Covid-19 Update 21/04/2020
We understand that the current situation is causing a lot of uncertainty, so we have outlined the answers to some frequently asked questions below. If you have questions that are not answered below, please contact your local branch either by telephone or email and someone will assist you.
Students currently living with us
Please note the following official statement from Michelle Donelan MP, Minister of State for Universities:
“The Government’s advice is that students remaining at university should now stay where they are and not attempt to travel. If you are living in student halls, or private rented accommodation, you should remain there and stay indoors while current restrictions are in force. As the Prime Minister said, staying put and remaining indoors is a crucial step now to slow the rate of transmission of COVID-19, to protect the NHS from being overwhelmed, and save the lives of fellow citizens”
Click here for the government published advice on staying at home.
Will Kexgill / The University Quarter remain open?
For many students, our accommodation is their primary home and our buildings still have a very high level of occupation. The well-being of our students and staff is our absolute priority, and ensuring we are able to continue to provide all our students with access to safe, secure managed accommodation is essential. All Kexgill / The University Quarter branches will remain open, with our staff working from home striving to continue our high level of care and services. Emergencies and essential works are still being carried out along with the necessary safety checks (such as fire alarms etc.) Any emergency works can be reported through our usual lines.
How will my student finance be affected?
Student Finance England are following their standard process for payments and the third and final loan payment should not be affected at this time. They have confirmed that “students will receive their scheduled or next instalment of their maintenance loan at the planned start of their summer term, regardless of whether their university or provider has made alternative arrangements for teaching.”
Please click here for the latest government advice in relation to SFE
If I choose to go home because of the outbreak, will I still need to pay my third rent instalment?
We would like to clarify that rent instalments are still due as stated on the dates of your contract. This is a contractual obligation and if not paid, your account will default which can affect your future credit rating. Services are still being provided and in contract thus as a landlord we are fulfilling our contractual obligations. Please see next question for concerns relating to affordability.
I relied on a secondary source of income to pay my rent which has now been affected, how can you help me?
We understand that for many students, an additional income is used to support your finance in paying your rent. In these unique circumstances, Kexgill have put aside a “Hardship Fund” of £500,000 that will be used to assist tenants experiencing difficulties. Students may be released from contracts in their entirety depending on circumstances. If a tenant has paid term 3 rent in full this could also be refunded under the fund. For those who apply under the fund, a weekly meeting will take place where a claim will either be approved or declined. Approved assistance could be in the form of a discount on rent, stage payments, release from tenancy, a full or partial refund of rent.
We ask that if you believe that you are going to have financial difficulty in paying your rent, you contact our dedicated support team.
In order to assist, we have set up a hotline to discuss how we can help.
Telephone* +44 (0)1482 447 707 between 10.00am – 1.00pm GMT Monday – Friday.
*GDPR regulations. In order to comply and speak to someone else on the matter for example a parent or guardian please email confirmation that you as the tenant accept this person to speak on your behalf.
Danni, Debbie and Matthew will always return calls if messages left or email for a call back email@example.com
Should you require a Mandarin speaker please email in the first instance firstname.lastname@example.org
My University have announced that they are releasing students from on campus accommodation, are you doing the same?
The Kexgill Group are not a University or a huge listed company. We are a Unipol registered private family business who have been providing affordable student accommodation for 42 years.
Unipol ( https://www.unipol.org.uk/about ) current advice to all connected parties: “Student accommodation providers are very different from universities: their only income comes from rents whereas university accommodation is not the main business… and they continue to receive their main source of income in the form of academic fees.
As a company we have implementing numerous strategies in order to help our students as much as possible, all remaining staff at our branches are working on reduced salaries during this time and are working tirelessly to support our students with the resources we have, unfortunately we cannot mirror all offers given by your University as our business does not have the same extensive financial backing. As stated in the above point, we have set up a Hardship Fund for those experiencing difficulty in paying rent.
What should I do if I am self-isolating?
If you have symptoms (High temperature, continuous cough etc.) You should self-isolate for 7 days. You don’t need to visit your GP or call 111 at this point. Please follow the below advice in line with Public Health England’s recommendations:
Stay in your flat unless told otherwise by health authorities.
Let the halls team know by phone or email that you are self-isolating.
Call 111 if your symptoms get worse or do not improve after 7 days and you cannot cope with them alone. In an emergency, call 999.
Do not go into university, work or public areas.
Do not use public transport or taxis.
Don’t come into direct contact with anyone bringing you supplies or deliveries, ask for them to be left at your door.
Stay away from friends or flatmates.
Make sure all of your rubbish is disposed of properly.
Keep in regular contact with friends and family by phone or video call.
Avoid using common areas in your accommodation.
In the event of an emergency, please evacuate the building as you would normally, but where possible, keep at least 2 meters away from other people.
Once again, we would like to re-stress the importance of personal health and wellbeing at all times. Our staff are on hand to assist with any issues you face – personal or otherwise – throughout these difficult times. We are always here for you. Stay safe and keep well.