Students staying in Centro House have been seeking support from the Students’ Union over issues with accommodation.
The students and Students’ Union have been made aware that the offer made to other university accommodations about leaving their contracts early does not apply to them due to the property being owned by a private landlord, Centro Student Living.
At the beginning of the lockdown the university allowed students in university-owned accommodation to end their contracts early and any payments to be made will be capped at £400.
It is unclear if students in privately-owned Centro House will also have charges capped at this price. The Students’ Union has not encountered any student who has been charged more than the £400 limit but urges any student who has to come forward.
Students have told Brig that the company have very little contact information that can be found and that they have not been able to contact Centro Student Living directly.
The union have also found no publicly accessible information on how to contact the landlord. The only way is to contact Morton Fraser lawyers via physical letter, as that is the address the landlord is registered at.
One student had said that when they attempted to reach out to Accommodation Services but received no reply. They then said that they contacted other university staff and were told that the situation is out of the university’s hands.
The university has responded saying that all requests from students at Centro House have had their requests forwarded to Centro Student Living Ltd.
A University spokesperson said: “All students who have requested to end their occupancy agreement at Centro House, have had their requests forwarded to the private landlord, Centro Student Living Ltd.
“All decisions relating to contracts at Centro House are made by Centro Student Living Ltd, as the private landlord of the accommodation.
“When Centro Student Living Ltd notify us of any decisions, we will contact the relevant students. At this time, due to the current situation, our teams are focused on the safe delivery of essential services, but will respond to enquiries as quickly as possible.
“Any students who are facing financial hardship can contact the University’s Money Advice team via firstname.lastname@example.org.”
One Centro House student said,
“We didn’t know that we weren’t owned by the uni until last week when we saw that we couldn’t leave early on the [university’s] website.
“It is mentioned once in our occupancy agreements.
“Its really confusing, the signs on the building say University of Stirling, its Stirling Uni staff and we pay our rent to the university.
“We feel rather neglected and that we have been treated unfairly. The only response that we have got so far is that it is out of their hands.
“I am a Stirling student so I feel like they should have some control over this.
“The university praises how international and diverse they are, yet now this is happening. It doesn’t say much for the university, I just wish that they had been more transparent.”
Some Centro House students have contacted the Students’ Union for support. A union source has confirmed that they are working on the issue.
VP Communities Josh Muirhead said:
“The Students’ Union is disappointed that all Accommodation Students haven not been given the equal chance to break their contracts early.
“Though the Union disagrees with the leaving fee, to disallow over 100 students the equal chance to leave is incredibly unreasonable.
“We would strongly encourage the landlords of Centro House to allow students to break from their contracts early as well as not to charge a fee in doing so.”
The union has urged any students at Centro House to come forward for guidance and support.
Featured Image: University of Stirling