhere I’m not allowed to live in’

  • Universities have closed until mid February following the PM’s latest lockdown 
  • Learning is now remote with most students asked not to return to their digs 
  • On Twitter, many undergraduates expressed their frustration at still having to pay for accommodation – often around £150 a month – despite not living in them 

University students forced to work from home following Boris Johnson’s latest lockdown ruling have been revealing their fury over paying rent and bills for accommodation they’re no longer allowed to be in. 

Thousands of students have been detailing on social media the hundreds of pounds they’re paying every month in hall fees and to private landlords plus regular bills such as gas, water and electricity. 

One mother recounted how her daughter’s housemate was forced to return periodically to their student house to ensure the heating remains on for fear of breaking the lease if pipes freeze up on the property.  

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Universities have closed until mid February following the PM’s latest lockdown but many students are still being expected to pay bills and accommodation fees despite not being there (stock image)

@_JacobDrew, who’s doing a History MA at the University of Plymouth, tweeted: ‘Places I legally can’t go: my £93 a week room at university. Places I legally have to pay for: my £93 a week room at university. Can someone explain how this is fair for us at all?’

The Weymouth-based student has seen his tweet liked 46,700 times since he posted it yesterday in response to another tweet calling for refunds for students on university accommodation.  

According to educational consultancy Studee, the average student pays around £656 a month to live on campus.

The Prime Minister put England into a full national lockdown until mid February during his 8pm address to the nation on Monday.  

Students from across the country reacted to Jacob’s tweet with their own stories of financial hardship caused by the latest lockdown. 

@AJEdwards_ wrote: ‘I pay £150 a week and haven’t been there at all due to being high risk. Won’t give be a refund because I apparently need to find someone to move in to replace me which no-one’s going to do. However, I signed this contract back in Jan before all of this.’ 

@eleonorasfalcon wrote of her daughter’s University house, saying: ‘They are still liable for gas bill as heating has to be on to stop place freezing. Lucky one of them lives near enough she can go check, but breaking lease by leaving it empty too long.’  

@steph_dancer21 added: ‘I pay £110 a week and not even allowed to go there!’   

@Phoebe__Hall wrote: ‘Almost £180 a week, my maintenance loan doesn’t even cover it. So I’m paying from my pocket.’  

According to whether students can claim back their rent or not is a ‘lottery’ depending on where you live and who’s holding the purse strings. 

The financial website took a straw poll of 12 university halls of residence and independent accommodation providers and found that less than half said they would return money paid in advance for accommodation by students. 

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