We appreciate that we are living in uncertain times and you will have a lot of questions about how we are dealing with the ongoing Covid-19 situation here at Fresh. We’ve answered some common queries below…
Updated 9 April 2020
IS MY ACCOMMODATION STILL OPEN?
All of our buildings are still open and we still have a large number of students living with us. Our People are what makes us so great, and our staff remain available to provide all residents with a comfortable, clean and secure home.
Whilst we are encouraging Social Distancing in line with Government Guidelines, all of our Accommodation Teams are directly contactable by phone, Skype or email with any queries or concerns, or just for a friendly chat. We just ask that when visiting Reception, or collecting parcels that you maintain a 2m distance with other residents and our staff and keep washing your hands regularly.
Our Social Spaces and Gyms are now temporarily closed due to Government Guidelines on Social Distancing. However all students have access to a selection of online fitness classes by Les Mills and we are busy planning a range of fun virtual events and updating our Blog regularly with tips and advice for students.
CAN I MOVE OUT NOW?
Under the latest Government advice, published on 26th March in an open letter by Michelle Donelan MP, the Minister of State for Universities strongly advises that students should remain where they are now rather than moving home during the Lockdown period:
“The Government’s advice is that students remaining at university in England should now stay where they are and not attempt to travel. If they are living in student halls, or private rented accommodation, they should remain there and stay indoors while current restrictions are in force.”
We would also recommend you read the most recent information published by Unipol, who oversee the National Code of Standards for Student Accommodation providers.
CAN I END MY TENANCY EARLY?
At Fresh, the properties that we manage are owned by over 30 different Landlords. In many cases the rent they receive from students is the only form of income they receive to meet their obligations to continue to provide high quality accommodation for students, unlike Universities whose main source of income is from their Tuition Fees.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government in the UK has provided additional advice to Landlords and Tenants to respond to the Covid-19 outbreak including the need for Tenants to pay their rent, and for Landlords to make reasonable adjustments for payment plans.
We are in active discussions with our 30 Landlords in the UK and Ireland to ascertain if there are any changes to their existing cancellation policies.
If the Landlords are able to make special arrangements we are getting in touch directly with each student concerned. If you haven’t yet heard from us, please bear with us while these discussions continue. We will be in touch directly as soon as we are in a position to do so.
Any student who is suffering particular hardship should always contact our Accommodation Teams as advised by HCLG
For Highlight Student Living specific policies, please click here
CAN I LEAVE MY ROOM?
Under current Government guidelines, you should only leave for one of the following reasons:
1.Shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.
2.One form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household.
3.Any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
CAN I CANCEL MY UPCOMING BOOKING?
If you have booked for September 2020, our standard cancellation policy applies.
If you have booked a Summer or Short Term stay but are not able to travel to the UK and Ireland on your Tenancy Start Date due to international travel restrictions or Covid-19 related health issues you will be able to cancel your booking. Please contact the Accommodation Team to do so.
CAN I BOOK FOR SEPTEMBER?
Yes, and whilst we appreciate you may not be able to attend a viewing in person, we can arrange skype viewings and many of our locations have virtual tours – see the “Gallery” page of your chosen location for more.
Many of you will be awaiting further information on what is happening with Exam results, VISAs and of course international travel, however with Fresh you can book with confidence. If you cannot attend University because the start of term is postponed significantly due to Covid-19 then you will be able to cancel your booking.
We operate a 72 hour “cooling off” period up to the 31st July so if your circumstances change you can cancel your booking. Once the “Cooling Off” period has expired, you can cancel your booking if:
– You do not have a visa to enter the UK or Ireland
– You have not acquired the grades to be offered a place at the chosen university
– You have failed to achieve the grades to continue your study at university
Please see the “Booking Info” page of your chosen location for more information.
In these uncertain times, we know our residents may be worried about their Student Finance.
Student Finance England are following their standard process for payments and the third semester payment should not be affected at this time. They have confirmed that “students will receive their scheduled or next instalment of their maintenance loan at the planned start of their summer term, regardless of whether their university or provider has made alternative arrangements for teaching.”
More information is available here.
SAAS has continuity measures in place to ensure their services remain functioning and endeavour to continue to fund students on time.
More information is available here, and they recommend that students and institutions follow their social media channels for the latest updates.
HEA – The latest information can be found on their website.
Student Finance NI – The latest information can be found on their website.