Unite take some rent payments too early leaving students out of pocket


Student accommodation provider Unite has urged those affected to get in touch after many students reported having their rent direct debit taken too early.

According to the Bristol Post, certain students had their rent take out of their accounts up to two weeks early, and before receiving their maintenance loans.

Considering rent is paid termly rather than monthly by those who live in Unite residences, the error has left many students in their overdrafts and facing large bank charges.

Unite owns and manages a number of student residneces in the centre of Bristol including Waverley House, Favell House, The Rackhay, Unite House, Culver House and Orchard Heights.

One student's father, Brian Kenwrick, told the Bristol Post that the error has left his daughter, who is studying at the University of Bristol, with huge bank charges.

He said: 'Shes £1000 over her overdraft limit, and she's not alone. There are loads of people on their group chats saying the same thing- that Unite took their money before they actually got their maintenance loan to pay it.

'She's a bit stuck now, she does not even have the money to get back to uni, and she and everyone else is racking up bank charges every day they are over their overdraft limit,' he added.

A spokesperson for Unite said that the rent issues appear only to be affecting Bristol students and that the error is due to students failing to switch their direct debit payment dates to take into account the late New Year arrival of loans.

The statement continues: 'Some accommodation payments were taken on or around Monday, January 1, as set out by the direct debit instruction students sent to their bank. We offer a range of payment schedules and options for our customers.

'Agreed payment dates are set out in the contract the student has signed and the payment schedule they have requested. These are often agreed before the student loan payment dates are released and so do not always align. Students should always feel they can talk to us about any concerns they have, financial or otherwise, and receive help and advice. Bristol students can contact our local team on Bristol@unitestudents.com

“We would absolutely encourage anyone in difficulty to talk to us as we will be able to provide help of one form or another to resolve any issues.'

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Alex Boulton

Editor in Chief 2017-18, Online Style Editor 2016-17. History student.