The Government has urged landlords to consider whether they’re treating student tenants fairly by continuing to charge them for empty accommodation.

It’s a change to the previous stance adopted back in April, when Housing Minister Chris Pincher reassured landlords it wouldn’t take sides orforce them to waive rents for students, despite a vociferous campaign by the National Union of Students (NUS).

In a written question, Fabian Hamilton, Foreign and Commonwealth Shadow Minister asked the Secretary of State for Education what guidance the Government is giving student landlords about collecting rent on unoccupied accommodation.

Education Minister Michelle Donelan said: “While it is for universities and private accommodation providers to make their own decisions about charging rents to absent students, we encourage them to consider the fairness of doing so and to clearly communicate their policies to students.

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Waive rents

“We are aware that a number of universities and large companies have waived rents for the summer term or released students early from their contracts.”

She added that tenants with individual private landlords could discuss the possibility of an early release from their lease and encouraged them to seek support firstly from the landlord.

Donelan reiterated that they should work together to put a rent payment scheme in place.

Students have lobbied both university and private landlords to release them from their tenancies and waive rents for the summer term.

The NUS has previously demanded that every landlord should offer students a no-penalty early release from tenancy contracts for the current and next academic year. Around the country, hundreds of university students have signed up to a rent strike.

The NUS says that while it’s good to see landlords being encouraged to consider fairness, there are still many thousands of students tied into contracts with unreasonable cancellation clauses struggling to pay rents for homes they can’t live in.

Eva Crossan Jory, NUS vice president, tells LandlordZONE: “We’re calling for firmer restrictions on landlords regarding current rental contracts as well as rental contracts for September onwards. We fully support the emergency Covid legislation passed by the Scottish Parliament allowing students to cancel halls of residence contracts with seven days’ notice and  a 28 day notice period for other types of accommodation contracts – this should be extended across all UK nations.”

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9 COMMENTS

  1. Yes it’s unfair ordinary tenants can have a rent holiday -again we are Pinching off the next generation when they decide the old are worthless -like the current Govt considered care homes should be surprised

  2. Really nice as l landlord l can cancel the contracts if the mortgage company wave their payment as well l have got better idea we should be abolish moneys as well free food clothing cinemas it would be really good 😡😡😡😡

  3. Great, so I still have to pay for the services I provide, Heating, electricity, wifi, cleaners, all the assorted certificates that still need to be done, maintenance, mortgage payments, and on top of that the council tax comes back into my name! And people can just walk away having signed up before Christmas so as to take my accommodation off the market. Yeah, thanks Michelle, well thought through.

  4. Why should Landlords be left out of pocket. If we are expected to take the hit then two things are going to happen, many landlords will pull out of the student let market, and those remaining will drive rents up to recover losses. What is the point of going to all the expense of signing contracts if people can walk away without consequence.

  5. If the students still get their loans, then they should pay their rents. Otherwise they will by profiting from the situation while landlords cannot meet their financial obligations, and could potentially, like myself. starve. Apart from a miserable basic state pension, this is my only form of income.

  6. After relentless Landlord bashing for the last five years, an avalanche of legislation (some of it not worth the paper its written on), new and ever more interesting methods of screwing cash out of landlords as we are now their cash machine of choice, this dopey woman expects landlords to surrender payments to which they are legally entitled, Michele is obviously another lefty masquerading as a Tory, you really couldn’t make this nonsense up any more.

  7. If a bump in the road means u leave the student markets then leave air bnb obviously and also short hold too they are less lucrative CABE here lve lost thousands already . Don’t be so l

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