Contracts Update

 

26 May 2020

Contracts update for 2020/21 residents

Due to the uncertainty around Covid-19 and the impact it may have on the education sector in 2020/21, we have made some things clearer in our terms and conditions. We’ve also made some changes to the contracts we offer. These changes will bring more flexibility to your contract with Optivo Students. They’ll also give you added peace of mind signing your contract during the current lockdown and any additional UK Government imposed Covid-19 lockdowns.

The changes are outlined below.  We’ve also created a set of FAQs if you have any further questions.

What’s changed?

Your first weeks rent 

As part of your application for a room with Optivo Students, we request you pay your first weeks rent up front. This is usually non-refundable if you cancel your room too close to your contract start date. However, we’ve received a lot of questions about what happens to this payment if:
  • You lose your place at your institution;
  • You are not offered a place at your institution
In these cases you’ll receive a full refund if you can provide some evidence to support this, for example, a letter advising that your place has been withdrawn.

Contract start dates

In a lot of cases you’ll still hold a place at your institution or will be offered one. So that we are fair to you in these situations, we’ve made some changes to the cancellation rights you’ll have in a number of Covid-19 related scenarios. These are outlined below.
  • You’re unable to travel because of restrictions in place due to Covid-19.
  • The academic year is pushed back due to Covid-19.
  • The academic year starts with online learning due to Covid-19.

In these situations, the following will apply:

  • We’ll hold your room for up to 8 weeks while you wait for your institutions academic year to start.
  • We’ll hold your room for up to 8 weeks while restrictions on travel are in place.
During this 8 week period you will not have to pay any rent. If by the end of the 8 week period your institutions academic year hasn’t started, you will be released from your contract without any penalty.

Releasing you from a contract

In the event of another UK Government imposed Covid-19 lockdown during your stay with us, you will be released from your contract at the end of the payment period we are in at the time, if you wish to leave your accommodation. The payment periods are outlined below:
  • First 20 weeks: 26th  September 2020 – 12th February 2021
  • Second 20 weeks: 13th  February 2021 -  2nd July 2021
  • Final 10 weeks: 3rd  July – 10th September 2021 (50 week contracts only)
If there isn’t another Covid-19 lockdown you’ll be liable for the full terms set out in your contract.

The outlined changes will be effective immediately for contracts due to start in September 2020/21.

You may have more questions, so we’ve tried to answer all of them in the below FAQs. If there is anything else you would like to discuss, please email us. You can find the contact details for our buildings here.

We’re experiencing a very high number of calls and emails at this time so we ask that you are patient with us. We’re responding to all queries as quickly as we can.

FAQs

If my institutions start date isn’t confirmed, can I still move in?

Yes, you can move in before your institution start date is confirmed. Once you’ve moved in your contract will start.

If my move in date is delayed, how long will my contract be?

Your contract length will remain the same. But any time you didn’t occupy your room before your contract start date will be deducted and you won’t have to pay for.

What happens if there is another Covid-19 lockdown after my contract has started?

If there’s another UK Govenment imposed Covid-19 lockdown after your contract has started, you’ll be released from your contract at the end of the payment period we are in at the time. The payment periods are:
  • First 20 weeks: 26th September 2020 – 12th February 2021
  • Second 20 weeks: 13th February 2021 -  2nd July 2021
  • Final 10 weeks: 3rd July 2021 – 10th September 2021 (50 week contracts only).
Any rent owed for the period, you’ll need to pay.

What happens if there isn’t another Covid-19 lockdown?

If there isn’t another wave of Covid-19 during your contract, it will run as per the outlined terms.

What happens if Covid-19 travel restrictions are still in place and I can’t move in?

If you’re unable to travel due to Covid-19 travel restrictions and can’t move in when your contract is supposed to start, we’ll hold your room for up to of 8 weeks while you wait for them to be lifted. During this 8 week period you will not have to pay any rent. If by the end of the 8 week period travel restrictions still haven’t been lifted you won’t have to pay anything. But we’ll have to let your room to someone else.

What happens to my contract if my university start date is delayed?

If your institutions start date is delayed due to Covid-19 and you are unable to move in, we’ll hold your room for up to 8 weeks while you wait for it to start. During this 8 week period you will not have to pay any rent. If by the end of the 8 week period your institutions academic year hasn’t started or you have not moved in you won’t have to pay anything.  But we’ll have to let your room to someone else.

Will I receive a refund on my first weeks rent if my place at university is withdrawn?

Yes, if you are not accepted into university you will receive a refund of your first weeks’ rent. You’ll need to provide evidence to support this e.g. a cancelation letter from your university.

Will I receive a refund on my first weeks rent if I’m not accepted into my university?

Yes, if you are not accepted into university you will receive a refund of your first weeks’ rent. You’ll need to provide evidence to support this e.g. a cancelation letter from your university.