The College, alongside the Imperial College Union, have released a joint open letter to private landlords and accommodation providers calling upon them to provide flexibility and leniency for any students who may be facing financial hardships during the COVID-19 pandemic and particularly during the national lockdown period.

You can download a version of the letter, or the full text is available below:

14 January 2021

Dear Landlords and Accommodation Providers,

As a result of the most recent government lockdown, many students who returned home for the Christmas break have been unable to return to their halls. Coupled with the inability of students to secure part-time work in the hardest hit industries, many students are facing significant hardships.

As such, we have made the decision to waive rents to those who are unable to return to their College accommodation for the duration of the lockdown. We do not think it is fair to expect students to pay for their halls when we are supporting the government’s guidance and encouraging them to stay at home.

We appreciate that this past year has had far-reaching consequences for everyone and we do not underestimate the impact this has had on your livelihoods. However, we are asking for your understanding and leniency towards any tenants who may be struggling financially or cannot access their accommodation due to the lockdown legislation, and join us in supporting our students through showing flexibility with their accommodation contracts during this lockdown period.

We are aware that many of you have already taken steps to provide support and reassurance to our students and wanted to take this opportunity to share the support we also provide.

To protect our students, staff and the wider community, we offer asymptomatic testing at our South Kensington, Paddington and Hammersmith campuses. Students who are returning to their term-time addresses are encouraged to get tested regularly.

For our students facing financial difficulties, the College is here to support them as much as possible. Students may be eligible to apply for our Student Support Fund and can find more information on eligibility and the application process available on our website. For many years, our Student Hub team have worked alongside private accommodation providers to deliver private housing advice to our students. You all play an important and fundamental role in supporting members of our Imperial community across London and we hope that you will continue to do so during these times of hardship.

Imperial College London and Imperial College Union