The government has been urged to exempt all student housing from its plans for open-ended tenancies or risk making it harder for students to enter higher education.
Groups representing universities and student accommodation providers – along with the NRLA – have written to Housing Minister Felicity Buchan (pictured) explaining that a shortage of this accommodation has already led some academic institutions to call for a limit to be placed on student intakes for as long as the next five years.
It warns: “The proposed introduction of open-ended tenancies and inevitable reduction in housing supply is therefore likely to further constrain the expansion of the education sector, to the detriment of prospective students and wider society.”
The government’s White Paper on rental reform proposes that all student housing, except for purpose-built blocks, would be subject to open-ended tenancies, meaning landlords would be unable to guarantee that accommodation will be available for the start of each academic year, unless sitting tenants have handed in their notice to leave. As a result, students couldn’t plan where they want to live and with whom.
Disadvantaged “Reduced supply and rising costs in the private rented sector are increasingly likely to preclude economically disadvantaged students from living on or near campus,” add the groups.
They argue that where a landlord rents their property to a group of students, a fixed term tenancy agreement should be permissible, and call for measures to allow student landlords to give two months’ notice to repossess a property when it is needed for incoming students.
To provide these students protection, they suggest that such notice should only be given during the final two months of a tenancy agreement.
Read more about the campaign to persuade ministers of rental reforms and the student sector.
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