Students renting from a UK-wide university accommodation company are being held liable for hefty fees despite the coronavirus outbreak.
The Student Roost, which has 20 locations across the country including four facilities in Belfast, is charging students for their digs up until April 30 despite course cancellations and campus closures.
Queen's and Ulster Universities both announced last week that students would be allowed to cancel their contracts almost immediately and without penalty due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, Student Roost is only allowing cancellations from May 1 provided rent is paid in full for April, meaning students could be forced to pay hundreds of pounds in rent for empty rooms.
A spokesperson for Student Roost said: "These are incredibly challenging times and we are doing everything we can to support our residents. Although our properties remain open and our residents remain enrolled with their university, we do understand why many of our students have chosen to move out of their accommodation to study online in their family home.
"As these are unprecedented circumstances, we have made an exception to our normal cancellation policy to support our residents. We will be cancelling residents' payments from May 1 if they plan to move out, or have already moved out, of their student accommodation. If students contact us to take up this offer, we will not charge them any rent from May 1 onwards.
"We'd recommend that any students who are affected contact us directly so that we can discuss this with them further."
Last week both UU and QUB closed their campuses to all but a handful of key employees. Queen's had previously announced it would allow students in university accommodation to cancel their contracts from March 27 without any financial penalty with Ulster University following suit from April 3.
Both institutions also urged students experiencing financial hardship to access their respective student hardship funds.