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'Fixed term tenancies MUST be preserved within reform bill for students lets'

student landlords signboard|tom walkler sturents renters reform bill

A proposed ban on fixed-term tenancies could penalise students amid an already heightened rental crisis in many cities.

According to student rentals platform StuRents, if the Renters (Reform) Bill fails to preserve fixed term tenancies for students, property managers could find their student HMO portfolio slipping out of kilter with the underlying academic cycle, reducing choice for students and increasing the number of vacant properties at a time when many cities are suffering a severe shortage of affordable accommodation.

The current situation helps align the dates from which all properties can be marketed for the next academic year, says StuRents.

Property managers know months in advance when properties will be vacated, meaning all accommodation is made available on property portals around the same time, facilitating a mass clearing process that rewards good quality properties with excess enquiries and provides students with an abundance of choice.

Many landlords have already voiced fears that students will pay higher rents as landlords exit the sector. Under the proposals, students will be able to give two months' notice at any time, making it difficult to find a replacement and putting pressure on those who might have to find a new housemate or pay more rent to compensate for the empty room.


tom walkler sturents renters reform bill

If these landlords exit the student market, their properties will probably be acquired by institutional investors so there shouldn't be any contraction in supply, Tom Walker, (pictured) co-founder at StuRents, tells LandlordZONE.

'Some cities have an excess supply of student beds as a whole, but a shortage of affordable properties typically rented by domestic students, so identifying supply shortages is never as clear-cut as it seems,'� he adds.

'That said, cities like Manchester, Bath and Bristol that suffer from a shortage of affordable student accommodation will likely see problems exacerbated.'�

Michael gove

These points made by StuRents and other voices within the student lettings market appear to be cutting through in Whitehall - today a national newspaper reported rumours that housing secretary Michael Gove (pictured) is considering modifications to the Renters (Reform) Act that will exclude some student landlords from the looming legislaiton.

Read: ultimate guide to student property.


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