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By Simon Thompson

This year Accommodation For Students are working with a number of leading

student accommodation operators as part of our 2020 clearing campaign. Each

partner provides high quality student accommodation and is working closely

with our team to respond quickly to your accommodation requirements during

the clearing period.

Of particular note, is that each partner has a policy should your plans be

disrupted by coronavirus. This is a major benefit to many students who may

be unsure about whether to book at this time, as it adds an element of

flexibility, which may be important if you need to cancel.

We have summarised the main benefits that each provider is offering below.

IQ Student:

Main benefits: Flexible tenancy start dates

IQ are providing students with the option for flexible start dates, in line

with the start dates of their university. Students will be eligible for

this form of support if their original tenancy agreement was more than 39

weeks long and they booked their accommodation directly with IQ. If the

tenant’s university postpones their term dates for the 2020/2021 academic

year for more than 7 days, then eligible students will have the option to

delay their tenancy start dates until the Saturday before their term

starts. The final date for students to move in is Saturday 31st

October; students who wish to apply for a later start date must apply

before Friday 28th August, they do this by completing an online

form which can be accessed via the IQ resident portal or the IQ app.

Ardmuir Student Accommodation:

Main benefits: Flexible tenancy start dates, Covid specific

cancellation policy

Ardmuir is committed to providing flexible options for all its students,

during the recent pandemic those students who wished to return home due to

COVID_19 were able to terminate their contracts and cancel the final two

payments. In the new academic year, Ardmuir has made provisions to ensure

that if a tenant’s university delays its start dates then the tenancy

agreement will be revised to reflect the university start date. Those

unable to travel to the UK due to restrictions either from their home

country or from the UK, will be released from their contract and Ardmuir

will refund their deposit.

Aparto Student Accommodation:

Main benefits: Flexible tenancy start dates, Covid specific

cancellation policy

Aparto recognises that the impact of COVID_19 has provided a great degree

of uncertainty for students, and therefore under the revised cancellation

policy, those booking for September 2020 will have the option to cancel

their accommodation if their university either cancels or postpones their

course. Those who find their course delayed to a later date, will have the

option to delay their tenancy in accordance with their university dates,

and they will not be charged for the weeks that they do not occupy their

accommodation. This option is available up until January 31st

but tenants cannot delay their tenancy past their university’s welcome

week, and students wishing to utilise the flexible start dates option must

inform Aparto before 16th August 2020.

If tenants find themselves unable to travel to the UK or Ireland and are

thus unable to take up their accommodation, they must inform their

residency at least 14 days before arrival and provide evidence of their

reasons for being unable to travel. If this is approved, students will

receive a full refund of any advanced payments and can cancel their


Aparto will continue to update their cancellation policy in accordance with

the development of COVID_19 and will inform future tenants accordingly.

Collegiate Student Accommodation:

Main benefit: Covid specific cancellation policy

Collegiate has updated their cancellation policy to provide students with

additional flexibility during the constantly changing global situation. If

students are directly affected by COVID_19 and find themselves unable to

take up their place at university, then their booking can be cancelled

under the ‘extenuating circumstances clause’ within the cancellation

policy. The policy has been changed and adapted to incorporate the

possibility that students will be unable to travel to their university and

take up their accommodation, or that they may be adversely affected by


CRM Students:

Main benefit: Covid specific cancellation policy for travel bans

The standard cancellation policy will apply, meaning students will pay a

non-refundable booking-fee on their accommodation in order to ensure that

their room is secured, and there will be a 14-day cooling off period to

allow tenants to be released from their contract before they have moved in.

If you are unable to move into the accommodation due to Covid 19 you can

apply to be released from your tenancy.

Campus Living Villages:

Main benefit: Flexible tenancy start dates

In September 2020, CLV are offering international students the option to

arrive two-weeks early, free of charge, in order to quarantine; they will

be fully supported throughout this period. Additionally, those students

that find their course postponed will have the option (in participating

villages) to delay their tenancy dates in accordance with their university

start dates – this policy is also applicable if there is a travel ban that

postpones students’ arrival in the UK.

For those first-year students who did not achieve a place at university or

cannot obtain a visa, CLV will release them from their contract and repay

any payments, however students are recommended to inform CLV before 19 th August if this is the case.

In order to keep updated with the global situation CLV has appointed an

incident management team, and a global crisis management team in order to

keep updated with the relevant health authorities and to review CLV’s

COVID_19 policy. CLV will keep students informed and updated.


Main benefit: Flexible tenancy start dates

NIDO have developed the option for flexible start dates for students,

allowing them to arrive up to 90 days after the initial start date free of

charge, there will also be additional support in place for those unable to

arrive within the 90-day period, but this may incur charges. Those unable

to take up their accommodation as they were unable to obtain a visa will be

released from their contract free of charge.

NIDO will align their tenancy contract dates in accordance with the

student’s university start dates and will adjust contracts to reflect any

changes, however students who wish to utilise the flexible start dates

option must inform NIDO by 17th August. Students who have been

impacted by COVID_19 will be supported if their home country does not allow

them to travel to the UK, if there are travel bans imposed by the UK, if

their semester one term dates are postponed or if their course transfers

completely online in September 2020.

The following residences are included under the flexible start dates

policy: Globe Works; West Hampstead; Arundel House; The Walls’ Castle Hill;

Haigh Court; Heritage Court; St James; Boyce House; Haymarket; Stepney

Yard; Union Square and the Bridge

Kaplan Living:

Main benefit: Flexible tenancy start dates

Kaplan will support all those unable to travel due to travel restrictions

and the impacts of COVID_19, those unable to obtain a visa will not be

obliged to pay. While the standard cancellation policy remains in place,

the option is also available for tenants to defer their initial

accommodation booking in line with their university’s teaching dates, the

revised start dates will be no earlier than 14 days before the tenant’s

university’s term dates. The alternation of tenancy dates will not affect

the dates that students are able to terminate their tenancy.

Student Castle:

Main benefits: Flexible tenancy dates, Covid specific cancellation


Student Castle has amended their cancellation policy in line with the

recent coronavirus pandemic, those who face travel restrictions, either

from their country of residence or the UK, will have the option to cancel

their tenancy provided that the tenant provides written evidence that they

wish to do this. Such evidence must be provided between the period of 24 th August and 31st August, and any cancellations

outside of this period will not be eligible to have their deposit paid back

in full.

If a tenant’s university delays their start date by three weeks or more,

then students will be eligible for their tenancy dates to be altered in

line with their university dates. Student Castle must receive official

notice of the tenant’s intention to delay their tenancy dates and receive

evidence from the university that its term dates have been moved due to the

impacts of the pandemic. Student Castle must receive this evidence by 21 st August or tenants will be contractually obliged to fulfil the

requirements of their original tenancy. For those wishing to delay their

tenancy, Student Castle will alter their initial tenancy agreement from 51

weeks to the number of weeks the tenant has stayed for.


Main benefits: Flexible tenancy dates, Covid specific cancellation


Fusion has a flexible COVID_19 policy, meaning that if a student’s

university delays its start date, then the student can delay their tenancy

date in accordance with the university timetable. Furthermore, if a

student’s university operates completely remotely for the 2020/2021

academic year then Fusion will provide students with the option to cancel

their tenancy. Those who find their courses cancelled for the next academic

year will be supported by Fusion in either deferring their place for the

next year or cancelling their tenancy agreement.

Individuals who find themselves unable to travel to the UK, either from

restrictions imposed by their home country or by the UK, will be supported

in deferring or cancelling their tenancy. If individuals wish to arrive at

a later date once travel restrictions are lifted, then they will be

supported in delaying their tenancy. Finally, those unable to obtain a visa

will be subject to the normal cancellation policy, they will be released

from their contract and are not obliged to pay.

Host accommodation:

Main benefits: Flexible tenancy start dates, Covid specific

cancellation policy

Under their booking commitment, Host will support students during these

uncertain times. Students can now secure their room for the revised payment

of £100, with the option to pay rent either in instalments or to divide the

full amount into two payments. Where students find their university start

dates delayed, Host will credit students for the weeks that their

accommodation has been empty.

Those unable to travel to the UK due to travel restrictions, or because

they are unable to obtain a visa, will be released from their contracts and

will not be obliged to pay for their accommodation. Similarly, those who

were not able to obtain their place at university will have no obliged to

pay for their accommodation.

Derwent Student Accommodation:

Main benefits: Flexible tenancy start dates, Covid specific

cancellation policy

Derwent Student Accommodation has amended its cancellation policy and added

temporary clauses to accommodate the ongoing pandemic. In the event that a

student’s university course does not go ahead in September 2020, the

student will have the option to either cancel or defer their tenancy.

Furthermore, students will not be required to pay for their accommodation

until they receive confirmation from their university that their courses

will be going ahead, and bans on travel have been lifted. Those students

that find their university course dates have been deferred, will be

eligible to have their tenancy dates altered in line with their academic

term dates.

Prime Student Living:

Main benefit: Site specific Covid cancellation policy

The policy will vary from site to site, and students are advised to check

the policy with the individual property. In some cases students may be able

to cancel their contract in the event that they are unable to take their

accommodation due to coronavirus. Landlords across Prime Student Living’s

portfolio will continue to review the rapidly changing global situation and

should the terms of tenancy change, students will be informed. Under the

standard tenancy cancellation agreement, tenants have 14 days after the

initial booking confirmation to cancel their booking, after this date they

will be contractually obliged to fulfil its requirements.

Primo Property Management:

Main benefit: Flexible tenancy start dates at some sites

As Primo Property Management operates across many different cities, tenants

are recommended to confirm with their specific provider if they have been

adversely affected by the COVID_19 pandemic and require support. At Primo

Property, tenants have a 14-day cooling off period, to cancel their booking

after their initial confirmation.


Main benefit: Covid specific cancellation policy

In light of the recent global pandemic, if students find themselves unable

to travel to the UK either due to restrictions from their home country, or

from the UK, then they can request for their tenancy to be cancelled or

postponed without incurring any costs. Similarly, if tenants find their

university course cancelled or delayed, they are recommended to contact

Gather to discuss either delaying their start date or cancelling their

contract. In order to be eligible for this flexibility, students must

provide Gather with the relevant documents and evidence surrounding their

particular circumstances as soon as possible. Gather is committed to

supporting all students during such unprecedented times.

Dwell Student Living:

Main benefit: Flexible tenancy start dates

This accommodation has updated its cancellation policy to incorporate all

circumstances relating to COVID_19. This will include the possibility that

courses are cancelled for the 2020/2021 academic year, start dates have

been delayed, courses have been moved online or that individuals are unable

to travel to the UK. Those students who find their circumstances changed

will be supported under the revised cancellation policy.

Manor Villages:

Main benefit: Flexible tenancy start dates

Manor Villages have incorporated a flexible start date policy to enable

students to delay their start dates where necessary, and to support

students within their personal circumstances. Students must apply up to two

weeks before their tenancy begins to be considered under the policy and

provide evidence outlining their reason for using the policy and why they

cannot take up their tenancy. Students unable to travel to the UK, who are

displaying symptoms of COVID_19, or whose university operations have

changed will be eligible for the policy.

Portergate Property Management:

Main benefit: Flexible tenancy start dates

Portergate Property Management is providing students with the option of

flexible start dates in accordance with their university term dates. Those

who need to self-isolate will be provided with two weeks of accommodation

rent free to ensure the safety of themselves and others. This flexible

policy is available at most Portergate Property sites, but students are

recommended to confirm this with their accommodation officer at their

chosen location. Those who have confirmed their place within their

accommodation must inform their accommodations team of any changes to their

residency immediately.

Fresh Accommodation:

Main benefit: Flexible tenancy start dates available at some sites

Many of Fresh accommodation locations will implement flexible booking

policies to reflect the uncertainty surrounding the COVID_19 pandemic and

to cater for the specific needs of its tenants. While T&C’s may vary

between locations, the flexible booking policy will support those students

who are unable to obtain a Visa due to COVID_19, have had their term dates

altered, their course cancelled or who cannot attend university for another

reason related to COVID_19.

Unless the accommodations team at your chosen location state that they are

conforming to the flexible booking policy, the standard cancellation policy

will apply. This involves a 72-hour cooling off period operating until 31 st July, after the cooling off period individuals can cancel

their booking if they have not obtained a visa or did not get the required

grades to attend their chosen university.

Xenia Students:

Main benefit: Flexible tenancy start date

Xenia is operating a flexible booking policy, meaning that if a student’s

university delays their term dates then provided that the student can offer

evidence of this, then Xenia will adjust their tenancy dates in accordance

with the university term dates. Those students whose courses go completely

online in September or operate through a blended approach will still be

obligated to their contract and required to pay rent throughout the

academic year as planned.

Those unable to obtain a visa on the grounds of COVID_19 will be assessed

on a case by case basis. Xenia has developed a specific cancellation policy

to incorporate the impacts of COVID_19 and to enable Xenia to support

students during this uncertain time.


Main benefits: Flexible tenancy start dates, Covid specific

cancellation policy

Mezzino is committed to supporting students during the uncertainty of

COVID_19, therefore, those unable to take up their accommodation due to

travel restrictions either from the UK, or their home country, will be

released from their contract and will be repaid for any deposits or down


If a tenant’s university or college start dates are delayed as a direct

result of COVID_19 then Mezzino will adjust tenancy start dates in line

with the university term dates, and the rent will only be charged from the

revised tenancy dates. If a tenant’s circumstances change and they need to

stay longer in Mezzino accommodation, then Mezzino will extend their

tenancy for the number of weeks that the tenant requires, and tenants will

have the option to pay weekly.


While Sodexo is committed to supporting all students in the current

circumstances, it is the recommendation that students do not book their

accommodation until their visa has been confirmed. Those who have booked a

room but find themselves unable to take up their tenancy will be tied to

the standard cancellation policy and will need to find a replacement tenant

to ensure that the room is not left empty.

If you need support finding accommodation during the clearing period visit

our clearing page

for additional resources.

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Posted by Simon Thompson on 18/03/2019 10:44:31
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What does the future hold for the holidaymakers and travellers of post-brexit Britain?

With yet another parliamentary rejection, we are no closer to finding out. All that can be said is that, at this point, it’s anyone’s guess. Will you be able to travel visa-free?

Posted by Simon Thompson on 14/03/2019 12:09:17
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The mere mention of the word vegan is often enough to make the vast majority of us roll our eyes in judgement (I know, I’ve done it too…) however, it can’t be denied that the term and lifestyle have become increasingly popular over the last few years. On Instagram alone, #vega

Posted by Simon Thompson on 20/02/2019 11:04:26
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When we hear the word ‘private’, we tend to think of things such as private education and the big price tag that often comes with it. However, fear not! This is a common misconception and far from the actual truth. Private Halls are usually a block (or blocks) of shared flats

Posted by Simon Thompson on 23/01/2019 12:08:25
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The age-old question that plagues every student and the answer is... There is no answer. Starting the search for accommodation is a personal experience and therefore different for everyone. Some students will find what they are looking for with relative ease and others will fe

Posted by Simon Thompson on 17/01/2019 14:47:34
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Student life is all about studying. At least that’s the sensible version. In reality, being a student means hard study, but also a darned good party.

That can be pretty expensive though, and if you’re a social animal then having fun with your mates isn’t

Posted by Simon Thompson on 29/10/2018 11:14:50
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