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 regular 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 Pier Quays (formally Liberty Quays) accommodation at Medway, email the Pier 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 Pier Quays (formally 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 Pier Quays (formally 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 13.00 15 May: Following the recent adjustment of the British Government Covid-19 guidance, the University of Kent will now allow students to return to campus to collect their property and vacate their rooms. However, it is essential that this is done in an orderly manner, to ensure that safety of students returning and those still resident and working on campus.

Book your appointment online 

Please do not turn up: 

  • Without authorisation as you will not be allowed access.
  • If you are self-isolating because you have COVID symptoms or because you have been exposed to someone with symptoms do not attend. 
  • With anyone who is clinically vulnerable or clinically extremely vulnerable. 

You will be sent a confirmation email of your appointment slot.

Pier Quays (formally Liberty Quays) at Medway: please contact Pier Quays directly to discuss the process.

UPDATED 13.00 15 May: If you do need to make arrangements to collect your belongings and you have a friend on campus to pack your belongings on your behalf. 

Book your appointment online 

Please note: 

  • Do not give your key to anyone else; Campus Security will arrange access to the room.
  • The person collecting your belongings is not permitted to stay in your room overnight. 
  • Anyone found to be in rooms without prior authorisation will be charged.

You will be sent a confirmation email of your appointment slot. 

Pier Quays (formally Liberty Quays) at Medway: please contact Pier Quays directly to discuss the process.

UPDATED 13.00 15 May: There are many companies that can pack up your room and store  belongings or ship them home on your behalf eg Kent based Student Move & Store offer pack up and storage, or LoveSpace.co.uk offer packing and shipping. See further packing and shipping companies

Book your appointment online

Please note:

  • No third party will be granted access to the accommodation unless approved by Campus Security. 
  • The University will not to be held responsible for any loss/damage, as the responsibility for all items to be packed lies with you/the third party.
  • No access will be allowed if the third party has Covid-19 symptoms. 
  • No access will be allowed if the third party has been exposed to anyone who has had Covid-19 and they are not 14 days clear of any symptoms or the exposure. 

You will be sent a confirmation email of your appointment slot to pass to the third party or person.

Pier Quays (formally Liberty Quays) at Medway: please contact Pier Quays directly to discuss the process.

UPDATED 13.45 20 May: We are not expecting international students to travel back to the UK to collect their belongings until travel restrictions have been lifted and it is safe to do from your home country. 

We do need you to arrange for your room belongings to be collected/packed/shipped back to you by the end of your accommodation contract, 13 June 2020. 

As per above FAQs, this can organised via: 

  • a friend on campus to collect your belongings 
  • a third party to pack/store/ship your belongings. 

With both options, you need to book a collection slot with Campus Security to arrange access to your room: 

Book your appointment online 

You will be sent a confirmation email of your appointment slot. 

Please see the above two FAQs for key information regarding access and compliance from Campus Security. See the accommodation website for third party packing/storage/shipping companies

Pier Quays (formally Liberty Quays) at Medway: please contact Pier Quays directly to discuss the process. 

UPDATED 13.45 20 May: We need your belongings to be collected from your room by the end of your accommodation contract, 16 September (if you are on a 52 week contract. Those on a 39 week contract, you need to collect your belongings by 13 June). 

There are a few options:

  • you can come back to campus yourself and collect your belongings
  • a friend on campus can collect your belongings
  • arrange a third party to pack/store/ship your belongings.  

With all the above, from now until 22 June, you need to book a collection slot with Campus Security:

Book your appointment online 

Please see the above FAQs for key information regarding access and compliance from Campus Security. See details of third party packing/storage/shipping companies

Post 22 June until 16 September, please contact Campus Security to organise access to campus and your room to collect/pack/ship your belongings.

Pier Quays (formally Liberty Quays) at Medway: please contact Pier Quays directly to discuss the process. 

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. 

Please return your key/fob 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 Pier Quays accommodation at Medway, please follow the same advice and send to:
    • Pier Quays (formally 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: If you need to stay for longer, after your contract ends:

so we can discuss potential options with you. 

UPDATED 15.25 7 April: Please contact the Accommodation Office when you know the date you would like to return. The team can start your contract and charges again from the date you move back in.

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 Pier Quays (formally Liberty Quays) accommodation at Medway, staff have requested you please email the Pier Quays team.  

We will also continue to update this page.

UPDATED 12.30 22 May: All College receptions are only open for the following hours until further notice (with the exception of Eliot College Reception which is closed):

  • 09.00 - 15.00, Monday to Friday
  • closed Saturday and 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.
  • Pier Quays accommodation at Medway: for any maintenance issues at Pier Quays (formally Liberty Quays) accommodation in Medway, please report issues to Pier Quays via email or call +44 (0)1634 853285. Pier 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.
  • Pier Quays, Medway: There isn't an Amazon locker at Pier Quays (formally Liberty Quays) accommodation at Medway. Please order post/parcels as usual to the Pier Quays reception, ideally only for essential items. 

UPDATED 13.00 15 May:

Yes, we will have summer vacation accommodation available in Tyler Court from Saturday 13 June 2020 - Friday 18 September 2020 inclusive. All rooms are self-catered and en-suite with a minimum booking/stay of seven nights required. In light of the current situation we have reduced our usual vacation rate to £50.75 per week. 

Please note, you will not be allowed to stay in your current accommodation into the summer vacation period and will instead need to move to Tyler Court at the end of the summer term (Saturday 13 June 2020) if you need to stay on campus beyond this date.  

Pleas see the vacation accommodation information on how to book and for further details. 

We are pleased to be able to offer the following short term accommodation for Postgraduate students at the Canterbury and Medway campuses. 

Please find the details below: 

  • For Pier Quays (formally Liberty Quays) accommodation at Medway: please contact Pier Quays directly.

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.

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