We’re writing to you today to remind you that if you would like to terminate your Halls contract and you haven’t already, the deadline to terminate your accommodation contract for term three, and for those of you on 50-week contracts (e.g. postgraduates), term four, is Monday 27 April. If you have already contacted us to terminate your contract, you do not need to email us again.
Below is information on making your decision, a reminder of how you can terminate your accommodation contract along with information about accommodation fees and belongings left in rooms.
Last week, the UK government extended the lockdown to at least Thursday 7 May so this means, wherever you are, on campus or at home, you must stay there.
We do not have any information about when the lockdown will end or what restrictions will remain in place once lifted. However, we do want to reassure you that in terms of the new academic year 2020/21, we are making plans for it to start on campus on the published date.
We would also like to take this opportunity to ask those of you who remain on campus in Halls to complete this short form, so that we can offer you the best support.
Your decision to terminate your contract
Although we have put in place online assessments and there are no plans for any face-to-face activities on campus, we do understand that, if you have left campus, you might hope to return and stay on campus for the summer term. However, any return to campus will only be possible if government guidance allows it. In the event that the government lifts lockdown measures, it is likely that some restrictions and social distancing rules will remain in place. This means that life on campus will be different, and some services may be limited. If there are any changes to government guidance which means it may be possible for you to consider a return to campus, we will update you. As stated previously however, for now, you must stay where you are.
If returning to campus does become a possibility and you later decide that you would benefit from staying in student accommodation to complete your assessments, you will not be able to return to stay in your original room if you have terminated your contract. You can contact email@example.com and they may be able to organise alternative accommodation for the nights required.
Early termination of accommodation contracts
On Tuesday 24 March we wrote to you about your option to terminate your accommodation contract early if you do not plan to come back to campus. If you would like to terminate your accommodation contract for term three, and for those of you on 50-week contracts (e.g. postgraduates), term four also, please email firstname.lastname@example.org including your name, hall and room number, stating you would like to terminate your contract. Please note that if you have already completed this action to terminate your contract, you do not need to email again. You are able to terminate your contract even if you still have possessions in your room. Please see the section below for more information.
The deadline to terminate your contract for term three is midnight Monday 27 April. Following this date you are still able to terminate your accommodation contract, however you must give us one month’s notice.
If you terminate your accommodation contract for term three, and for those of you on 50-week contracts (e.g. postgraduates), term four also, by Monday 27 April the corresponding accommodation invoices will be cancelled and you will receive a refund to the original payee for any overpaid accommodation fees. If you terminate your contract after this date, giving the minimum one month notice, you must continue to pay termly accommodation fees by the payment due dates. On termination of your contract, you will receive a refund for any overpaid accommodation fees.
If you are due a refund, we will begin processing this after 27 April (see below information for instances where this could be delayed further). You will receive a refund to the original payee. It would usually take two weeks to process the refund however due to the current situation regarding coronavirus, this process may take longer so please allow up to four weeks, following the deadline of 27 April, for the refund to be processed. The process may also take longer if the original payment method was an international bank transfer.
If you are not terminating your accommodation contract with us, the accommodation fees for term three are due by Friday 1 May. If you would like to discuss options to pay in instalments, you can contact the Student Fees team at Student-Fees@royalholloway.ac.uk.
Belongings in rooms
If you have terminated your accommodation contract with us, the contract for your room will end on Sunday 26 April. Travelling back to campus to collect belongings is not permitted under the current government restrictions (please see our update from Friday 27 March). Please be assured that this does not affect you being able to terminate your contract for term three and for those of you on 50-week contracts (e.g. postgraduates), term four.
We know that many of you will have questions, and there is still a lot of uncertainty, so we have outlined what we know at this point below:
The current situation:
- The current lock down period is in place until at least Thursday 7 May and you currently cannot travel to campus to collect your belongings
- Even if the current measures are lifted after the government’s review on Thursday 7 May, it is highly likely that some restrictions and social distancing rules will remain. It may be that access to our accommodation has to be staggered to enable social distancing.
Accessing accommodation to collect belongings:
- Once your contract is cancelled, you will not be able to access your accommodation without further instructions from the Residences team.
- Once we can be sure that collecting belongings is allowed under official guidance we will issue further instructions on how to collect your belongings and if needed, extend the final collection deadline.
- At this time, we have set a final collection deadline of 1 June for you to arrange collection of your belongings on campus. This deadline is subject to change based on government guidelines.
Packing and storing belongings
- Please note that once the government restrictions change and travelling to campus is allowed, we will be in touch to clarify the deadline to collect your belongings. If you are able to collect your belongings before the deadline, but choose not to, there will be a charge for packing to cover our costs.
- We are aware that depending on individual circumstances collecting your belongings may not be possible, for example if you or a member of your household is shielding, and we will take this into consideration when we are applying charges.
- If you are an international student unable to travel back to the UK, you will need to arrange for a courier service to collect your belongings. We will support the collection of your items from your room, but we must have at least seven days’ notice of collection.
To help us prepare for the possibility of packing up your belongings and make this process as quick and efficient as possible, please fill out this consent form, which will enable us to pack and store your non-perishable belongings. Please note that if you have already completed this form, you do not need to submit it again.
Returning to your Halls
The advice from the government is that students remaining at university in England should stay where they are and not attempt to travel. If you have returned to your home address this means you should stay where you are and not attempt to travel back to campus. If you are still living in Halls, you should remain there while current restrictions are in place. Please see our update to all students from Friday 27 March.
Contacting Customer Services
The Customer Services team are dealing with a high volume of accommodation queries and are working hard to respond to everyone as quickly as possible. We appreciate that this is a worrying and confusing time and that you all have questions. If you have already contacted the Customer Services team and received a customer services reference number, please be assured that your email has been logged and the team will respond to you as quickly as they can. If you have emailed us and need to again, please respond to the automated receipt email you received from Customer Services. It is important to remember that we can only communicate with the student who holds the accommodation contract with us. Please also ensure that you email Customer Services using your student email address.
We are living through events that are unprecedented in our lifetime and the situation is constantly changing. Please continue to monitor the student intranet for updates and FAQs. If you are worried about coronavirus and your wellbeing, a list of the services that our Student Advisory and Wellbeing team are now delivering online and digitally, can be found on the student intranet. If you are anxious or concerned and would like to talk to someone, please email email@example.com.
If you have any questions or issues relating to College accommodation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.