100 signatures reached
To: Minister for Communities, Deirdre Hargey
Protect student renters during COVID-19 Crisis
We, The Student Renters Group, are asking the Department of Communities to implement the following measures to protect student renters living in the private rental sector during the COVID-19 emergency.
1. An immediate Rent Suspension during the Covid-19 crisis with no subsequent repayments, with this backdated to cover the month of March to provide security for those out of work and financially insecure during this crisis.
2. An 18 month freeze on rent increases to protect current and future students against landlords who may opportunistically exploit the current and coming crises.
3. Early contract termination without penalty as students cannot be held to ransom over rent for a house that they cannot live in while this crisis is ongoing.
4. A ban on all Covid-19 caused evictions, to protect the most vulnerable students during this period of uncertainty.
Why is this important?
We need these measures implemented immediately. Students have been laid off, many cannot survive off their maintenance loans alone, while others do not receive maintenance support. They cannot apply for universal credit and university Hardship/Support Funds are only limited pots of money that cannot support students through the entirety of this crisis.
Landlords and letting agencies are still expecting students renters to pay their rent, and a number of students have received emails threatening court action if they cannot afford to pay their rent. One letting agent suggested that students not paying their rent would contribute to the collapse of the global economy.
Many students simply cannot pay their rent, and they cannot be left behind during this pandemic. We deserve clarity and protection from this Executive.