This page has been created to provide students at RGU with answers to frequently asked questions related to accommodation issues brought about as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, and to assist students in understanding how recent coronavirus legislation affects student tenants.

You are encouraged to keep up to date with any information and advice that is issued by your accommodation provider and the Scottish Government.

If you have a question that is not answered below, then please email RGU:Union President (Communication & Democracy). For students of Aberdeen University and North East Scotland College, contact AUSA President for Welfare or NESCol SA Regional President respectively.

  • Where can I find the latest information on the COVID-19 pandemic?

    You can keep up to date with the latest information and advice from the NHS and the Scottish and UK Governments at: Scottish Government Advice; NHS: Public Health Advice; UK Government Advice. It is important to check that advice on a regular basis due to the ever changing nature of the pandemic.

  • Where can I find the latest information and advice from RGU on the work undertaken due to COVID-19?

    The latest information from RGU can be found at COVID-19: Advice for Students, Staff & Community. It is important to check that advice on a regular basis due to the ever changing nature of the pandemic.

  • What reasons can I give for wishing to end my tenancy?

    The Coronavirus (Scotland) (No.2) Act 2020 provides that a tenant may, for a reason relating to coronavirus, bring to an end a student residential tenancy. However, the Act does not define, or give examples of, reasons relating to coronavirus. It is reasonable to assume financial hardship caused by the epidemic, the cancellation of in person teaching, or because students have returned to their family home in accordance with government guidance on physical distancing would be acceptable. Whilst the underlying reason for giving notice must be related to coronavirus, the Act does not require students to provide information proving that the reason is due to coronavirus, nor does it require a student to specify the reason when giving notice.

  • Are the new notice periods a permanent change?

    No. These changes only apply until 30th September 2021. Although the Scottish Parliament can decide to extend the end date if deemed necessary.

  • I am in a joint tenancy, do both of us need to give notice?

    The notice periods outlined in the legislation also apply to joint tenancies. Both parties will need to agree to give notice.

  • I have paid a deposit for my accommodation, what can I do?

    You are encouraged to work with your accommodation provider to come to an appropriate resolution of issues around deposit payments. It is expected that accommodation providers treat students sympathetically so that they are not disadvantaged. Students should check their tenancy agreement, and any recent communication issued by the accommodation provider, to see agreements concerning deposits. In some cases, return of the deposit will be dealt with through the tenancy deposit schemes and their dispute resolution service. If you have any questions regarding your deposit, you are encouraged to contact ResLife.

  • What should I do if my PBSA won’t let me terminate my tenancy?

    If you have followed the guidance here and your accommodation provider is refusing to allow you to terminate your tenancy, you are encouraged to seek advice from ResLife and Shelter Scotland.

  • Can I apply for a rent discount AND terminate my lease with a PBSA?

    In most cases, any rent discount will be contingent on the student not terminating their lease with their accommodation provider. Although this information will be stipulated in the accommodation providers criteria for rent discount eligibility. If you are unsure about the terms of any rent reduction, please contact ResLife

  • What are the key deadlines?

    The key deadline for terminating your lease in accordance with the current legislation is 30th September 2021. Any other deadlines related to rent reductions will be set by accommodation providers who offer them. You are encouraged to contact your accommodation provider with any questions related to any rent reduction/discount schemes.

  • Is there a template notice for termination of my lease which I can use?

    Yes, a template letter has been created which students can use to submit notice. You can find the letter here.

  • Is there anyone at the University who can help me with an issue with my PBSA?

    Yes, if you require any advice or support from the University regarding PBSAs and private student accommodation, you are encouraged to contact ResLife.

  • I can no longer pay my rent due to loss of employment as a result of the pandemic, what can I do?

    If you are suffering from financial hardship due to the pandemic, you are encouraged to contact studentfinance@rgu.ac.uk.

  • If I terminate my lease for reasons related to coronavirus, can I get a refund from my PBSA for rent paid in advance?

    The decision to offer refunds is dependent on the terms and conditions of the lease. Each PBSA appears to be interpreting legislation independently and seem to be tackling the issue of refunds on a case by case basis. There has been no public communication issued from PBSAs operating in Aberdeen regarding the refunding of rent paid in advance. If you have terminated your lease for reasons related to coronavirus and you have paid rent in advance, you should contact the manager at your residence by email to be given clarity on the provider’s position. You should also check your tenancy agreement in order to see what has been agreed to. If the provider or the tenancy agreement confirm that rent paid in advance will not be refunded, you are encouraged to contact ResLife and/or Shelter Scotland for further advice on the matter.

  • I have emailed my PBSA but I have not received a reply?

    If you have followed the guidance here and your accommodation provider has not replied to your communication, ensure that any emails/letters you have sent to the provider have used the correct details. Check your tenancy agreement and the accommodation provider's website to ensure you are submitting your notice to the correct contact address. If you are certain you have sent communication to the appropriate contact address and the accommodation has still not replied, seek advice from ResLife.

  • What is the University and Union doing to with regards to students in rented accommodation?

    RGU:Union has been working with the University to support students in rented accommodation since before the coronavirus pandemic began in March 2020. In recent months, the Union and the University have been working to ensure students in university-owned accommodation are supported throughout this period and are currently in discussions concerning rent refunds and lease terminations for RGU students. The Union has also worked with the University’s ResLife department to ensure students living within the private rental sector, including PBSAs, are supported should they be required to isolate due to COVID-19. Additionally, the Union continues to work with NUS Scotland to lobby the government to provide support to students in the private rental sector.

  • I am staying in RGU halls of residence, can I leave my tenancy?

    Yes, if you are not required to be present on campus for face-to-face teaching or for other reasons relating to Covid-19, RGU Accommodation Service is willing to consider requests to leave tenancies. Anyone wishing to make an application for an early termination of their lease should contact accommodation@rgu.ac.uk. Lease terminations from January 2021 onwards can now be submitted with a 7-day notice period, with the termination dated back dated to the day the request is received. Due to the volume of requests, there may be some delay in processing.

  • I am staying in RGU halls of residence, can I get a rent refund because I am unable to come back to Aberdeen?

    For students returning to RGU accommodation, and whose academic timetable indicates a delayed return to on-campus teaching, RGU Accommodation Service will provide a credit or refund for the period 4 January 2021 until face-to-face teaching recommences. In order to make an application for a credit or refund of your accommodation fees, contact accommodation@rgu.ac.uk. Due to the volume of requests, there may be some delay in processing.

  • Can I delay moving into RGU halls of residence if I don’t have any face to face teaching?

    Yes, following the Scottish Government’s advice on the staggered return to university, RGU are offering a flexible and individualised approach for students returning to university-owned accommodation. For students who are taking up a new lease, the RGU Accommodation Service will be able to modify your entry date to suit your academic timetable and provide a delayed entry date when face-to-face teaching is scheduled to begin.

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