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Plymouth students discuss rent strike
Sami Vickery, Plymouth College of Art student and Old Dairy tenant
The Old Dairy is private rented accommodation provided by Host to students in the University of Plymouth and Plymouth College of Art.
It is one of the few Plymouth student-let buildings that has yet to put into place measures to assist students during these special circumstances, such as rent discounts or early cancellation of our tenancy agreements.
Rather than staying in large blocks of shared flats, a lot of students have opted to return to our families, to ensure we're adhering to social-distancing recommendations. We are unhappy that we are still required to pay in full for accommodation when our college has shut.
We're even expected to pay utilities as part of our rent, utilities that simply aren't being used since many of us are not present in our flats. Host has told us that no action will be taken and no changes will be made to tenant contracts.
Students have collected over 400 signatories in less than a week, to allow students to exit their contracts early. Host has repeatedly rejected any requests for early terminations.
It will only do so if you receive a letter from your GP to exempt you from the tenancy agreement. This further highlights how poorly this is being handled.
Host opts to take away precious time from doctors, to settle petty disputes. This proves it has chosen money over morals.
Old Dairy students are discussing the possibility of a rent strike.
Colleges and universities have shut. Does the government seriously expect students to pay for our rent in full, when many of us have lost jobs or are on reduced pay?
Surely it's reasonable to not pay for accommodation we're not using?
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