Important update: this right expired on the 1st of July 2022 and therefore can no longer be used
The Right to End Your Contract Early
The Coronavirus (Scotland) (No2) Act came into force on 27th May 2020. Any student who signed a contract with University Halls of Residence or Purpose Built Student Accommodation after that date (whether you had moved in or not), or who signed the contract before that date but has not yet moved in, had the right to cancel the contract with 28 days’ notice, as long as it’s for a coronavirus-related reason.
(Purpose-Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) means commercial blocks of student accommodation of 30 or more rooms, sometimes also known as private halls. This law did not apply to other private sector contracts such as Private Residential Tenancies).
This means that if you wanted to cancel your contract, you should have written (or emailed) your accommodation provider and let them know. This does not need to be complicated. We created a sample email that you could have used if you were unsure what to say.
We are aware that some PBSA providers were making it difficult for students to cancel contracts under this law, and insisting on seeing University documentation to prove that students are not attending. Please note that the law did not provide a list of acceptable coronavirus-related reasons, nor did the law say that you must show University documentation. If your provider is refusing to release you from the contract even after you have given the correct notice (as in our sample email) then 1) please don’t feel pressured into paying any money, and 2) please contact the SRC Advice Centre for further help.
What if i have prepaid my accommodation for the entire academic year, should i get a refund?
Yes, if you have already pre-paid your entire stay, you should expect to be refunded any money you have paid beyond the notice period, providing you submitted this before the Act expired on 1st of July 2022.
Is this a permanent change to the law?
No. This was a short-term law, brought in because of the Coronavirus situation, however there have been a number of extensions made to this. The law was originally scheduled to expire on 30th September 2020, but has been extended on multiple occasions. The latest extension was due to expire on 30th September 2022 via the The Coronavirus (Scotland) Acts (Amendment of Expiry Dates) Regulations 2022, however as of the 1st of July 2022 the Act has now been suspended early. Further details of the reasons for this ending can be found in the Policy Note.
I submitted my 28 days notice before the 1st of July 2022 but my PBSA are refusing to let me cancel or refund my rent in advance?
We are aware that certain PBSA's in Glasgow are willfully ignoring this legistlation. If you need any further advice on this situation please contact the SRC Advice Centre