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"Chaos" - trade group despairs at open-ended tenancy suggestion

Students face chaos as government plans to reform the rental market threaten to cause widespread uncertainty as to whether housing will be available at start of each academic year.

That’s the view of one of the sector’s leading trade bodies, the National Residential Landlords Association. 

Under the plans all student housing, with the exception of purpose-built blocks, will be subject to open-ended tenancies. This move means landlords and their agents are 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. 


Students looking for housing will be unable to plan in advance where they want to live and with whom they want to live.

New data from the NRLA reveals that 84 per cent of landlords renting to students are concerned about the government’s plans.

One landlord told the NRLA: “I let solely to students. The end of fixed term Assured Shorthold Tenancies will bring chaos. We will have no guarantee that existing tenants will leave and therefore won’t be able to let properties in advance.”

According to official data, over a half (53 per cent) of students in the UK in rental properties do not live in halls of residence or other university provided accommodation

With the Government having made clear that private purpose-built student accommodation will be exempt from plans to make every tenancy open ended, the NRLA has called for the same to be applied to all types of student housing at a roundtable meeting with the Minister.

Under the NRLA’s proposals student landlords would be able to repossess a property with two months’ notice where it is required for new students each year. To provide protections, the earliest such notice could be served to sitting tenants would be in the last two months of a tenancy agreement, or at the 10th month of a 12-month fixed term.

Ben Beadle, the NRLA chief executive, says: “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.

“Without changes the government risk causing chaos, confusion and anxiety for students unable to plan where they live for the start of each academic year.”


Letting Agent Today returns on Wednesday December 28, and wishes all readers and their families a fabulous Christmas and a well-deserved break!

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    Just focusing on student lets is plain stupid. Ending fixed tenancies in general is going to cause a huge homelessness problem.

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    The case against periodic student tenancies is well stated and overwhelming.

    The government must now explain to students and Landlords how they plan to make periodic tenancies work, and describe what real (as distinct from imaginary)problems they are trying to solve.

    If they can’t then they should urgently consult with those with experience ie students, universities, councils, agents and Landlords to put in place something that is sensible and workable.

    Failing this the more sinister conclusion is that the proposal to exempt PBSA’s confirms their own view that periodic tenancies are unworkable. It follows that The governments real agenda is to clear out the PRS creating a PBSA monopoly. Apart other important considerations, the government must explain to all how students can be accommodated over the next few years.

    It must be hoped that Felicity Buchan is really in listening or explaining mode….
    we are all ears.


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