Unite Students Accommodation Room Rental Costs - Can they change the price for the exact same room?

saffronmurray
saffronmurray Posts: 8
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edited 24 August 2020 at 7:51AM in Student MoneySaving
Hey Guys, 

I'm feeling a bit stupid putting my trust into a company who have called themselves the 'leading provider' for student accommodation because they have certainly led me into believing they care little for their customers and more about money. 

On the 11th August I signed an agreement (which I have saved for anyone's interest) for a room they were renting out for £185p/w. Throughout this entire process, customers are against the clock. Online sales teams were telling me the rooms were almost full and I had to get my deposit in quick before they'd be no availability for the next year. You also have to sign the agreement before a certain time otherwise you lose your deposit and risk not being able to book another property. Sales tactics I've seen before on Martin's shows. 

On the 23rd August, I have gone onto their website to find the official address of my new property, only to find out they are selling the EXACT same room I booked, for £149p/w. I honestly felt a bit sick. They've plastered these new deals and offers of cash back all over their website too, completely disregarding the fact others have completed their booking process and been treated completely different. 

Am I in my rights to send some sort of appeal or request for my weekly rent amount to be negotiated? I'm struggling so much with finances and living in London. The cheaper rent is a kick in the face and is the different between buying food shopping and starving. It really is that bad!

I'm asking anyone who can help to please send me some information on how I can go about this. I've drafted an appeals letter which I'm happy to share in hopes this helps me get somewhere with Unite Students. I don't fancy the idea of living under a company who seems to enjoy pulling the rug from underneath their tenants feet and then expect them to get back up for round two. 

Thanks again guys :) 
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Comments

  • In short, people can charge what they want.
    It's classic EA games to try and pretend something is full when it isn't. 
    I don't think there are grounds for reducing the rent to what it is now, but what does the contract say with regard to cancellation? It appears you signed it less than 14 days ago.

    What I can't get, if the £185 p/w is causing you now to starve, why sign it in the first place? If there was a year to take a chance of boatloads of student accommodations being available, this year would have been it by a country mile.
  • macman
    macman Posts: 52,955
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    How and where did you sign the agreement?
    Your comment is not rational: on 11/8 you were prepared to pay a rent that you could presumably afford then; now that same rent will leave you 'starving'. 
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • bradders1983
    bradders1983 Posts: 5,684
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    £185 a week?!?! Bloody hell, I pay less per week pro rata for the mortgage, utilities, council tax, TV license and broadband for a 3 bedroom house!  Where is this?
  • macman
    macman Posts: 52,955
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    It'll be one of these purpose-built central London student developments where other facilities (catering, leisure) are provided along with the rooms; more like an apartment hotel really. When I were a student, it were £12 a week for a shoebox in't road...
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • AdrianC
    AdrianC Posts: 42,189
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    Let's put the melodrama to one side - you wouldn't have starved to death if you hadn't seen that reduced rate advertised, would you?

    You saw the rate of £185/wk, and were happy to pay it. Yes, you fell for the "We've nearly sold out!" sales spiel - despite you admitting you were aware of it being iffy, especially this year... Yes, you could have got it cheaper... or you could have missed out entirely. That's the risk. Same as Ryanair et al, with their variable-by-demand seat pricing.

    I notice you signed on 11th Aug - yet A-level results day was 13th... Did you think you were beating the rush? Of course, with this year's chaos, all bets turned out to be off anyway.

    Can you cancel? I have no idea. I can't read your contract from here.
  • diggingdude
    diggingdude Posts: 2,445
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    If done online you may have the right to cancel but I doubt they would relet to you at lower rate 
    An answer isn't spam just because you don't like it......
  • Unfortunately my situation has changed since signing this agreement, and now the dramatic cost reduction has made me feel pretty rubbish; so yes, unfortunately that £400 difference would've meant a much more comfortable living status. I haven't waited on A-Level results, I'm a mature student who hasn't been in education for 3 years.  I was just wondering if there was anything I could do which could help me out. 
  • AdrianC
    AdrianC Posts: 42,189
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    I'm sure it has made you feel pretty rubbish - but that's not quite the same as starving, is it?

    Look at it this way - you've contracted to, what, a 40wk minimum contract? So we're talking about the difference between £6k and £7.4k. Plus, of course, your tuition - another £9k. So that's the difference between £15k and £16.4k. About 9%. It gets even smaller once you include all the other costs of living.

    This is pretty damn premium-rate student life. Unite's website also talks about their "flexibility". I guess, what with it being Sunday, you haven't actually spoken to them...? But you have, of course, had a chance to look at the cancellation section of your contract, right? And what does it say?
  • macman
    macman Posts: 52,955
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    No one can help you unless you tell us what your contract says, and where and how you signed it. You may have 14 days, or may not, the clock is ticking.
    You have no right to demand a reduction just because the price has dropped subsequently. your only chance is whether you have any cooling-off rights that will enable you to rescind the contract and look for something else.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • The difference for me is big because of what I'm having to pay out. I just asked if there was anything I could do in hopes I can get some extra money aside to afford things I have no choice but to pay. I'm going to take it as a no and move on. 
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