By Imogen Horton, Co-Editor-in-Chief
Fees will be scrapped even if students still have possessions in their accommodation.
The University of Bristol has confirmed that they will not be charging rent for accommodation from 20 April 2020, if students do not reside in their halls.
This applies to students who have already returned home, but have left their belongings in halls or not yet returned their key. As long as students are not currently living in halls their accommodation fee will be reduced to nil.
In these circumstances the University will contact students to arrange collection of their belongings before their tenancy ends or in line with government advice.
Public Health England have said that despite the 'lockdown' students currently in halls are allowed to go home, though ideally this will be by private transport.
Students will also be allowed to return to halls at a later date if they change their mind. In this case they must inform the University at least 48 in advance of returnin and will then be charged an accommodation fee based on a daily cost for the remainder of their occupancy period.
The University has also confirmed that accommodation will remain open for those who wish to stay or return to halls.
Campus Division and Residential Life will run a restricted service to support those in accommodation and students are advised to contact the ResiLife team by phone or email.
In catered halls food will now be provided as a take-away service.
Whether staying or leaving, all students have been asked to complete a form in their Accommodation Portal to notify the University of their decision by 5pm, April 3.
Bristol SU Living Officer, George Bemrose, along with ELA Officer Jason Palmer, had several meetings with University management to ensure student would not have to pay.
He said: 'I’m really pleased that the University has decided that students do not need to pay for their final rent instalment if they are not returning to university accommodation next term.
'This will make a difference for a large number of students so I’m pleased that I was able to highlight this student financial burden to the University. Student voice is particularly important at times like now when so much is uncertain and I and the rest of the officer team are doing our best to make sure the university are aware of student opinions. Currently we’re pushing for more financial hardship funding which would help students in privately owned accommodation.'
Featured image: Patrick Sullivan/Epigram
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