Any out of the box suggestions for the end of student fixed term tenancies?

Any out of the box suggestions for the end of student fixed term tenancies?

9:58 AM, 24th August 2022, About a month ago 41

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Hello everyone, All of us as landlords are affected in different ways by the raft of HMRC taxation and government regulation.

As a student landlord of 25 years I am struggling to understand how the end of fixed term tenancies will benefit student tenants despite listening to arguments from Shelter and NUS.

Their arguments made absolutely no sense and seem to be taking the same “holiday from reality” as our likely new prime minister.

If we assume, which we must, that the renters reform bill will be passed, does anybody have any suggestions of how to legally overcome issues of having to sign students on a permanent tenancy agreement, when we all know that they will likely want to move on in 12 months and a whole year of new students will need to find accommodation well in advance of that?

My student houses are usually signed up by November in the year before the tenancy starts, simply due to the huge demand from students which is only getting greater.

This week I am getting calls from first-year students just going through clearing who have been told that the University of York has no accommodation for them.

So if first years aren’t being accommodated, what chance do second and third years have when trying to find a home in a massively dwindling supply of houses in the PRS?

As landlords we all fully understand what has happened over the last few years and the causes of it, but try explaining this to students who are being told that all landlords are greedy and evil.

I’ve always had a fantastic relationship with my tenants and enjoy excellent reviews and recommendations, but I now feel like I am part of a broken system despite working really hard to build up a well run and well maintained portfolio of homes for hard-working students.

If anybody has any clever “out of the box” suggestions on how to overcome the end of the 12 month fixed tenancy, I’m sure others in my position would be really grateful to hear them!

Thank you.

Andy



Comments

Chris Bradley View Profile

10:13 AM, 24th August 2022, About a month ago

You will also find that students will not want to stay the full 12 months also, if exams are over by middle may, they might give notice to end early, if there is a lockdown they will end tenancies immediately.
It will become a case of advertising only when students give notice and fending of 100 applications within 24 hours of advert, or finding void periods over the summer, when students won't want to pay.

York student landlord View Profile

10:32 AM, 24th August 2022, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Chris Bradley at 24/08/2022 - 10:13Hi Chris in a house with 6 students on one AST they would all have to want to leave on the same date otherwise I believe the others would be jointly and severally liable for the whole rent. Thankfully in York tenants tend to want to stay beyond the end of their exams anyway although I appreciate this is unusual and not the case in most cities where 12 month tenancies are not the norm for students.
I was thinking perhaps that they could all sign a notice to terminate the tenancy at the same time as signing it. However if they decide to move out earlier as per your point would that then supersede the original notice? How about putting in a clause that rent would go up to say triple the original figure after 12 months, therefore making it impossible for the group to stay on - does anyone think this would be legal or a viable solution? We can of course hope that PRS student lets are exempt from the proposals but I think we all know that is unlikely!

Chris Bradley View Profile

10:44 AM, 24th August 2022, About a month ago

If the rules stay as is, one tenant on a joint tenancy giving notice to do something would apply to all the tenants, so if one tenant didn't like their house mates, the notice to quit from one would affect all, there is also new rules coming in Wales about succession where is one tenant leaves, the other tenants have a right to stay, which if the main earner leaves, could leave someone who couldn't afford the rent living in the property with no means for the landlord to end the contract unless through courts when there is significant arrears

Chris Bradley View Profile

10:47 AM, 24th August 2022, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Chris Bradley at 24/08/2022 - 10:44
Also there wouldn't be a set end date to the contract, so not sure if any rent increase would have to be served at a certain time, not written into the contract, and any rent increase can be challenged by existing tenants and go to arbitration, so a 3x increase is unlikely to pass arbitration.

The only people this would hurt is propsective student tenants who would still be looking possibly a week before they needed a place, as opposed to signing for a property 6months in advance

Gromit

10:52 AM, 24th August 2022, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by York student landlord at 24/08/2022 - 10:32
I have heard there is an obscure Law that says once a tenant serves notice then if they stay on the Landlrod can double the rent.

Helen

11:17 AM, 24th August 2022, About a month ago

Why is it that Universities are now unable to house all first year students? This hasn't been the case up until now? Are they taking on more students this year? In that case they shouldn't be doing that if they can't guarantee housing in the first year.

It is my experience (my son is a University student) that many do want to stay beyond a year in their accommodation, but some of the members will undoubtedly switch around according to their personal circumstances, so the system needs to be flexible.

It is my understanding that most student lets up until now have been a year with no break clause, to guarantee income for the landlord for the whole year and not end up with a summer void. This is why it was a problem during Covid when students went home mid way through their agreements but were not able to give notice and leave early.

TheMaluka View Profile

11:51 AM, 24th August 2022, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Gromit at 24/08/2022 - 10:52
Distress for rent act 1737, section 18. I believe that this is the only section which has not been repealed.

Mark Addison

12:03 PM, 24th August 2022, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Gromit at 24/08/2022 - 10:52Definition & Citations:
In English law. Rent payable by a tenant who continues in possession after the time for which he has given notice to quit, until the time of his quitting possession. St. 11 Geo. II. c. 19.
Copy and paste St. 11 Geo. II. c. 19.
into google search should lead come up on the search.

Yvonne Francis

12:19 PM, 24th August 2022, About a month ago

I've been a student landlord for over forty years. I'm afraid the Renters Reform Bill and the banning of AST's which allowed a fixed term is a train crash. I've been nervously waiting for this for quite a few years. Although I self manage I have tried to discuss this with agents. Agents from Chancelors seem to differ and one optimistically thought AST's would be allowed for student accommodation. Another agent from the same estate agency suggested putting students on a three year fixed tenancy with twelve month break clauses before the act comes in, and he is going to discuss this possiblty with me in September. That's full of holes: too many to explain here. College and County another local agent had simply not even thought about it!
I'm wondering if there are any student Landlords from Scotland who could tell us about their experiences.
I'm so glad, Andy, you have bought up this question. I have thought of little else for weeks and I'm beginning to cancel work I may have carried out in my properties.
It has been predicted one could up the rent to cover the void period you may have, and try and relet in the two months notice period. But that's so uncertain as during that period students may be on vacation.
The only thing to do is write to your MP. The PBSA and university accommodation will not be affected by this bill. Surely that indicates
the real problem with student accommodation and the necessity for fixed terms. This all suggests to me the government and councils want student houses out of residential areas. We are being victimised.

Gromit

12:26 PM, 24th August 2022, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Yvonne Francis at 24/08/2022 - 12:19
Government want the PBSAs' (aka big Tory donors) to dominate the student market. PERIOD.

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