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Left course - still paying accommodation

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
I started a course in September and moved into halls of residence at the uni. By January I had realised the course was not for me and I was determined to transfer to a course elsewhere. I re-applied via UCAS and got a place at Falmouth just before Easter. Unfortunately I was unable to transfer so the course starts in September of this year.
I dropped out of my previous course and I am now living at home again with my parents until September.

Now the problem is that in my accommodation contract it says I must give at least 3 months' notice before leaving or I will still be charged for this period (unless I can find another tenant which is very unlikely this late in the year).
So although I am now out of uni for the time being, and all my funding has stopped until next year, I am still paying £82 a week rent for somewhere that I am not living. (I even asked if I could keep my key and they said that as I am no longer a student there I'm not even allowed to live there anymore! even though I am paying until the end of the year!)

I'm trying really hard to find work to pay this off - so far I have found 2 days work in about 3 weeks since I left the course. Hopefully I will find a more permanent job soon but in the meantime I am eating into money that I saved from my maintenance loan (which i really shouldn't be doing considering I am already in debt before I start my course, technically).

The next installment is due on the 24th april (monday) and I have cancelled the direct debit to the uni. This was probably a bad idea as I have already had letters from them asking why I have cancelled it. Basically I am not prepared to pay unless I am sure that this is the only option.

What I wanted to ask was - Although it is written into the contract which I have signed, is the university actually allowed to charge me for services which i am not actually, according to them, 'allowed' to receive?

I am finding it extremely difficult to pay for this accommodation as well as paying for living costs at home.

I intend to write to the accommodation manager (in a feeble attempt to ask to be let off) but it seems like a lost cause.

If all else fails, has anyone actually had experience of a uni getting serious about collecting their unpaid fees (i.e. sending a debt collector round) or would they just let it slide?

any thoughts or guidance would be appreciated,
Thanks

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    blx wrote: »
    I started a course in September and moved into halls of residence at the uni. By January I had realised the course was not for me and I was determined to transfer to a course elsewhere. I re-applied via UCAS and got a place at Falmouth just before Easter. Unfortunately I was unable to transfer so the course starts in September of this year.
    I dropped out of my previous course and I am now living at home again with my parents until September.

    Now the problem is that in my accommodation contract it says I must give at least 3 months' notice before leaving or I will still be charged for this period (unless I can find another tenant which is very unlikely this late in the year).
    So although I am now out of uni for the time being, and all my funding has stopped until next year, I am still paying £82 a week rent for somewhere that I am not living. (I even asked if I could keep my key and they said that as I am no longer a student there I'm not even allowed to live there anymore! even though I am paying until the end of the year!)

    I'm trying really hard to find work to pay this off - so far I have found 2 days work in about 3 weeks since I left the course. Hopefully I will find a more permanent job soon but in the meantime I am eating into money that I saved from my maintenance loan (which i really shouldn't be doing considering I am already in debt before I start my course, technically).

    The next installment is due on the 24th april (monday) and I have cancelled the direct debit to the uni. This was probably a bad idea as I have already had letters from them asking why I have cancelled it. Basically I am not prepared to pay unless I am sure that this is the only option.

    What I wanted to ask was - Although it is written into the contract which I have signed, is the university actually allowed to charge me for services which i am not actually, according to them, 'allowed' to receive?

    I am finding it extremely difficult to pay for this accommodation as well as paying for living costs at home.

    I intend to write to the accommodation manager (in a feeble attempt to ask to be let off) but it seems like a lost cause.

    If all else fails, has anyone actually had experience of a uni getting serious about collecting their unpaid fees (i.e. sending a debt collector round) or would they just let it slide?

    any thoughts or guidance would be appreciated,
    Thanks

    You signed a legally binding contract. In my mind, you're stuck.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Is there anyone at the university that you could write and complain to?

    Why did you leave university in the first place? Was it just the course? When I left my course I still owed something (it's not worth entering into what for the purposes of this thread!) I wrote to the director of the college I was a member of at uni and told them why I left and how I felt about my whole experience. I then said that demands for payment etc only served to back up my beliefs about the university and the college in particular and lo-and-behold it was written off as a gesture of good will (or, in my eyes, so I didn't make it publically know what kind of treatment I'd received there... most people still don't know the full story including my friends!) So, my point is, if you feel you were treated badly in some way perhaps you could use that to your advantage?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    cheers bumblebee
    - i wouldn't say that they 'mistreated' me but I definately left because of the poor quality of the course.
    I have been able to claim a refund for the remainder of the year's tuition fees which I have already paid for. but as the accommodation services seem to work independently from the rest of the uni, I very much doubt that I will be let off on the basis of why I left in the first place.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's worth having a good argue with someone if they won't let you live there and still want you to pay, I would imagine the contract only holds if they keep their end of the deal and let you live there.

    Try emailing the NUS advice bit, they may well be able to help.

    My uni were really good when I left part way through the year and automatically refunded my unused accomodation so it's worth a good shot.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    .
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    cheers that sounds pretty positive.
    I'll try and get in touch with shelter before I write them a letter

    one other question... if I dig my heels in and don't pay right up until the CCJ thing... will it cost me any more money for court fees/fines for not paying on time etc.?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    blx wrote: »
    one other question... if I dig my heels in and don't pay right up until the CCJ thing... will it cost me any more money for court fees/fines for not paying on time etc.?

    you have signed a legally binding contract, but i know of many universities which release students from their accommodation contracts if they leave the university.

    with what you have asked, if you didn't pay ad it went to court, the court would look at your ability to pay and it may be, if you are in financial trouble, that a court would say you have to pay a little each month towards your rent under a county court judgment so in all liklihood, no.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    .
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,328 The Mix Honorary Guru
    .
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