0:04 AM, 21st December 2022, About 10 months ago 3
Government plans to reform the student rental market will lead to chaos and confusion because students won’t know if there will be any housing available for them.
The warning comes from the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) which says that widespread uncertainty will occur at the start of each academic year.
The organisation says that 84% of student landlords are concerned about the plans.
Currently, the government’s proposals will see student housing from assured shorthold tenancies (ASTs) to fixed term tenancies.
That is except for purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) which will still be subject to open-ended tenancies.
But landlords will be unable to guarantee that student accommodation will be available when the academic year starts – unless the current occupants hand in their notice.
That means students looking for somewhere to rent will be unable to plan where they want to live and who they want to live with.
One landlord told the NRLA: “I let solely to students. The end of fixed term Assured Shorthold Tenancies will bring chaos. We will have no guarantee that existing tenants will leave and therefore won’t be able to let properties in advance.”
According to the NRLA’s research, more than half (53%) of students in the UK in rental properties do not live in halls of residence or other university-provided accommodation
With the Government making clear that PBSA will be exempt from plans to make every tenancy open ended, the NRLA has called for the same to be applied to all types of student housing at a roundtable meeting with the Minister.
Under the NRLA’s proposals, student landlords would be able to repossess a property with two months’ notice where it is required for new students each year.
To provide protections, the earliest such notice could be served to sitting tenants would be in the last two months of a tenancy agreement, or at the 10th month of a 12-month fixed term.
The NRLA’s chief executive, Ben Beadle, said: “The student housing market works unlike any other, operating from one academic year to the next.
“It is common sense that landlords should have certainty that accommodation can be made available for new students each year, as has already been reflected for the Purpose-Built Student Accommodation sector.”
He added: “Without changes, the Government risk causing chaos, confusion and anxiety for students unable to plan where they live for the start of each academic year.”