We have had queries from students regarding University campus accommodation as well as private rented homes in relation to the Coronavirus.

Please see FAQs and advice relating to specific coronavirus accommodation queries. We have covered student accommodation and the private sector.

We are updating these pages on a daily basis.

Please note the advice on this page may change, particularly if there are changes to the law.

Student accommodation

As of Wednesday 25 March, following government's advice, the accommodation team are working from home, so it may take them some time to respond to your message. To enable us to respond to the unprecedented number of emails and telephone calls faster, it would be greatly appreciated if you could only contact us if your enquiry is urgent.

For Liberty Quays accommodation at Medway, please email the Liberty Quays team directly if your question cannot be answered using the following FAQs. 

Private accommodation

This section answers FAQs regarding renting a room/house in the private sector. 

Student accommodation

UPDATED 10.45 31 March: Yes, accommodation on the Canterbury campus and Liberty Quays at Medway is open. Both undergraduate and postgraduate students are welcome to remain in their rooms until the end of their accommodation agreement. 

UPDATED 10.40 1 April: Students who are leaving, or who have left, their University accommodation (both Canterbury and Liberty Quays in Medway) by 4 April 2020 will not be charged for accommodation fees for the third period (and period four for postgraduates), even if they have left their belongings in their accommodation, or not returned their keys. 

PLEASE NOTE: If you are going to remain in your university accommodation, you will be charged in the normal way. 

UPDATED 10.40 1 April: We do not encourage you/parents/carers to return to your accommodation to collect belongings or post your key/fob back, until it is safe to do so. Current government guidance states, “Stay at home and only go outside for food, health reasons or work”. Therefore currently travelling to collect belongings is non-essential travel. However, at the moment we are suggesting 13 June 2020 as a deadline to collect your room belongings, but this will, of course, be extended if the situation with Covid-19 is not improved by then. 

We will still release you from your accommodation agreement even if there are belongings in your room, or if we do not have your room key/fob back.

UPDATED 10.40 1 April: If you do need to make arrangements to collect your belongings before 13 June 2020, and it is safe to do so, and you have a friend on campus to pack your belongings on your behalf, you will need to:

Canterbury rooms: 

  • confirm exactly what you want packed - this will avoid any subsequent queries about missing items
  • confirm where it will be stored and expectations about collection 
  • give a minimum of 12 hours notice with Campus Security on +44 (0)1227 823300 when making your request.


Liberty Quays rooms:

UPDATED 10.40 1 April: When it is safe for you to do so, please return your key/fob to us by using a padded envelope with a slip of paper with your full name and campus accommodation room number/address.

Please address the envelope to your local College reception* by recorded/signed for delivery. 

There is no immediate rush to return your key/fob, as long as it is returned by the end of your accommodation agreement.

*Please note: 

  • for Becket Court key/fob returns - please send to Eliot College Reception
  • for Rutherford College key/fob returns - please send to Tyler Court Reception.
  • for Liberty Quays accommodation at Medway, please follow the same advice and send to:
    • Liberty Quays Medway, Blake Avenue, Medway, ME7 1FL

UPDATED 10.40 1 April: The Accommodation Office are making amendments to your agreements which due to the high demand, may take a few weeks. When this is completed:

UPDATED 10.40 1 April: Yes, one journey home can be viewed as essential travel. Students are advised, wherever possible, to avoid using public transport for this journey.

UPDATED 10.40 1 April: If you need to stay for longer, after your contract ends:

so we can discuss potential options with you. 

UPDATED 10.40 1 April: Please contact Student Support and Wellbeing who will advise you accordingly. 

UPDATED 10.40 1 April: We understand this is a worrying time for many of our students. The University’s Student Support and Wellbeing team offers free support to all students experiencing distress arising from psychological, emotional or mental health issues. See the health and wellbeing advice on the central FAQs. 

UPDATED 10.40 1 April: Rutherford Dining Hall and Bag It are still open on the Canterbury campus for takeaway options. Please check for the updated catering outlet opening times

The Co-Op on the Jarman Plaza is also open. 

UPDATED 10.40 1 April: We provide Canterbury campus accommodation with cleaning equipment and InnuScience cleaning products. If you run out of any of the cleaning product, please take the empty bottles to any accommodation reception to be refilled. Please ensure that you are all taking responsibility to clean up after yourselves in all common areas, ie bathrooms and kitchens, keeping your bedroom clean as well as regularly taking the rubbish out.  

UPDATED 10.40 1 April: Following the government's guidance, from Wednesday 25 March our Accommodation Team in Canterbury will be working from home and their office at Tanglewood will remain closed until further notice. We are still responding to emails and calls within our usual opening times, so if you need advice please reach out using the Accommodation Office's contact information  between 09.00 - 17.00, Monday to Friday.

For Liberty Quays accommodation at Medway, staff have requested you please email the Liberty Quays team or call them: +44 (0)1634 853285.  

We will also continue to update this page.

UPDATED 10.40 1 April: All our College receptions are currently open on altered opening hours, now 09.00 - 15.00, Monday to Friday, 09.00 - 13.00 Saturday and Keynes College is open 09.00 - 13.00 on Sunday. Full reception opening hours are available online and will be updated as we monitor the situation.

UPDATED 10.40 1 April:

  • Canterbury accommodation: College Receptions are open (see above FAQ for opening times) - please report any problems to the receptions in the first instance. If you are reporting an emergency, for example a smell of gas and it is outside of the College reception opening hours then please contact Campus Security on +44 (0)1227 823300 immediately.
  • Liberty Quays accommodation at Medway: for any maintenance issues at Liberty Quays accommodation in Medway, please report these to Liberty Quays directly or call +44 (0)1634 853285. Liberty Quays staff will get back to you and advise current timescales, noting there are currently reduced service levels. 

UPDATED 10.40 1 April:

  • Canterbury campus: Yes. There are three Amazon locker stations at the Canterbury campus, Keynes College (T Block), Darwin College (next to Darwin Houses) and Park Wood (next to Woody’s). You can add these lockers as your delivery address when placing your order. See further information on Amazon lockers.
  • Liberty Quays, Medway: There isn't an Amazon locker at Liberty Quays accommodation at Medway. Please order post/parcels as usual to the Liberty Quays reception, ideally only for essential items. 

Private accommodation

UPDATED 10.40 1 April: If you have signed a contract for a fixed period and you are still in within that period you might be able to terminate the contract if it has break clause. A break clause means you can terminate your contract after a certain date, before the end of the fixed term, providing you give the required notice. You may have to pay rent until the required notice period has ended. 

You should discuss your wish to end the tenancy with your landlord. If they are happy to let you go without further rent payments, ensure it is put in writing. However, if the landlord will not release you from the contract, they could still ask you or your guarantor for the money, even if you have moved out.

UPDATED 10.40 1 April: If you have signed a contract for a fixed period and you are still in within that period you might be able to terminate the contract if it has break clause. A break clause means you can terminate your contract after a certain date, before the end of the fixed term, providing you give the required notice. You may have to pay rent until the required notice period has ended. 

You should discuss your wish to end the tenancy with your landlord. If they are happy to let you go without further rent payments, ensure it is put in writing. However, if the landlord will not release you from the contract, they could still ask you or your guarantor for the money, even if you have moved out.

UPDATED 10.40 1 April: If other tenants are staying on, it is unlikely you will able to leave without continuing to pay rent unless you find a replacement tenant. You should discuss your wish to end the tenancy with the other tenants and the landlord. 

If the landlord is happy to let you go and will not require your rent to be paid in your absence, then you will not be required to pay. However, if the landlord will not release you from the contract without a replacement, they could still ask you, your housemates or your guarantor for the money, even if you have moved out.

UPDATED 10.40 1 April: The landlord may take action to get the rent from you or your guarantor. They may deduct it from your deposit but if the amount you owe them exceeds your deposit, they may write to you to formally request the money. 

You might be charged interest on the amount owing which should not exceed 3% above the bank of England base rate. If you still don’t pay, they may start a court claim against you. This could lead to you having to attend court and possibly a criminal record. 

UPDATED 10.40 1 April: If you or any of your house mates are showing symptoms of a fever or new persistent cough that the whole household will have to self-isolate for 14 days. Current advice from the government is to stay at home, unless for 1 of 4 reasons:

  • Shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible
  • One form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household
  • Any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
  • Travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home

UPDATED 10.40 1 April: The Government announced on 18 March 2020 that they will be passing emergency legislation to stop evictions for at least three months. As a result, no renter in private accommodation will be forced out of their home during this difficult time. Emergency legislation will be taken forward as an urgent priority so that landlords will not be able to start proceedings to evict tenants for at least a three month period. As a result of these measures, no renters in private or social accommodation needs to be concerned about the threat of eviction.

If you have any questions about your tenancy contract, paying your rent, threats about evictions, house viewings during COVID 19, then please head to the Kent Union website who have the latest information.

https://kentunion.co.uk/welfare/advice/housing

UPDATED 10.40 1 April: You and your landlord should follow the Government’s latest guidance regarding house viewings during COVID19.

https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

UPDATED 10.40 1 April: As a lodger with a live-in landlord this means your landlord doesn't have to apply to the court to evict you. The newly announced suspension on evictions in the courts is unlikely to prevent you from being evicted. 

Your landlord can ask you to leave at the end of your fixed-term agreement or earlier if the contract says they can. If your agreement doesn't set out a notice period, you should be entitled to 'reasonable' notice. This is usually a week if you pay your rent weekly, or a month if you pay your rent monthly. If your landlord is giving you less than reasonable notice, or are asking you to leave before the end of the fixed term when your contract does not permit this, you could dispute this with them.

UPDATED 10.40 1 April: Gas safety checks are very important and refusing to let the landlord’s contractor in to carry them out should not be done lightly. However, if you are in self isolation we would advise you to communicate with your landlord regarding gas safety checks. If there are any signs to suggest that your boiler is faulty or you smell gas then please contact your landlord immediately. 

UPDATED 10.40 1 April: Some tenancy agreements have a “Force Majeure” clause which means an event or sequence of events - beyond a party's reasonable control - preventing or delaying it from performing its obligations under the Agreement. So for example, if something happened to your house that meant you couldn't live in it anymore, such as a natural disaster destroying the property.

While COVID19 may be a 'Force Majeure' event, it is unlikely to prevent you from occupying the property or stop the tenancy from continuing. It is therefore unlikely that a Force Majeure clause will allow you to end a tenancy early.

If this page does not answer your question, or you feel confused by the advice in relation to your specific situation, please email Kent Union via their contact form.

Last updated