Coronavirus is having a major impact on everyone’s life. Also on that of the students, who saw themselves. close universities from March 4, even before the lockdown that took place between March 8 and 9, and weighed down by a series of subsequent measures in effect since Sunday, March 22, which brought further tightening and shutdown of production activities deemed unnecessary.
What to do if you are a college student at the time of Coronavirus? Le distance learning manage to cover only part of the children’s study needs, as well as the teleconference graduation sessions are a temporary lifeboat; however, scary are the tuition fees to be paid and the possibility of losing scholarships.
But an even bigger question mark weighs like a boulder on the heads of off-site students, who find themselves forced to experience a paradoxical situation: to cope with the COVID19 emergency, they have returned to their place of residence, leaving their rented houses empty. However, the landlords demand regular monthly payments, and at the same time you continue to receive electricity, water, gas and Tari bills.
How should this issue be addressed? In this doomsday scenario, from a contractual point of view, rent is absolutely due(here is all our information on leases), which further complicates matters, considering that at a time like this, work is at a standstill, and even parents may not be working and therefore not earning.
The government’s move
The government moved with the Cure Italy decree, DL 18/2020 published in the Official Gazette on March 17, 2020, aimed at supporting the economic impact of the epidemic crisis by allocating 25 billion euros for families and businesses. It is divided into 4 sections, devoted to health and civil defense, workers and businesses, household and business liquidity, and taxation, respectively.
But reading the decree point by point does not reveal any measures and provisions designed for students, who find themselves in a situation of obvious hardship, forced to pay the hefty rent and utility bills for a house that, who knows how much longer, they will not be able to use.
The proposal? Coming from Catanzaro
To try to do something about it, some students at the Magna Grecia University of Catanzaro have been mobilize to launch a petition on change.org and ask the Presidency of the Council of Ministers for the suspension of rent payment for out-of-state students Who have returned to their regions of residence. At the time of writing this article (March 25) the petition, which can be reached at this address, has reached 58 thousand signatures, but it is a safe bet that it will receive many more in the coming days.
The initiative was launched by Emanuele Scigliano, Michele Caruso, and Damiano Carchedi, and calls for the immediate suspension of rents for the duration of the Covid-19 emergency. The problem is far-reaching, as the regions with the highest number of out-of-state students are Lombardy, Emilia Romagna and Lazio, which are precisely the regions where the virus has hit hardest. But Catanzaro, from which the initiative originated, is also a university that receives many students from both the other provinces of Calabria and the rest of Italy.
The rent stop may soon become a reality, as the petition is very close to reaching 75,000 signatories. Once a sufficient number of signatures have been obtained, the petition will be submitted “upstairs.” As for the rest of the expenses incurred by an out-of-state college student, unfortunately, we are still in high gear. There is talk of creating and then signing more petitions, but there is no certainty yet. So we await developments, which we will report in future articles.
Our reflection on the petition
However, we want to add an important thought that we have been reflecting on these days with our community (on our facebook groups). It is right to come to the aid of students, but it is equally right to give a hand to landlords who would find themselves without an important income.
That is why we believe it is important to take action on this issue and help both those who have to pay rent (which they will not use) and those who have an apartment (perhaps taken with a mortgage) for which they may not have rent. In short, the situation is very delicate and the step should be taken in a balanced way on both sides.
We always remind ourselves that in these times, we are in the same boat, we have to help each other and strive to be a little less selfish, we have to be different from what society has pushed us to be a these years of ‘tranquility’.
Online signatures on the petition are approaching 72,000, but the positive note is that two regions, Umbria and Tuscany are already moving in the right direction, and we hope that as soon as possible all other regions will follow suit.
The online petition has a new goal, 150,000 signatures, and we are currently at 77,400. Regarding state or municipal aid, there have been no relevant updates yet, but we decided to provide some legal clarity in this article in collaboration with the experts at Certified Rent.
Hoping to get out of phase 1 soon and enter phase 2, we are still at a total stalemate on the issue of student rents.
The online petition has reached nearly 80,000 signatures, and there are several initiatives in support throughout Italy. We are confident that the government will respond positively, with aid to both renters and those who have to pay rent.
[FASE 2 – 4/5]
Finally phase 2 has begun, we can go out, play sports away from home, but retail stores are not open.
From the perspective of rents and coronavirus (COVID19), unfortunately, there have been no updates. The hunch is that no specific aid will come, but there will only be tax relief, yet to be determined.
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