A new rent reform proposed by the government is causing concern amongst students and landlords alike. The plan, supposedly being implemented this year, will make it harder for students to organise their accommodation with plenty of notice. Already, landlord associations are opposing the reform.
Both students and landlords are concerned that a change to renting rules in the UK will reduce available student housing. The plan, set to come into action in 2023, will mean that landlords and prospective tenants won’t be able to let in advance of their agreement. This means planning for student accommodation or tenancies will become a difficult task.
What Is The New Rent Reform?
The Renters Reform Bill will affect those who privately rent. It has hopes that the standard of homes will improve and more people will be able to access them.
Landlords will no longer be able to evict tenants without good reason and bans on renting to families or those with pets will also be outlawed.
What’s causing concern with the bill is that the Government are bringing in ‘open-ended tenancies’, meaning the tenancy will not necessarily be after 12 months. The move was to help ease worry about eviction or tenancy terminations, as now tenancies can only end if a reason defined by law, is provided.
How Does The New Rent Rules Affect Student Housing?
The rent reform means landlords cannot terminate a tenancy without good reason. So, they are unable to guarantee that accommodation will be available at the start of each academic year.
Only purpose-built student accommodation is exempt from the new reform. That means that those in university halls or studio flats or accommodation provided by external student housing companies will see no changes to their tenancies. The issue is for those who privately rent student housing.
The only way landlords can know if tenancies will be ending is if the current tenant hands in their notice.
According to the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA), 53 per cent of students rent privately, meaning a huge portion will be affected by the rent reform.
The bill is fine for tenants who plan to stay in their student housing for the foreseeable. However, prospective students looking for accommodation in the next academic year cannot plan where they will live and who with. Although the reform is attempting to make it easier for renters, in all actuality it’s reducing student housing opportunities.
Looking at landlords, 84 per cent who rent solely to students are concerned about the Renters Reform Bill.
Landlords Propose Changes To The Renters Reform Bill
To help battle concern, the NRLA has proposed changes. They say that student landlords should be able to repossess a property after giving 2 months’ notice to tenants.
The Chief of the association said that the student housing market is different to others. The same rules cannot be applied to it:
“The student housing market works unlike any other, operating from one academic year to the next. It is common sense that landlords should have certainty that accommodation can be made available for new students each year, as has already been reflected for the Purpose-Built Student Accommodation sector.”
As of yet, no changes or considerations have been made to the new rent reform.