In this section you will find all you need to know about how we are continuing to provide fantastic service to our current and future residents in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
From before you move in, to the day you arrive, and throughout your time living with us we promise:
- To build thriving communities both in person and online
- To keep you updated with the latest official advice and guidance
- To ensure our homes are as safe and healthy as possible
- To always be there as a source of support
- To make your time at Fresh truly unforgettable
We’ve already put lots of plans into action including:
- Installing Perspex screens and signage throughout our buildings to aid social distancing
- Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting of all communal areas
- Additional Covid-19 training for all of our fantastic Accommodation Teams
- A new social and wellbeing programme for residents
- An updated induction and move-in programme to ensure everyone is Covid-Courteous
Below we’ve answered some frequently asked questions to outline the steps we have taken so far and our plans for the upcoming year. We’ll be updating these pages regularly so please come back for the very latest information.
Questions from future residents
Can I book for September?
Yes, and whilst we appreciate you may not be able to attend a viewing in person right now, we can arrange virtual viewings at a time that suits you.
One of our team will take you on a bespoke personal virtual tour of the building, and be able to answer any questions you have on what it’s like to live there! Just get in touch with the Accommodation Team of your chosen location to book. Many of our locations also have 360 degree virtual video tours – take a look at the “Gallery” page of your chosen location for more.
We’re opening for in-person viewings by appointment only from Monday 1st July for our new schemes opening this year, and from 6th July for our operational schemes. Please book a viewing in advance for a date and time that suits you by contacting the relevant Accommodation Team.
What is your cancellation policy?
Many of you will be awaiting further information on what is happening with exam results, VISAs and of course international travel.
Most of our locations have implemented a flexible booking policy relating to potential effects on University term dates and travel restrictions. Please take a look at your chosen location for the T&Cs that apply there.
Unless stated otherwise on your chosen location page, our standard cancellation policy applies. 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.
What will life at Fresh be like next term?
Whilst none of us know what the next few months will bring, we can promise you that we will provide you the very best living experience during your studies. Our overall satisfaction rating this year with students is 93%* and we will not let Covid-19 get in the way of providing that same fantastic level of service.
We are keeping a close eye on government advice across the UK and Ireland, and putting in place a range of measures to ensure our buildings are fully Covid-secure.
We’ve got some great plans for summer, starting before you even arrive to connect you with flatmates and build the vibrant communities our residents know and love. So watch this space, and take a look at our fantastic range of locations to find your perfect place to live next year.
Questions from current residents
Are your buildings open?
All of our buildings are still open and we still have a large number of students living with us.
We have continued to provide a staff presence at all of our locations to ensure that the buildings remained safe and the welfare of our residents is maintained.
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.
Are social spaces open?
All of our gyms and indoor social spaces remain closed at this time. We are working hard behind the scenes to get these open again in the near future. This may mean that the current arrangements for these facilities will be changed and in some cases restricted. We will continue to follow Public Health England advice to ensure the health and safety of our residents and staff and reviewing other local Guidelines across Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
Can I move out now?
If you are in living in one of our locations in England then the latest advice, published on Monday 1st June is that if you are now able to travel back to a family home rather than remain in your accommodation. Please note that your Tenancy Agreement remains in place and even if you move out you are required to pay rent until the end of the existing tenancy unless you have been informed otherwise by your Accommodation Team.
In all other locations, it is advised that you remain in your accommodation and avoid unessential travel at this time.
We would also recommend you read the most recent information published by Unipol, who oversee the National Code of Standards for Student Accommodation providers.
I’ve already moved out, can I collect my belongings?
Ensuring the safety of our staff and residents is our top priority. In England we have made arrangements to enable students who have vacated their rooms to return to pick up any belongings that have been left behind. To reduce large numbers of residents returning at any one time we have implemented a booking system; please contact your Accommodation Team to book a slot to return to the site.
The First Minister for Scotland has announced that as of the 29th June students who live in our accommodation in Scotland will be permitted to return to collect their belongings. If you are intending to return to do so, please contact your Accommodation Team to arrange a booking slot.
If you live in one of our Welsh or Irish locations and are coming to the end of your tenancy, please contact your Accommodation Team to discuss specific arrangements for you to pick up your belongings.
If you live in one of our sites in Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland, please contact your Accommodation Team to discuss your needs. You need to ensure that any return to your Accommodation follows current government guidance and the restrictions on distance travelled.
Are visitors allowed?
For the safety of everyone in the building and in compliance with the latest guidelines we are not currently permitting visitors inside the building, even if you are living in a studio or single person apartment. We accept the current guidance regarding socialising with people from outside your household, and our outdoor spaces can be used for this purpose but we ask that you retain social distancing at all times and are mindful of other groups using the space. A household can be one studio or one shared apartment, and the current guidelines for how many people can meet are as follows:
- England – up to 6 people
- Scotland – up to 8 people from 2 different households
- Wales – any number of people from one other household
- Northern Ireland – up to 10 people
- Republic of Ireland – up to 6 people
What can I do to protect myself from Covid-19?
The scientific evidence suggests that the most effective method of protecting yourself is to social distance, wash hands and keep surfaces clean.
You will notice that around our property we have placed signage regarding social distancing. Please can we ask you to continue to socially distance and comply with the restrictions that we have put in place.
You will have seen our cleaning teams disinfecting all high traffic touch points, such as door handles and bannisters. This is to reduce the risk of the infection spreading through those areas of the building that you touch the most.
You can also help protect yourself by frequency washing your hands for a minimum of twenty seconds and every time you return to the property following a trip to the shops or you’re your outdoor exercise.
If you are living in any of our buildings and are contacted by your local public health body (track and trace) to alert you that you have had recent contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19, we would appreciate you letting your Accommodation Manager know so that we can help you isolate for the required period.
Why aren’t all staff wearing masks?
Our staff will not be routinely wearing masks whilst working in reception or doing general administrative tasks. This is because we have procedures in place to maintain social distancing, washing hands and cleaning surfaces.
You will have noticed that at certain times our maintenance operatives or cleaners do wear masks, this is because they are unable to maintain a two metre distance whilst undertaking their role or that they are cleaning an area of the building where there is an increased risk – this so that they can continue to undertake critical jobs at this time.
Are you still providing a maintenance service?
We continue to ensure that any maintenance issues where there is an immediate risk to the health, safety and welfare of our staff or residents are carried out immediately. This includes undertaking tests on safety systems such as the fire alarm system. This will be done by our Maintenance Operative or Contractor who has to follow strict COVID 19 safe working practices. If you have any urgent maintenance issues please contact your Accommodation Team as normal.
How can I collect my post?
Government guidance on the handling of post indicates that the potential risk of transmission of the virus in this way is very low. There is however a risk in receiving post and deliveries from the delivery agents and passing them to yourselves. We are continuing to take mail, but have implemented a safe working procedure for you to pick up your mail.
Are you carrying out room inspections?
Room inspections are a way to ensure that all our residents live in a comfortable and clean environment. We are currently reviewing our internal procedures to enable room inspections to be completed safely during this time.
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.
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.
If our Landlords are able to make special arrangements we are getting in touch directly with each student concerned, and many of our Landlords have shown this flexibility. 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
Student Finance Help
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