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The Union of Students in Ireland has said that May is too late to start providing refunds to students who have already been out of their accommodation for over a month.

Student accommodation operator, Aparto, has offered to refund students for rent paid for the period after May 2, despite many having to leave when colleges closed in early March.

USI President, Lorna Fitzpatrick said the refunds should be backdated to when the students had to leave the accommodation due to the unprecedented actions taken to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.

Aparto has also stated it will charge students a €50 cleaning fee. On this, Lorna said: “It’s extremely disappointing to see such a fee imposed on students, given the circumstances that led to them having to leave.”

Students had to leave accommodation for many difficult reasons, such as to self-isolate, care for vulnerable family members or to return home to countries that closed their borders.

Lorna said: “This offer shows that Aparto recognises that giving a refund is the right thing to do, but only offering it for rent paid for after May is clearly not good enough. They need to backdate the refund to when these students had to leave.”

Please sign the USI petition calling on the operators of private student accommodation to #RefundTheRent here.

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