Tenancy Release

Tenancy Release

When you sign a Unipol Tenancy you are contractually obliged to pay the rent in full for the contracted period. As a not-for-profit provider we try and maximise our occupancy to keep rents lower.

Never simply leave your accommodation and hope that the issue of paying rent will go away: it won’t. Simply leaving your room means that Unipol cannot even try to let it, because it is still legally occupied by you and Unipol will always seek to recover monies owed in these circumstances.

If you want to, or feel you have to, leave your accommodation then there are some options open to you so that you do not have to continue paying rent:

Under normal circumstances you will not be released from your contract, even if you have given up your course and are leaving Leeds. It is never possible to release you from your contractual obligations in the final three months of your tenancy.

If you think you must leave your tenancy because you have been severely affected by a life event or a similar exceptional circumstance, then you can make out your case to be released from your tenancy to the Tenancy Release Group

Remember that neither Unipol nor the Group is obliged to release you from your tenancy and that the decision of the Tenancy Release Group, when made, is final.

The Tenancy Release Group comprises experts in the field of student support, welfare or accommodation and they consider the cases submitted to them independently of Unipol staff. The Tenancy Release Group sets a regular meeting cycle to consider applications and meets every month at key times between October and August (except December).

The Tenancy Release Group has a set of criteria for considering cases:

  • Death of a tenant. The tenancy would cease on the date of death. A death certificate would be needed to grant the deed of release. Next of kin are able to sign relevant paperwork.
  • Tenant involved in a serious incident which results in the tenant being seriously ill or in a coma. Proof would be provided normally in the form of a doctor’s letter or accredited medical practitioner. Next of kin would be allowed to sign the relevant paperwork.
  • Illness of a tenant, or those presenting with a disability which necessitates the tenant leaving their university course and leaving Leeds to undergo a course of treatment and pregnancy of a tenant where there is no other appropriate accommodation from Unipol. Proof needs to be provided by a doctor’s or midwife's letter which gives details of illness, disability or condition. Confirmation from the institution regarding the tenant leaving their course is also needed.
  • Illness of a close family member where there is no-one else in the family able to look after that family member or other dependants (with siblings needing to be under 18 years of age) and which results in the tenant having to leave their course. Proof would be provided by a doctor’s letter which needs to give details of illness. Confirmation from the institution regarding the tenant leaving their course is also needed.
  • A genuinely exceptional circumstance has occurred.

Making a request to be released

All requests must be made by the tenant unless for they are incapacitated, in which case a representative is allowed. In this case an application can be made by a parent/guardian/spouse or a person holding a recognised Power of Attorney.

All requests must be in writing and addressed to:

The Tenancy Release Group
Unipol Student Homes
155-157 Woodhouse Lane,
Leeds, LS2 3ED.

or by e-mail to Christina Rygalska at C.Rygalska@Unipol.org.uk

The request must state clearly:

  • Your name
  • The full address at which you are the tenant
  • A correspondence address for you if different from the tenancy address
  • A contact telephone number for you
  • Your University course and the year of study
  • Your reasons for wanting to be released from your tenancy taking into consideration the grounds for release outlined above
  • Any supporting evidence from Doctors, the University or other professional parties able to verify your case
  • What steps you have taken to mitigate the potential loss of rent to Unipol (for example advertising your room on the web site or using the Student to Student Noticeboard, signing the necessary release paperwork and promptly returning any keys).

When Unipol receives your representation it will check to see:

  • That it fulfils the criteria given above for consideration by the Tenancy Release Group
  • That there is sufficient evidence to proceed.

Attending the Tenancy Release Group

Tenants can attend the Group meeting to make any representations and they will be informed of the date the meeting at least five working days before the meeting. Tenants must confirm that they intend to attend the Group at least three full working days before the hearing, confirm any representatives they intend to bring and submit any additional written submissions for consideration by the Group, again three full working days before the hearing.

It is possible to use Skype to make representations to the Group. If you want to do this, you must inform Unipol at least three days before the hearing. If the Skype fails to function, the meeting will still proceed.

The Tenancy Release Group is not for arguing legal points, but is for the purpose of deciding, on the evidence presented at the time, whether a tenant should be released from their tenancy agreement. No legal representatives (acting in that capacity) are allowed at the Group meetings to represent the tenant. Representatives of the tenant, subject to prior notification, as detailed above are allowed.

No observers or other parties shall be present at the meeting. If the tenant does not attend the meeting, a decision will be made in the tenant’s absence.

At the Tenancy Support Group meeting:

  • All members present will be reminded to turn off any mobile phones or other electronic communications equipment that may disturb the hearing
  • At the commencement of proceedings, members of the Group will be identified to the tenant
  • The parties to the request to be released will be identified at the commencement of that agenda item     
  • Details of the request to be released will have been circulated to all Group members in attendance not less than two working days before the meeting
  • Additional paper work can only be laid on the table at the meeting with the consent of the Group.

For each request:

  • The Facilitator, or his/her nominee, will summarise the request and the documentation supplied in support of this
  • The Facilitator will then invite the tenant to make comments, within a time-frame decided upon by the Chair
  • Members of the Group will then ask any questions
  • The Facilitator will then summarise the issues for consideration by the Group

The tenant and their representatives will then be asked to leave the meeting. All deliberations are undertaken by the Group, in confidence, at the end of that hearing.

The Group, as a decision-making body, can take one of two decisions: they can

  • Release the tenant from the tenancy agreement specifying any notice period. A notice period will begin when all the requested paperwork has been received by Unipol
  • Reject the request to be released.

The decision once made is final. All decisions are given in writing not less than five working days after the meeting.