COVID-19 RESIDENT UPDATE

MORE DETAILS

We have emailed all our direct let tenants details of how to claim a rent reimbursement if they have left the property, and to offer some reassurance and assistance to those who have rented directly with Downing Students. Our payments team are working remotely. If you need to change a payment please email payments@downing.com. To make a payment over the phone, please contact your site team.

COVID-19 UPDATE

Updated 02/04/2020

We understand that the current situation is causing a lot of uncertainty and changing on a daily basis. We have outlined the answers to some frequently asked questions below.

 

STUDENT 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 my halls remain open?
All Downing Students properties will remain open. Our service levels will be adjusted in line with government safety recommendations. Please bear with us during this time. Our upmost priority is to ensure the safety of our residents and staff

Why have you taken the decision to 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.

If I choose to go home because of the outbreak, will I get a refund of accommodation fees?
On the 2nd April 2020 we emailed all our direct let tenants details of how to claim a rent concession if they have left the property, and to offer some reassurance and assistance to those who have rented directly with Downing Students. Please click here for full details. 

Why have some students received a refund for the last rental instalment and I have not?
Some tenants living in our Halls may have a tenancy agreement directly with their University. Where accommodation fees are collected by the University, the decision on rental refunds lies entirely with that University.

If I decide to leave, can I re-let my room?
We are currently unable to accept 201920 ‘in year’ bookings due to the current pandemic. This means that students are unable to re-let 2019/20 tenancies. This will be reviewed on a regular basis.

How will my student finance be affected?
Student Finance England are following their standard process for payments and the third semester 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.”

SAAS will endeavour to fund students on time. The latest information is available on SAAS social media channels.

Who do I contact about my rental payments?
If you have a query about your rental payments, email payments@downing.com
If you are experiencing difficulty when your next payment is due please contact us so that we can help you.

How can I contact the halls team?
You can view the contact details for all Downing Students sites here. If you have any general enquiries please email info@downingstudents.com

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.

What should I do if I have recently returned from another country?
If you have been away and develop a high temperature and/or new cough, you should self-isolate for 7 days and follow the self-isolation advice as listed above.

 

WHAT ACTION ARE DOWNING STUDENTS TAKING?

 

Visitors
We ask all tenants to be mindful of the number of visitors they have visiting them within the accommodation, and where possible not to have any visitors that do not live on site at present. Please ensure all visitors maintain vigilant with personal hygiene and regularly wash their hands, especially when they arrive, and please advise anyone suffering from even mild symptoms to stay at home as per the current advice.

Common Rooms & Gyms
These will remain closed from 8am on Wednesday 18th March 2020. We understand this will be disappointing, but we must prioritise the health of all residents and staff. The common rooms in properties which have laundry rooms which can only be accessed via the common room will remain open for laundry access only. (City Point & New Park).

Reception
Staff will be onsite but reception will remain closed as from 8am on Wednesday 18th March 2020.

Parcels/Deliveries
As of 8am on Wednesday 18th March 2020 we will not accept parcels. Please arrange for parcels to be delivered by carriers directly to your flat or use services such as amazon locker and click and collect.  We will not accept food deliveries at reception and would encourage you to nominate a friend to collect deliveries on your behalf if you are self-isolating.

Reporting Maintenance
We would ask you to report maintenance via the student portal. We will attend any urgent maintenance requests as soon as possible. Requests deemed non-urgent may not be carried out within the usual timeframes.

Events
The decision has been taken to postpone the social events programme until further notice. If you have any concerns please get in touch with the team.

WIFI
It is likely that we will see a spike in internet usage over this period, due to this we would advise a hard-wired connection to devices where possible for a more stable connection.

Common Areas within Flats
Everyone is responsible for the cleanliness of the communal areas within your flats, please ensure these are kept to a high standard. Please also ensure you use only your own crockery, clean and disinfect all surfaces after use including the floor and regularly empty the bins.

Further guidance on cleanliness can be found here

Going Away
If you are going away from the residence (say for Easter Holidays), please inform the management team via email or telephone. If you have any queries, please contact the team and they will do their best to assist.

Self-Isolating
If you are self-isolating, please inform the management team via email or telephone and they will try and help where possible.

We are confident that by working together, remaining attentive and prioritising critical services we can work through this unsettling time positively, and we thank you for your support. We would actively encourage you all to continue following advice and guidelines from the UK Government and Public Health.

Contacting Staff
Should you need to contact any of the staff we would encourage you to do this via telephone or email and a member of the team will respond as soon as possible.

 

STUDENTS WITH A BOOKING FOR THE 20/21 ACADEMIC YEAR

 

Can I cancel my future booking?
If you are unable to enrol on your course due to your university course no longer running or travel restrictions or you have not been able to meet the academic or English language conditions of your offer you can cancel your booking under the ‘No place, no pay’ guarantee. Cancellations are not available to students who are free to travel to the UK and can enrol on their course. In this case you can request to re-let your room.

What happens if my course start date is changed?
We understand how concerned some of you will be, and we want you to be assured that we will manage changes to the external environment as they develop. This page will be kept up to date with the most recent guidance and advice. As your tenancy start date approaches, please review these pages to check for updates.  We will continue to follow guidance and work closely with universities and will be sure to notify any affected residents.

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COVID-19 RESIDENT UPDATE

MORE DETAILS

We have emailed all our direct let tenants details of how to claim a rent reimbursement if they have left the property, and to offer some reassurance and assistance to those who have rented directly with Downing Students. Our payments team are working remotely. If you need to change a payment please email payments@downing.com. To make a payment over the phone, please contact your site team.