BOURNEMOUTH University students residing at privately owned accommodation blocks have been left in tenterhooks on whether they have to pay their final instalment on their rent, even though the majority are not living there and can’t access their rooms.

Students living at Oxford Point, on Oxford Road in Boscombe, are still awaiting a decision from the Landlord of their accommodation regarding their outstanding rent payments.

A student, who studies at Bournemouth University student and lives at Oxford Point, said that, due to the fact he has lost both of his jobs, as well as both of parents currently out off work, he will have difficulties paying his last instalment, if required.

He said: “I pay £164 a week for an ensuite room and a shared kitchen, and although most of the students have moved back home to be in a safer environment, the landlords and company are keeping silent whether or not we will be helped in any way in regards to our rent amounts.

“My final rent instalment is £1,968, and my contract runs until the July 11 even though I am now unable to access my room.

“I've lost both my student jobs as a result of the pandemic, as have most of my uni friends in the accommodation, so will struggle to pay my rent.”

Two weeks ago, students living at four university halls owned by Campus Living Villages were told they would have to pay their final instalment of their rent even though they are still unable to access their rooms.

The last communication students received about their accommodation situation was from Monday April 6.

An annual lift inspection at Oxford Point last week, meant that only one lift was functioning at each time, meaning students struggled to adhere to the social distancing guidelines.

Undergraduates were also outraged to find out that a small group of students did move into Oxford Point, a student halls complex on Oxford Road in Boscombe, at the start of the lockdown period, whilst they are continuing to pay for rooms they are unable to visit and use.

The 27-year-old student added: “Oxford Point accommodation recently moved a girl in who will be studying at a language school and had travelled from Birmingham to Bournemouth.

“This was in the middle of the lockdown.

“Why are Fresh moving in students who have the possibility of having the coronavirus, into an accommodation with hundreds of vulnerable students?”

Fresh Student Living properties across the country, including Oxford Point, are owned by over 30 different landlords, who have yet to agree on outstanding rent payments.

Students at Skyline, another Fresh Student Living accommodatiuon on Oxford Road, have been told by their landlord that those who have vacated their rooms will be given a refund on their final rent instalment and those remaining in situ will be charged discounted rates.

A spokesperson for Fresh Property Group said: “We are currently not accepting any new bookings to our schemes for the current academic year due to the ongoing Lockdown, although I can confirm that a small group of students did move into Oxford Point at the start of this period as they had already booked their accommodation with us.

“In many cases the rent they receive from students is the only form of income they receive to meet their obligations to continue to provide high quality accommodation for students.

“We are of course aware that some students and parents will be struggling at this time and would urge all students to discuss this with our Accommodation Teams as soon as possible, so that help can be offered to those experiencing financial hardship.”