UPDATE ON CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)
We completely understand the uncertainty and concern that coronavirus (COVID-19) is causing and we are doing everything we can to help any of you that may be affected during these unprecedented times.
As the UK Government continues to stress the importance of social distancing, please be reassured your health and wellbeing, as well as that of our team members, is Homes for Students’ top priority.
We are monitoring this evolving situation very closely and are following the advice of Public Health, the NHS and the FCO as well as monitoring updates from the Institutions. We will continue to update our procedures in line with the latest Government guidance here.
WHAT WE ARE DOING
We have introduced specific COVID-secure measures to ensure the safe management of our residents, buildings and Homes for Students’ teams. These measures include:
- Keeping all our residents updated with Government and Public Health guidance and instructions.
- Increasing the frequency of cleaning essential public areas and touch points including receptions, lifts, door handles and public bathrooms.
- Implementing procedures to ensure any student who is unwell is supported.
- Instructing all staff and residents to practice social distancing and the wearing of face coverings as per Government regulations. Depending on the space available, our approach in each property may vary.
- Adhering to social distancing by conducting all communication via telephone and email except in the case of essential maintenance or emergency situations. Students can still contact their property team on the usual telephone number or by email and our out of hours service remains in place.
- Temporarily suspending student guests/visitors to our properties with the exception of essential maintenance, emergency situations or one household member to assist with moving in/out.
- Communal areas, such as gyms, lounges and common rooms comply with local Government guidelines on social distancing, gatherings of people and are subject to enhanced hygiene procedures
All aspects of the accommodation facilities will be reviewed as Government guidelines change.
If you display a high temperature, a new persistent cough or a loss of taste or smell, you should get a test. You should isolate until the results of that test are known. If the test is positive, it is important you and the people living with you follow the instructions given to you by the NHS. This is likely to include details of how and for how long to isolate. You may be asked to provide contact details for people you have been in contact with as they too may be required to isolate. Please remember that you can spread the virus even if you don’t have symptoms.
Below we’ve answered some frequently asked. Please check back as we’ll be updating these pages regularly.
JUST MOVED IN OR WILL MOVE IN SOON
Can I still book?
Yes, with our virtual viewings, enhanced hygiene measures and flexible start dates, we’re ready to welcome you. Click here to book now or call us on +44 (0) 333 344 2829.
What will life be like once I move in?
Whilst none of us know what the next few months will bring, we are committed to creating a safe, clean and vibrant place to live during this next phase of your academic journey. Increasing the frequency of cleaning essential public areas and touch points including receptions, lifts, door handles and public bathrooms are just some of the ‘COVID-secure’ measures we’ve taken. We’re instructing all team members and residents to practice social distancing as per Government regulation.
Upon arrival, you will find your accommodation has been expertly cleaned to the highest hygiene standards. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, we were confident our deep cleaning procedures were extremely thorough, and now we’ve taken them up to a whole new level.
We have a range of socially-distanced events arranged to help you settle in , make memories and build long lasting connections. We’ll be keeping a close eye on government advice across the UK and Ireland to ensure that our buildings remain COVID-secure.
Are there any special ‘moving in’ procedures I’ll need to follow?
You’ll need to arrange with your property manager a suitable day and time to move in. This is so we can properly manage the flow of people and ensure your room is ready for you.
You can bring one other person from your household with you to help you move in. You and your helper will be asked to wash your hands upon arrival and observe social distancing to protect yourselves, our team and other residents. Handwashing facilities and hand sanitiser will be available.
The UK Government advises if you to wear something that covers your nose and mouth in places where it’s hard to stay away from other people. We ask that all new students and anyone who accompanies them on move-in day wear a face covering.
If you or anyone you live with develops symptoms or you have been contacted to self-isolate, please do not travel to the accommodation. Please just let our team know you are likely to be delayed and we will arrange a new date in the future when you’re free to travel again.
All fire and emergency procedures should be followed as usual and as directed by your property team. Please arrange for limited and essential deliveries only to be collected by you personally and not to be delivered to the property reception.
I am moving to the UK to study from abroad, can I complete the required quarantine period in my room?
Our moving in dates are flexible and early arrivals to accommodate quarantine can be agreed depending on availability. Please speak to our sales team at the time of booking or your property team. If you’re are visitor travelling to the UK, you may be subject to a period of quarantine imposed by the Government. You may be required to:
Because your moving-in date will have been pre-agreed with our property team and they are expecting your arrival, our team will support you with any assistance during this time and should be contacted via email.
I am an international student intending to travel to the UK for the first time. What steps must I take?
Although admissions processes and modes of teaching might look slightly different this year, the UK’s world-class universities are continuing to recruit international students and you are encouraged to apply even if you are unable to travel to the UK to meet usual timelines. Just like accommodations providers such as ourselves, Universities are also working more flexibly to accommodate the current circumstances. If you have any questions about course delivery in 2020/21, we encourage you to contact your chosen or prospective universities who are best placed to provide you with institution specific information.
Despite some COVID-19 disruptions to visa processes and exam timetables, you can still get started with the process. For example, you can familiarise yourself with UK visa requirements and talk to your chosen university about evidence you may need to supply for a visa application. Some Visa Application Centres have reopened, with more to follow over the coming weeks.
LIVING WITH US
Are visitors allowed?
We regret that whilst the pandemic continues we cannot permit non-residents to enter the buildings we manage. Residents should not mix between their household bubbles and in some properties communal areas have been closed. We are arranging social-distancing friendly events so keep checking our Instagram for details. We will continue to review this policy as the government releases new guidance and will adapt accordingly.
How can I protect myself from COVID-19?
The most effective method of protecting yourself and others is to social distance, wash your hands regularly and keep surfaces clean. You should frequently wash your hands for a minimum of twenty seconds with soap and water before eating, after being outside and using the toilet. When cleaning your room, you should use usual household products, like detergents and bleach. Clean frequently touched surfaces such as door handles, handrails, remote controls and table tops regularly.
Personal waste (such as used tissues) and disposable cleaning cloths should be stored securely within disposable rubbish bags. These bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste. This should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in your usual property waste bin. Other household waste can be disposed of as normal. You will notice that around your accommodation building we have signage regarding social distancing and that our teams are disinfecting high traffic touch points, such as door handles, lifts and bannisters more regularly.
If you are contacted by your local public health body or via the NHS App (track and trace) to alert you that you have had recent contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you must inform your property manager via your property email address.
What if I become unwell whilst living at the property?
The Government advises that you should self-isolate in your room or studio if you have a high temperature (if you don’t have a thermometer check if you feel hot to touch on your chest or back), experience a loss of taste or smell, or you have a new, continuous cough (which means you are coughing repeatedly). Please read the NHS’s advice on COVID-19 and its advice on self-isolation in student accommodation here. You should only leave your accommodation to get tested. Inform your property team via your property email address and they will contact you with further information regarding self-isolation in your property and support available to you.
If you are concerned about any potential symptoms then please call the NHS Helpline on 111. To request a test, click here.
If you become aware that somebody is self-isolating in your shared accommodation cluster flat or townhouse, you too will need to self-isolate as per the Government advice on household isolation.
I am living alone at the property and feel isolated. How can you help?
All our properties have unlimited internet usage to allow you to keep in touch with family, friends and your property team. All of the internet providers are continuing their 24/7 support structure and please continue to contact them if you are experiencing any issues.
It is important to look after your mental health as well as physical health and stay connected. If you feel you need extra support, please contact your University wellbeing teams, call the charity Mind (Mental Health) on 0845 766 0163 or visit Student Minds for advice and guidance. Your property team will organise regular opportunities for you to participate in COVID-secure activities at a distance so please keep checking locally for details.
Has the pandemic affected my current tenancy agreement?
The Minister of State for Universities also has issued a letter to students confirming that students will receive their third term student loans whatever the circumstances and a further update from the Government can be viewed here.
The Student Loans Company has 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. The Government has also recently issued guidance on support available for landlords and renters reflecting the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and setting out a range of Landlords obligations relating to health and safety and emergencies here.
If you have any questions regarding your tenancy with us during this difficult time, please contact us via [email protected] providing your name, student ID and the property you have your tenancy agreement with. All of these enquiries are being logged and responded to and also being used to update the owners of the property.
SCOTLAND ONLY: All students who have responded to Coronavirus (Scotland) (No. 2) Bill which came into force on 27th May 2020 have been contacted and their enquiries are being processed. Please contact your local property team with all enquiries.
I have already moved out, can I collect my belongings?
You should pre-arrange a date and time to collect your belongings with the property team. Please travel safely and within the Government guidelines dependant on where you are traveling from and to. You can bring one other person from your household with you to help you move out. You and your helper will be asked to wash your hands upon arrival and observe social distancing to protect yourselves, our team and other residents. Handwashing facilities and hand sanitiser will be available.
If you or anyone you live with develops symptoms or you have been contacted to self-isolate, please do not visit the property. Please just let our team know you are likely to be delayed and we will arrange a new date in the future when you’re free to travel again.
When will I receive my deposit back?
Please clear the room and ensure it is left clean. Leave the key behind – either in the room or as directed by the property team and inform us officially, by email, that you have checked out. After you have left, our team will inspect the room and follow the standard check out and departure process. Once your accommodation has been inspected, any deposit payments owed will be paid in accordance with your tenancy agreement.