Students may be eligible for accommodation refunds if they're affected by lockdown, confirm CMA

30 April 2020, 14:18 | Updated: 1 May 2020, 15:35

Students will be eligible for refunds if they meet the criteria
Students will be eligible for refunds if they meet the criteria. Picture: Getty
Mared Parry

By Mared Parry

Businesses are expected to offer refunds to those who are affected by the coronavirus.

University students are one group of Brits that have been affected immensely by the coronavirus.

Their graduations being cancelled, they're not receiving the education they paid thousands for and for many, they're paying a hefty amount to rent student accommodation they aren't even able to live at.

Today, the Competition and Markets Authority reveal to Heart.co.uk that they think the law on cancellations and refunds because of the coronavirus applies in the same way to students as it does to other consumers.

READ MORE: When did lockdown start and when will it end?

Students could potentially be owed money
Students could potentially be owed money. Picture: Getty

Earlier today, Martin Lewis appeared on This Morning and told a father of a student who was asking what can be done about his outstanding accommodation balance that it's not all black and white, but it's possible he could be owed a refund.

Martin explained: "there aren't any rules in place per se, rent is rent and there isn't a special kind for students.

"It's still a contract between a landlord and and an individual, and they can still kick you out if the condition hasn't been met."

He then said: "the Competition and Markets Authority has just revealed their new guidelines, they've said if you don't get the goods or service because of coronavirus, you should get a refund.

"This probably applies in this case but at the moment there is no enforcement."

Those moving out of accommodation are still paying
Those moving out of accommodation are still paying. Picture: Getty

Heart.co.uk spoke to the CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) who told us: "CMA’s statement on consumer contracts, cancellations and refunds, which aims to help consumers understand their rights, would also apply to students".

They added: "In most cases, the CMA would expect businesses to offer refunds where they cancel bookings or don’t provide any services, or where consumers are not allowed to use them because of lockdown restrictions.”

CMA's full guidelines can be viewed on their website.

They added that the Office for Students (the independent regulator of higher education in England) has issued a briefing note on the steps universities and colleges are taking to support their students during the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic.