Coronavirus - FAQs and information for residents

Coronavirus FAQs

Coronavirus FAQs

During the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) situation this page will provide you with the latest updates and answers to frequently asked questions relating to accommodation. We are monitoring the latest advice and guidance issued by the UK Government, Public Health England (PHE) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and will continue to take all appropriate and necessary steps to ensure that our residences remain a safe place. 

Have you got a question?

Self-isolation in University accommodation

If you need to self-isolate, please see our 'information for students who are self-isolating' webpage for frequently asked questions and information.

To find out about accommodation in Exeter for the period of quarantine, please see our dedicated webpage.

Postgraduate starting course in January

If you are starting your course in in January, please see our Postgraduate frequently asked questions for further information about your accommodation and arrival. 

Accommodation contract

Under your contract obligations you will be expected to pay for your accommodation from 19 June 2021 until the end of your contract. 

Moving out of the accommodation and returning the key, key fob or key card to the Residence Reception is not sufficient to terminate your accommodation contract early and unless you complete the form by 31 May 2021 you will remain liable to comply with all your responsibilities under the Terms and Condition of Residences until the end of the Period of Residence. 

Your contract is in place from the time you receive our Contract Formation Email and even if you have not moved into the accommodation you will still be expected to pay for your accommodation for any period after 19 June 2021.

According to UK government guidelines, travel is permitted for the purposes of education and therefore you should be able to join us in person for the reminder of your course.

If you are unable to travel from a country currently on the ‘red list’ then we would ask that you contact us via SID Online using the title 'Unable to travel to take up accommodation' to provide details of your circumstances by Friday 2 July 2021 so that we can consider whether your account can be adjusted in your particular circumstances.

The criteria has been applied to all students whose accommodation was arranged via the University in the same way.  However, there are a number residences where the contracts that continue after 19 June.  When considering our policy about rent adjustments we took into consideration a number of factors and as in person teaching has been possible from all students from 17 May onwards, this date was select to allowed time for students to arrive before the anticipated date of COVID restrictions being fully lifted.

Updated information from 25 February 2021

You can request to be released from your contract if you meet the following criteria: 

1) You were not in residence on 4 January 2021 

2) You have not lived in the accommodation at any point between 4 January and 19 June 2021 (self-catered contracts) or 12 June 2021 (catered contracts). 

If you meet these criteria we will release you from your accommodation contract with us (or arrange for you to be released where you are in University of Exeter nominated accommodation) without any charges (subject to our right/our nominated provider’s right to claim damages in the event that you have breached any provisions of your contract before the date on which you are released, e.g. because you have damaged your room). 

Once you are released from your contract you will no longer be able to use your room. 

You must make the request via this form by 31 May 2021. We will need to verify the information you have submitted before responding to your request.

If you have not completed the form by the deadline, and still wish to request an adjustment then please log an enquiry via SID Online using the category "Rent Adjustment Appeals". Within your enquiry please clarify whether you were in residence on 4 January 2021 (yes or no), and if no, when did you first return to your accommodation (if at all).

If you returned to the accommodation during this period, you can apply for a pro-rota adjustment to your account so that rent charges are waived for the period between 4 January 2021 and the date that you arrived at your accommodation which will be confirmed against our records. 

Please indicate on the form that you would like to apply for the rent adjustment for the period you were not resident and indicate the date you returned to the accommodation. Please make a request by completing this form by 31 May 2021We will need to verify the information you have submitted before responding to your request.

If you have not completed the form by the deadline, and still wish to request an adjustment then please log an enquiry via SID Online using the category "Rent Adjustment Appeals". Within your enquiry please clarify whether you were in residence on 4 January 2021 (yes or no), and if no, when did you first return to your accommodation (if at all).

As government guidelines indicate that you should remain in the residence you were occupying at the start of the national lockdown for the whole period, we will not be able to make an adjustment to your accommodation account even if you decided to leave the accommodation and did not reside for part of the period between 4 January and 19 June 2021. 

If you had to leave your accommodation due to exceptional circumstances please provide details of these in writing to use via SID Online or sid@exeter.ac.uk by 31st May 2021 so that we can consider whether your account can be adjusted in your particular circumstances.

If you choose to return to use your accommodation but later decide to leave and not return again before the end of your contract, you will be charged from the date on which you returned until the end of your contract and will not be entitled to a further adjustment on your account. 

If you had to leave your accommodation due to exceptional circumstances please provide details of these in writing to use via SID Online or sid@exeter.ac.uk by 31st May 2021 so that we can consider whether your account can be adjusted in your particular circumstances. 

We understand that many students have submitted an adjustment request form and are waiting to hear back from us. Please ensure you have submitted this form by the deadline of 31 May 2021.

If you have returned to Exeter and are in your accommodation then you will need to make a payment for Term 3 in full. Once we have processed your request then you will need to refer to your student statement to see if there is any outstanding payment due in respect of Term 2, and then make that payment.

If you have not returned to Exeter and are not intending to return, then please do not make any further payments at this time. Once we have processed your request then you will need to refer to your student statement to see if there is any outstanding payment due in respect of Term 2 and/or 3, and then make that payment.

We would also like to reassure you that late fees will not be applied if you have been waiting for the outcome of your adjustment request.

Please note that arrangements for students living in one of our nominated residences may vary. You must submit a form but also discuss with your accommodation provider whether they require any payments to be made while we process your adjustment request.

If you have a contract directly with the University, once the adjustments have been made to your account, if there is a credit balance on your account after the end of your contract please open an enquiry using the following link to the Student Information Desk (SID) to request a refund. Alternative SID contact information can be found here. Once you have requested your refund, please allow up to 28 working days before contacting SID again for an update.

Please note that arrangements for students living in one of our nominated residences may vary and we are currently discussing this with your accommodation provider so that they can update you. 

We will begin processing requests from May 2021. We will verify the information you have submitted and then deal with you request. You will receive an email once this process has been completed which will outline the next stage.

If you meet the criteria, your details then will be passed to our Finance team or nomination partners for them to adjust your account. 

After you have received our email, if you have any further questions about any refund due please log an enquiry via SID Online if your contract was issued by the University. 

Please note that arrangements for students living in one of our nominated residences may vary and we are currently discussing this with your accommodation provider so that they can update you. 

 

As government guidelines do not currently permit students to travel to collect belongings except in prescribed circumstances, you can request an adjustment even though you still have belongings in your room. We recognise that collecting belongings may be challenging for some students, particularly those who may have returned to their homes overseas or have a long distance to travel in the UK. However, we must also ensure that the residences are available and ready for the next intake of students, therefore we ask that you collect your belongings by the end of your contract period.  

If you are unable to collect your belongings in person the end date of your contract please use the services of a storage company.  

If you do not arrange a collection of your belongings we will do this on your behalf and charge you the associated costs. 

Unfortunately, we are not able to store any items left in kitchens, to include food, crockery, pots and pans. Unless you get in touch to make collection arrangements, any uncollected items remaining after the end of your contract June will be offered as part of the Student Re-Use scheme or given to a charity.

Once permitted under government guidelines, please ensure that you have checked the government web site about travel and our information about returning to campus. Please note the section on having a negative covid test prior to returning to campus and the wearing of face masks which we strongly advise you to do.

If you do not have your key/fob for access please ensure that you return when your reception is open. Once you have collected your belongings please return your key/fob to the residence reception or leave it in the Out of Hours drop-off box. Please check our residence reception webpage for details of opening hours and the location of the key drop-off boxes. 

The University recognises that collecting belongings may be challenging for some students, particularly those who may have returned to their homes overseas or have a long way to travel in the UK. If you are currently unable to return to the University due to travel restrictions, either in the UK or in your home country, please consider using a packing/storage company. The University is not able to offer students storage for their belongings, but there are a number of private storage providers available to offer this service.

Once you have arranged storage please email careteam@exeter.ac.uk with the following information;-

  • Your name
  • Room number
  • Name of storage company
  • Date of collection

If you have kitchen items, please list for the storage company or arrange for a friend to put in your room or in one area of the kitchen. We are not able to keep any items left in communal areas.

Please remember to return your fob/key to your reception; charges will be added to your student account if this is not returned. Information on charges can be found on our Maintenance and damages webpage, under "Charges for repairs and damages (reglazing and structural)".

Yes as during the lockdown it may be necessary for staff to enter the accommodation for various reasons including to undertake maintenance and as part of fire drill checks. We advise that you check your block insurance policy to understand the cover that is provided and any limitations. Please remember that your belongings will need to be removed at the end of your period of residence.

If you have no belongings in the room, please make arrangements for your key/fob/card to be returned to your residence reception by 31 May 2021 by recorded delivery and in a padded envelope to ensure they arrive safely. If keys are not received by this date then you may be charged for key replacement.

If you are intending to return to your residence to collect belongings you must then return your key/fob/card to the residence reception once you have cleared your room. You should leave your key/fob/card with reception during their opening hours or in the out-of-hours key drop-off point.

If you are returning, or have returned, to your accommodation we would ask that you pay your Term 3 accommodation fees now and in full.

If you are eligible for an adjustment to your fees then once the adjustment has been made, any resulting overpayment will sit as a credit, or pre-payment, on your account towards future accommodation fees.

Your adjustment will be calculated on a pro-rata basis so that it is equal to the nightly rate of your accommodation from the start of lockdown until the date of your arrival back at your accommodation.

If your contract is issued by the University, no late fees will be charged on any outstanding Spring or Summer Term Accommodations charges. However, please do ensure that all other charges are paid by the payment due dates. This includes Tuition and all non-Accommodation charges, as late fees will be applied to all overdue balances. 

If your contract is issued by one of our nominated partners, please contact them to discuss your account. 

Any payment made for this term will be applied to any outstanding Term 1 (Winter) and/or future Terms 2 (Spring), 3 and 4 (Summer) Accommodation charges. We will only process a refund to you if there is a credit balance on your account after the end of your contract and you will need to request this separately by logging an enquiry via SID Online.

If your contract is issued by one of our nominated partners, please contact them to discuss your account. 

We know that some students may suffer an additional financial burden because of the lockdown measures. Please reach out for support and apply to the ‘Success for All’ Hardship Fund. The Students' Guild Advice Service is also able to offer advice on a variety of matters including accommodation and finance. 

Students in private accommodation are outside of the University’s control and students should discuss the matter with their landlords in the first instance. If your accommodation provider is planning to charge you rent when you are not using your room during the national lockdown, there is financial support available to you. Please reach out for support and apply to the ‘Success for All’ Hardship Fund to request support to cover your rent for the period you are not living to your accommodation. 

If you are living in privately-owned accommodation you are advised and encouraged to speak to you accommodation provider/landlord directly to discuss these matter.

We understand that some students, in returning to our campuses later than originally planned, may suffer an additional financial burden.  In partnership with the Students’ Guild and Students’ Union we have therefore committed to doubling the support available through the ‘Success for All’ Hardship Fund' by adding a further £500,000 to the fund.  Should you need it on your return next year for the start of on-campus teaching, please reach out for support and apply to the fund if you are suffering financial hardship.

 

Information for students staying in University accommodation

The Government defines a household as a group of people living at the same address and who share cooking facilities, bathrooms or toilets and/or living areas. This includes students in halls of residence who share such facilities. In halls of residence, your household is those in your flat or corridor and not your entire block.

The government has now introduced a new £800 fine for those attending house parties, including in halls of residence, which will double for each repeat offence to a maximum level of £6,400. These fines will apply to those who attend illegal gatherings of more than 15 people from outside their household.

During the national lockdown, you must also not leave or be outside of your home except where you have a ‘reasonable excuse.’ You can be given a Fixed Penalty Notice of £200 for the first offence, doubling for further offences up to a maximum of £6,400. Students hosting parties, attending parties, or otherwise breaching national lockdown rules regarding mixing between households may also be subject to University disciplinary procedures.

Our residences remain open and operational including our receptions and cleaning services. Please check our residence reception information to confirm opening times, which may vary especially during vacation periods.

In line with government guidelines, if you are self-isolating you must not leave your accommodation and therefore you should not visit the reception to collect mail during any period that you may need to self-isolate. We will endeavour to deliver post to outside your flat door, however for the latest information including frequency of delivery, please contact your local residence reception. You can collect deliveries, including parcels and grocery deliveries, from the entrance of your block/residence - you must wear a face covering and social distance while doing so.

You can continue to use the laundry facilities within our residences, even if they are not in your block. However, you should ensure that you continue to follow COVID-Safe protocols for the use of these facilities.

In line with government guidelines, if you are self-isolating you must not leave your accommodation and therefore you must not use the laundry during any period that you may need to self-isolate. Students who need to access laundry service can do so through the Exeter City Council Service. Just call the hotline or fill out the ‘students requesting community support’ form and a laundry service will be arranged for you. Alternatively, detergent to wash clothes in your room can be ordered via our online shop or alternatively from other supermarket suppliers to be delivered to you.

Details about our retail facilities in Exeter and the services they offer including deliveries are available on Eat and Shop webpages.

Visitors

Due to the ongoing situation in relation to Covid-19, we have reviewed our policy regarding visitors to manage the risk of infection. 

You may now meet socially indoors in line with the latest government guidelines, however University policy will continue to be that overnight guests are not allowed within our Residences.  

If you have a particular query then students should contact the Residence Management Team via accommodation-guest@exeter.ac.uk.