Liverpool SolFed have just entered a dispute with YPP to let their tenants cancel their contracts, read below to find out why and how to get involved.
With the current pandemic and closure of universities most students have returned to their homes, and understandably want to stop paying their student accommodation’s extortionate rent. In Liverpool most student halls have allowed students to cancel their contracts. Meanwhile the student letting agents YPP based in Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield and York have decided to continue profiting off their students. Afterall surely, they shouldn’t have to foot the bill for the virus? It’s not like they are making a fortune off it all anyway, or that many student workers will have lost their income due to quarantine. Pandemic or no pandemic, the parasite must extract its profit.
If YPP continues to shackle students to their contracts and force them to pay rent despite Covid-19 we would strongly urge students to look elsewhere. Tenants at the University of Liverpool and Liberty Living have been allowed to cancel their contracts. In contrast YPP have boasted that they are offering a measly 5% reduction in rent, not much good for those students who need to move out to self-isolate or receive family care. Crucially, to our knowledge, their contracts include no break clause. If circumstances render their accommodation unsafe, perhaps due to health and safety issues or if Covid-19 returns, it is at the landlord’s discretion that you’re legally allowed to end your contract. As well as costing a fortune, living with YPP could be a life and death decision. In the highly competitive world of student accommodation there is simply no good reason to book with YPP.
After being approached by a tenant, R, at Liverpool’s Gravity Residence, we decided to support her efforts against YPP’s unreasonable behaviour. Not only did YPP offer her a pitiful 5% reduction in rent if she paid her remaining monthly instalments upfront, when she explained she couldn’t (and wouldn’t) pay that much they responded by ignoring her efforts to negotiate and simply offering her an instalment plan. This was after she had experienced significant disruption to her living arrangements and exam revision due to unreasonably frequent apartment viewings.
In conjunction with R, we have demanded a 50% reduction in rent until she can pick up her belongings at which point we demand she is allowed to cancel her contract.
To support this, Liverpool SF will be launching a direct action campaign against YPP. We would encourage any students at YPP to get in touch and get involved. All students at YPP should be allowed to cancel their contracts.