Students rejoice at guaranteed rent refund after national lockdown

By Luke Williamson

Leicester students renting with letting agency Sulets will be refunded four weeks’ rent if they are unable to return to their accommodation due to the national lockdown.

Students were advised not to return to their student accommodation except for certain exemptions, when the lockdown started on Monday, January 4.

Refund: The Sulets office on the DMU campus

In a statement on Thursday(JAN21), Sulets chief executive Irving Hill said: “As an educational charity, with a clear mission to do the best for students, we are committed to helping where we can at this time, as we did in 2020.”

The agency will be refunding rent in April, coming from the profits it has achieved this year.

De Montfort University Mechanical Engineering student Mitchell Parker, who rents a property with the agency, said: “It’s generally good.

“They are showing care for students and a genuine desire to do right by us, and they are taking a hit to their own profits to ensure students are as comfortable as possible.”

Earlier this month, the Students’ Union of DMU and the University of Leicester released a joint statement calling on landlords to reduce rent to offer students some extra support.

Sulets has a partnership with both unions and said that both establishments have representatives on its trustee board.  

Mitchell, 19, said the proposed four-week refund is better than nothing.

He added: “It’s quite pre-emptive to assume the lockdown will only last for four weeks but ultimately, four weeks is better than nothing which we definitely could have been left with.

“I think for students who are struggling financially who usually have to work to provide enough funds to live, it could be quite damaging to have to pay their rent with no promise of seeing it until April.

“However, it will be nice for the rent payment in April to be largely reduced.”

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