13 May 24

The National Union of Students claims the government has “folded to landlord’s lobbying” and watering down the Renters Reform Bill so that it will no longer include student renters.

It claims that “from the get-go landlords who let properties to students lobbied to have them excluded from the protections offered to other tenants” but that as the Bill progressed through the House of Commons “we became aware of a continuing, and concerted campaign, to force the government to create an unprecedented two-tier rental market.”

An amendment to the Bill, inserted at the Third Reading in the Commons, provided a new eviction clause giving student landlords the unique right to remove student tenants from properties who refuse to leave after their academic year has finished.

Although a technical move because the vast majority of students usually plan their accommodation well ahead, it will give student landlords certainty given the unusual nature of their properties and tenancies.

But  NUS UK vice president for higher education Chloe Field is unhappy, saying:  “The student housing market is broken, as is our higher education system. This government has offered students nothing, other than the occasional top up to hardship funds. 

“While that’s better than zero, with a cost-of-living crisis, spiralling rents and soaring bills affecting students across the country, it’s a sticking plaster at best. 

“The Renters’ Reform Bill was the one concrete thing the Government had to offer us. It promised long needed reforms which would lead to securer tenancies and a market much more in tune with student tenant needs. 

“To have the Government throw this away and ensure that landlords continue to have all the power is unforgiveable. Students will be free to make their views heard on the Government’s caving to Tory landlords clear at the ballot box come the election. And make no mistake: We will.”   

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