Section 24 and Student DebtMake Text Bigger
As we all know, student finances and debt are hugely sensitive subjects for all politicians at the moment. One of Corbyn’s key platforms has been student fees and the resultant debt that comes with them. The Conservatives have also had a pop in this space in the last week with a pathetic pitch to “limit” the exposure of students to debt in the future (a drop in the ocean if you ask me).
As a student landlord, Section 24 has forced me to increase my rents to all my student tenants, and I know most of the other local landlords are doing likewise. I am currently about 2/3 of the cost of the Corporate (aka student pod) landlords, so I have plenty of headroom to increase rents in line with the additional costs imposed on me by the Government.
It got me thinking about the additional debt that our students will be incurring as a direct result of Section 24, loss of wear and tear allowance, impending licensing costs etc.
The following is a back of fag packet calculation, and I know will vary from city to city, but I suspect that I’m not a million miles away. There are 2.3 million students currently in full time education. Assume all first year students go into student pods, that means that the remaining Year 2 and Year 3 are housed in the PRS – say 1.5 million to keep it simple. Using my own rental increases as a benchmark, my tenants will be paying an additional £1000-1200 per annum by 2020. Extrapolated across the whole sector, that’s £1.5–1.8 BILLION of ADDITIONAL student debt being incurred EACH YEAR as a direct result of Section 24, loss of wear and tear relief, licensing etc.
I shall be pointing out as much to my MP in my next email to him. Any P118 members out there that do social media (I don’t even use Facebook!), a post in the various rent protest pages may help stimulate debate within the student community.
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