My letter template for students leaving?

by Readers Question

11:13 AM, 24th March 2020
About 8 months ago

My letter template for students leaving?

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My letter template for students leaving?

I have started to receive emails from students advising that they have now left the property and went back home to their parents which is fair enough given the universities are shut till September.

However, they are unsure why they still have to pay, but I have explained that although we have been offered a mortgage holiday we are still liable!

I responded with the letter below and would be keen to hear your thoughts

Hi XXXXXX

Thanks for your email and hope you are also keeping safe. It’s a very testing time for us all.

Unfortunately we are still liable for the monthly mortgage payments therefore will still be legally responsible for the third term.

However there may be an option to pay this over an extended period of time. I believe the government will continue to pay student loans as normal in April but we fully appreciate for many students , their income may be supplemented with part time work which is now longer an option. If you could let me know your position that would be appreciated

I hope that sheds some light on the situation and look forward to hearing from you.

Regards for now
Ross


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Comments

Martin Thomas

12:35 PM, 24th March 2020
About 8 months ago

It's a good letter but I would add the following;
- the tenancy is for a fixed term (12 months in my case) so they can't simply walk away. [not 100% sure about this but that's what I'll be saying anyway - advice welcomed]
- the mortgage payments are only being deferred, they remain payable.
- as you say, one assumes the student loan arrangements should still be in place so they should have the means to pay the rent as they had originally planned, especially now their other living costs, such as food, broadband, etc are being funded by Mum and Dad and they won't be going out for a while.
The only group that has contacted me so far asking for a rent cancellation/reduction is a group from Romania. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!! Their rent is due a quarter in advance on 1 April so we'll see then!!

GK

0:02 AM, 27th March 2020
About 8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Martin Thomas at 24/03/2020 - 12:35
I assume that you are having to cover other bills as well - broadband, water, gas, electric?
And what would happen to Council Tax once students are at home and the house is empty?

Martin Thomas

10:56 AM, 27th March 2020
About 8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by GK at 27/03/2020 - 00:02
Students pay for all their utilities in the contract.
Council tax - it doesn't matter if they aren't physically present in the property. If the tenancy is for a fixed period, then they are still the 'occupier' just like when they go off for the Christmas or Easter break.

Jon Williams

9:52 AM, 28th March 2020
About 8 months ago

Like you guys I'm waiting to see what happens on 01st April when the next rents are due. I agree with the position that theses are 12 month ASTs and since there is no force majeure clause in the (my) contract the liability and rent is binding. As I understand it UK students will still receive their loans and although this may not entirely cover Accommodating/Living costs their outgoings are now far less as they're likely to be at home with Mum & Dad. I think we as an industry have to stand firm since Income from property rental is not classed as self-employment (if you're fortunate enough to have a Ltd Co set up and take a wage you may be covered). I just can't see the Gov't helping Landlords, other than the offer of mortgage payment holidays. However I hear that many lenders are saying that doesn't apply to HMO B2Lets! I'm interested to hear from subscribers what they think the legal position is....I'm probably more worried about the upcoming tenancies from 01 Sep should this pandemic go on for months. Will Universities close for a year if it's not safe to open?

Paul Shears

11:03 AM, 28th March 2020
About 8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Jon Williams at 28/03/2020 - 09:52As has been mentioned elsewhere, there are HMO landlords with no other income, who may have no debt but are in the position that if the tenants leave, they then become liable for the council tax etc. Or maybe only one tenant remains and is self isolating. An example amongst truly countless others of our social structure's ever shorter term attitude.
There may well be a change of behaviour that comes out of this entirely predictable mess.


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