0:01 AM, 19th September 2023, About 2 weeks ago 10
As Freshers week begins for thousands of students, one association is warning of the effects the Renters Reform Bill will have on the student rental market.
York’s Residential Landlord Association (YRLA) warns that there are massive shortages in the student accommodation sector.
According to the association, in York, purpose-built student accommodation only accommodates 30-35% of students while the PRS houses more than 50%.
The YRLA says it is unfair that purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) will still be able to grant fixed-term tenancies.
In a statement, the association said: “The Bill creates a purposefully uneven playing field. The PBSA sector who have signed up to the Unipol Code of Practice will be permitted to exempt themselves from the Bill and grant fixed-term tenancies.
“PRS landlords, even those signed up to the Unipol code, will not. There is no justifiable reason for this approach. There is no evidence of lesser quality or standards in the student PRS as compared to PBSA.”
The group argues that landlords in the PRS could sign up for a similar code.
“Ultimately, it is likely to be students who will suffer as they will be confused by the difference between accommodation in PBSA which will be for a fixed term with no notice requirement and accommodation in the PRS which will require them to give two months’ notice, or they will continue to be liable for the rent.”
The group warns that landlords will not be able to guarantee student accommodation for the next academic year which leaves thousands of students in limbo looking for places to live.
The YLA said: “The loss of fixed term tenancies in the Bill will effectively destroy the current arrangement between students and PRS landlords.
“As the Bill stands, landlords will have no certainty that students are going to leave on any specific date unless those students have given two months’ notice of their intention to do so.”
The YLA added: “This is a stressful time for students when they will be preparing for or taking part in exams. What seems like a simple administrative activity will therefore not take place as intended as this will not be a priority for outgoing students heading towards exams.
“Without that certainty, landlords will be unable to accede to student’s desires to enter into a tenancy. Indeed, they are unlikely to be in a position to do so until April in each year at the earliest, assuming notice is received from the outgoing students.
“Similarly, incoming students will be busy with exams of their own and expecting them to identify and enter into a tenancy for a rental property, often for the first time, alongside these pressures is unrealistic and unfair.”
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