Advice for students wanting to leave their accommodation early

Advice for students wanting to leave their accommodation early

8:45 AM, 29th September 2020, About 3 years ago 3

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Citizens Advice has issued the following advice if you are a student in privately rented accommodation who wants to move out and end your tenancy. What are your rights?

Generally, you are liable for any rent due until the end of your fixed term (and any guarantor may be pursued if you don’t pay).

Some tenancy agreements contain a break clause. But this would be unusual in a student tenancy agreement where the letting is intended to be for an academic year, and the landlord is only likely to be able to re-let it for the following academic year.

If you share accommodation with other people, then unless you each have a separate agreement, you are likely to be jointly and separately liable for rent.

This means that the landlord can pursue any of the tenants (or their guarantor) for any rent due under the joint agreement, regardless of which tenant failed to pay their share.

That said, it’s still worth trying to negotiate with your landlord, and they may agree to release you from the tenancy early, or to waive or reduce rent if you are not living in the accommodation.

Senior Housing Expert Amy Hughes says:

“It must be very frustrating for students that the academic year hasn’t started in the way they would have hoped. Unfortunately, there’s not much good news for students who decide to change households for the medium to long-term, by returning to their family home for example. It’s likely that in many cases they will be tied into their accommodation agreements and not entitled to any refund.

“It’s always worth getting in touch with your landlord and trying to negotiate, but realistically, if there is no obligation for them to release you from the contract, they may well be unwilling to do so.

“Where the landlord is the university, they may be more sympathetic to a short-term reduction in rent, or ending a contract early, if there is no longer any reason for you to remain in halls.

“However, it is early in the academic year, and it may be difficult to find alternative halls of residence accommodation if a student gives up their place, but later wishes to return.”

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9:15 AM, 29th September 2020, About 3 years ago

Does force majeure play any part, failing a reasonable solution?
It seems government can put in place all sorts of regulations etc without any consideration of liability or payment for the knock-ons?

Chris Bradley

9:26 AM, 29th September 2020, About 3 years ago

I have one student property, which is my pension income as thta is where I choose to investy pension. Having been retired early. The property is of high standard and in the past students have stayed for 4years. During the first lockdown I was able to offer a discount as I knew they were coming back. However, I did not account for increases in insurance (unoccupied v occupied), house check frequency requirements of insurance and gardening/maintenance costs while unoccupied. If my students are forced to leave by university again, I cannot sustain a further reduction and my only course would be to sell. If other landlords are in similar positions there simply won't be the rental stock for when normal univeristy activities resume--if it ever does that is.

Jireh Homes

9:30 AM, 29th September 2020, About 3 years ago

In Scotland the situation is potentially worse as the TT may simply give 28 days notice to leave, there no longer being any fixed term in the Private Rented Sector.. This concept is that being proposed for the PRS south of the border, although at time time no one envisaged the effect of COVID-19.

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