COVID-19: An update from Sanctuary Students

COVID-19 has created an unprecedented, global crisis and this has led many of us to make some difficult decisions.

For some of our students, this has included making a decision about where it is both safe and practical to live over the coming weeks, and possibly months.

We know that for many of you, particularly international students, we provide your main or only UK residence and so we want to assure you that all of our buildings will remain open.

We will continue to maintain our properties while following the latest government guidelines. Our communal areas will be cleaned to government standards and our property managers remain on-site to support you.

Keeping you safe and secure remains our highest priority.

For others, we know that you have felt your best option is to leave your student accommodation and return to your family home or alternative accommodation for the remainder of the academic year.

While we understand that you must make the right decision for your health and wellbeing, and that of your family’s, we regret that we cannot terminate any contracts early if you have decided to leave your accommodation.

We realise this will be disappointing for you but it is not a decision we have taken lightly. Many of our students rely on us to continue providing them with a safe and secure home, and without us they would be at risk of becoming homeless.

We have been informed that student loan payments will continue as normal through this period and the government is encouraging tenants living in rented accommodation to pay their rent as normal.

Please find a list of questions below if you have further queries. You can also contact us on rent.enquiry@sanctuary-students.com.

Frequently asked questions

All of our buildings remain open. You’re welcome to stay with us until the end of your contract.

  • Keep up to date and follow the guidance from Public Health England
  • Stay in your flat.
  • Let your local property management know you’re isolating by emailing us.
  • Make your flatmates aware.

It’s understandable that not only our residents, but communities everywhere will be worried about how their lives are going to be affected over the coming months.

  • Draw on support you might have through your friends, family and other networks. Try to stay in touch with those around you over the phone, by post, or online. Let people know how you would like to stay in touch and build that into your routine. This is also important in looking after your mental wellbeing and you may find it helpful to talk to them about how you are feeling.
  • Remember it is okay to share your concerns with others you trust and in doing so you may end up providing support to them too.

 Our partners at Health Assured, a free confidential support service for our students, are available 24 hours a day. Call the Freephone number: 0800 030 5182 (Outside the UK: +44 161 836 9498) whenever it’s convenient for you. 

You can choose to leave your student accommodation and return home if it is safe for you to do so, however the government has advised against any non-essential travel. Your room will remain yours to return to until the end of your tenancy or licence agreement.

Yes, as stated in your tenancy or licence agreement, you are required to pay your rent whether you choose to stay in your accommodation or not.

We cannot terminate any contracts early if you have decided to leave your accommodation and this includes refunding any rent that has been paid.  

Students who have told us they are no longer in our properties have been departed on our system to ensure we have an up-to-date record of who is still on-site. You are still in a contract with us and rent is still payable.

Student Finance England have confirmed that students will receive the scheduled or next instalment of their maintenance loan at the planned start of their summer term.

The government has also outlined financial support for employees and the self-employed who are no longer to work during this period.

If you are concerned about paying your rent, please email  rent.enquiry@sanctuary-students.com.

We understand that some students may be experiencing financial difficulties during this time. We are happy to offer students flexible payments via a payment plan. Please contact us on studentfinance@sanctuary-housing.co.uk to arrange a plan.

Your full rent payments will be charged as specified in your contract with us. If you’re facing financial difficulties, contact us on studentfinance@sanctuary-housing.co.uk to discuss your individual circumstances.

Contact your site team to let them know and they will be happy to help.

We’re following our usual payment process and will automatically retake failed payments five days after the original date.

For payments on 2 April, we will retake the payment on Tuesday 7 April.

Our standard cancellation policy applies which is detailed in your contract.

Students who are unable to travel home at the end of their contract are welcome to stay with us (you may have to move rooms). Contact your site to arrange an extension.

The Government has issued information that highlights that tenants living in rented accommodation should continue to pay their rent as normal. This guidance is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-and-renting-guidance-for-landlords-tenants-and-local-authorities

We understand that there is some uncertainty about whether students will be able to start their courses. Our standard cancellation policy applies which can be found in your contract with us or on your property page on our website.

Some of our rooms are let to students through agreements with their university who have made the decision to release students from their contract. This decision lies entirely with that university. Some of our rooms are contracted directly to students and these contracts will not be terminated.

Make checking out of your accommodation as straight forward as possible by:

  • Cleaning your room and the communal areas in your flat.
  • Ensuring that all rubbish is removed and placed in the communal bins.
  • Discussing any damages to your bedroom or communal areas with us.
  • Taking all belongings from your room.

Your room is yours until the end of your tenancy and you're welcome to leave your belongings there until it is safe for you to collect them. Students from overseas can arrange for a courier to pack and collect their items once current travel restrictions are lifted.

Contact Moving and Storing for help with packing your room.

Contact Seven Seas who can help with courier and storage.

Changes to our properties

You’re welcome to use the common to break away from your flat. Keep in-mind the Government’s social distancing recommendation of keeping two meters apart and limit gathering sizes to no more than two people.

Our laundries remain open as usual but please limit contact with other students. Please clean down touch points on the machines using the materials we’ve provided.

The number of on-site team members has reduced to protect our staff and students. Our receptions are closed, except to collect a parcel, to avoid face-to-face contact. Please contact us via email if you need to speak to a member of our team.

Maintaining our properties remains a high priority and we will continue to respond to emergency repairs. Please complete an online form to report a repair.

We will continue to take parcel deliveries, at the properties where we currently do, which can be collected from reception. Instructions will be issued by our teams to ensure this is carried out in a safe and secure way.