University of Sussex Students' Newspaper

Early Termination of Housing Contract for Postgraduate Students On Campus

Abigail Keyla Ryanto

ByAbigail Keyla

May 13, 2024

Postgraduate students living on-campus will have their housing contracts terminated one week earlier than agreed upon, with students expected to move out from 7 September 2024, instead of the original 14 September date. This is due to an “earlier than usual start” to the 2024-2025 academic year, leading to “complications” with new students having to move into on-campus accommodation sooner than expected.

Johanna Nakatumbe, a course rep from the Business School, has said that students affected have reached out to her to say that they are “very annoyed” and do not feel “valued” by the University for their breach of contract. This is especially as many affected postgraduate students will be submitting their dissertations during the period they are asked to leave the accommodation. 

Being expected to move out before they hand in their dissertations has caused a lot of confusion and stress amongst those affected. Johanna reports that students are unsure how they will juggle submissions with the move out date, and/or are struggling to find housing in Brighton in light of the early termination. 

With the ongoing situation, some students have felt resigned to the point where they are now looking to move out earlier to avoid disruptions later down the line. However, the tenancy agreement stipulates that to do so, they must find a person to replace their contract.

“So it’s like the [University] can change the contract but the students can’t,” Johanna reflected.

The University’s Housing Services Team have contacted students affected since December 2023 about this change of contract, asking them to sign a form by February 2024. If students do not do so, the Team will assume that they agree with the new tenancy agreement and will move out by 10 a.m. on the new move-out day.

Affected students who have paid their rent in full will be issued a refund for the final week of their contract. Students who are paying their rent in installments will receive credit amounting to seven days of rent to their Sussex Direct account.

A meeting was reportedly planned between the Accommodations Manager on campus and affected students, but the manager did not show up. The manager later contacted students saying that they can reach out to him through email and “see what he can organise.”

Johanna says that the University should do “proper planning” so that the same issue doesn’t happen again next year, “because, as much as it looks like it’s nothing, I think it’s something that can affect the [University]… especially new incoming [students].”

“Especially looking at my classmates, they are so annoyed, to the extent that they [don’t] want to give any feedback because [they feel] like it doesn’t help anything, especially with the Wi-Fi issue [throughout the semester], and [now] accommodation,” Johanna concludes.  

If you are a postgraduate student affected by this change in housing contracts, please email the Housing Services Team at housing@sussex.ac.uk with the subject line “PG early end date” to receive housing support. The team has assured that they will make sure students affected have somewhere to stay during this period. 

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