31 Aug 23
With student accommodation in the headlines ahead of the stat of the new academic year, the National Residential Landlords Association is warning this sector may be particularly badly hit by the Renters Reform Bill.
The trade body says the removal of fixed term tenancies will force student landlords to enter into open-ended tenancies, where the landlord has no certainty of when a tenant may leave.
The NRLA, in a blog on its website, says: “Adding to this uncertainty is the impeding repeal of Section 21, which currently empowers landlords to serve notice to vacate to tenants. Without this mechanism, students and student landlords face an unsettling reality: the inability to ensure property availability for incoming student tenants each academic year. These proposed reforms threaten to destabilise the well-established model of student housing.”
The association instead wants a series of proposals which it has discussed with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.
These include a mandatory ground for possession, which would provide landlords with a legal basis to regain possession of their properties when needed, and a moratorium on tenants serving notice to provide some certainty for landlords and tenants alike. The moratorium period would guarantee a minimum length of tenancy while keeping things flexible for tenants.
The NRLA says it’s also working with student landlords and higher education organisations to gain sector-wide support, and it cites one student housing landlord – Neil Young, chairman of We Are Kin – who says: “Students want certainty that there will be a house available for them when they need it, at the start of the academic year. Without a mandatory ground for possession alongside a moratorium on tenants serving notice, the risks will simply be too high. The result would likely be student landlords leaving the student housing market, to the obvious detriment of students and the higher education sector as a whole.”
You can see the whole article here and the association’s invitation for feedback from landlords with experience of student accommodation.
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