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Many youngsters forced ‘to pay rent for unused flats’

Around 1.9 million people in this country are paying rent on accomodation they are not using, new research suggests, 

The study by personal finance comparison website finder.com shows that many people, especially youngsters, have been forced to move back home with their parents during the Covid-19 pandemic, but this has had financial implications for many people. 

Almost one in five - 18% - of those who have moved back in with their parents, have continued to pay rent for property that they are contractually responsible for, but no longer using. 


With the average cost of rent being £886 per month and lockdown spanning three months this could have cost young renters £2,658 so far. Overall, this equivalent to a total of £4.9bn being spent in rent for accommodation that tenants are not using.

However, not all renters who have now moved back in with their parents have carried on paying rent. The second most popular option for people who have moved home was to not renew their tenancy (13%) and a further 12% have managed to cancel their tenancy altogether.

Through negotiations with their landlord, 10% have managed to reduce their rent and 7% have opted to take a rent holiday. 

Matthew Boyle, mortgage specialist at finder.com, said: “It’s unsurprising that the Covid-19 pandemic has caused younger generations to move back in with parents but most have continued to pay rent for unused flats, which will no doubt be very frustrating.

“The government has asked for landlords to be understanding towards tenants during these times.”

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    • 22 June 2020 09:37 AM

    Contract is a contract.
    Pay up or else!
    Not the fault of the LL.
    They provided the property and have a contract to pay for it.

    When the contract ends there is NO requirement for it to be renewed.
    That is the risk that all LL have to take.

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    • 22 June 2020 09:55 AM

    Quite right Paul.
    Well said.

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    Yes indeed - a contract is a contract. But a contract with unfair terms cannot be enforced if a judge or magistrate agrees they are unfair. And surely if a university completely closes down and locks up for months, so there is not point in students living in their student accommodation, there should be some clause in the contracts to offer a solution that is fair to both landlord and tenant. Otherwise it's just unfair to the student who took the accommodation on the very reasonable assumption that the university would not suddenly completely close down in the middle of an academic year. A reasonable assumption, I think. A contract is indeed a contract - if the terms are fair and reasonable.


    Admittedly, this is a reasonable compromise for both parties, but as already stated there is a contract and the contract is not dependent on whether the universities are open or not. I've argued for years that student lets should be handled differently than the normal PRS, because they have always been informally handled differently.

    What might be more fair is if the universities close halfway through, that they provide compensation to the students for any loss they have suffered. This is better for two reasons; 1. the universities will get government financing a lot more easily than private landlords and can write off the costs and 2. Any money that comes out of the universities rather than being invested in what are increasingly becoming socialist brainwashing camps is good news. I graduated two years ago, and if I ever hear another word about Marcuse, Foucault, Benjamin, Horkheimer or Adorno, I will lose my mind.


    no unfair terms in ast contract


    Someone has to suffer an unexpected and undeserved loss in these circumstances. Why is it always the assumption that the tenant is more deserving of sympathy,flexibility and understanding than the landlord? The tenant's maximum exposure is the rent due until the end of the contract. The landlord could be exposed to bankruptcy, especially if he has multiple properties and multiple tenants reneging on their contractual obligations. The tenants should have solvent guarantors to help them out. The landlord will normally have only lenders or bankers who have shareholders' interests to protect as their primary responsibility.


    The universities broke their contract with the students so it follows that the students have a claim against them for all loses uncured, which must include rent, I have not rented to students since the 90s, they and their middle class snub parents aren't worth the bother

    • 28 June 2020 11:45 AM

    Extrapolating things based on how you believe things would work would mean any tenant who for whatever reason no longer needed a property should ve allowed to get out of that contract.

    That would make an AST pointless!
    Rather any AST contract based on your contentions would mean any tenant could immediately surrender any tenancy anytime they liked.

    Clearly a ludirous idea.
    As it is most LL have a minimum 6 month AST contract proceeding onto a SPT or occasionally a CPT.
    This means the maximum a tenant would need to stay to avoid breaking a contract would be 6 months.
    Any tenant could come up with any number of excuses as to why they needed to terminate early.
    There is no excuse for students not to pay their rent for the full contractual term.

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    What prat wrote the above article ?
    A 'youngster' is a child.
    A Tenancy agreement which is a legal contract isn't given to 'children ( aka 'youngsters' ) but to Adults.
    Contracts are legally binding on BOTH parties, not whichever party doesn't want to honour them.
    Talking about, youngsters, honour and responsibility, or rather we SHOULD be talking about this, said Tenants are studying to be this countries future professionals Doctors, Solicitors etc etc. What kind of standards are we encouraging them to adopt ( Politicians, by the look of it ! )

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    • 22 June 2020 11:01 AM

    Why and how can it be the fault of the Landlord if there is an unforeseen Pandemic, or a national lockdown?
    Also, how come Landlords are ALWAYS the ones who have to pickup the costs?
    A contract is a two way deal. No question.

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    well said mr crisp

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    if my properties are empty will mortgagors let me off payment?

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    • 22 June 2020 11:38 AM

    Of course not. So why do LLs have to pay? And tenants get it free.....???

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    Wait to the Labour party hear of this !

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    Isn't this like renting a car on holiday for a week, and when you hand it back saying, well actually we didn't use it for 3 days it was in the car park, so I want 3 days rent back.....

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    Another one sided blog so you say 1.9m people are paying for accommodation they are not using and I don't believe you ?.
    Maybe it should read 1.9m people using accommodation that they are not paying for & I have plenty of those owing me many thousands serious money. I have to pay for everything in relation to all the property including HMO licensing, Insurance, finance and a whole raft of Regulations.

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    • 22 June 2020 19:27 PM

    Just put the prices up to pay for the extras.
    There will always be someone willing to pay for your product.

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    The last sentence '' the government has asked for landlords to be understanding towards tenants during these times'', hows about the government being understand towards landlords during these times ?? or are we on that old one way street again.

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    I know some of my Tenants went home because of Corona. However their belongings still occupied the property & I am not allowed to touch anyway, some paid some money while others didn't and like a mug I paid C/tax on some even Broad Band on others because of the tenants position they Companies wouldn't give it to them I was supposed to get reimbursed but that's not happening either. I suppose it doesn't matter what they do anymore they have finished London off, 20 mph is enough to crash any Town how would you ever get anywhere, Emissions Charge £12.50 pd, + Congestion Charge £15.00 pd 7 days a week + outrageous Parking Charges, so they want us to cycle or walk is this for leisure it certainly not for working unless you are a button presser like the Digital Academics making the rules for us, if you are going to do a job of work what can you bring on the Bicycle for god sake morans.


    If their belongings are still there they have not vacated, rent still due, money claim on line.

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    Some students made a personal choice to leave their accommodation at the end of March due to Covid 19. Unlike many universities private landlords did not advice students to go home. The Government has continued to pay students their maintenance loan to cover their living costs. The loans have not been cut even if students have moved home and most students have not had their ability to pay rent impacted by Covid 19. Some might say their living costs have been cut if they have moved home. Travel restriction and the closure of pubs, restaurants and night clubs will also have had a positive impact on their finances.
    Universities and large student hall providers have access to vast resources and government backed commercial lending facilities unavailable to private landlords.
    Most landlords have mortgages which have to be paid. The 3 month mortgage holiday is only a deferred payment which will have to be paid back with interest. The rent also have to cover many other costs such as hmo licences, utility bills, taxes, management fees, university accreditation costs, fire alarm testing, gas and electricity checks, essential repairs, furniture, gardening etc. If the rent is not paid, landlords are at risk of going under.
    Many landlords rely on rent as their main income. Small private landlords offer a vital and affordable alternative to expensive university halls and purpose built accommodation blocks. If small landlords go bankrupt, students will be left with less choice and higher rents in the future.
    Landlords are still legally obliged to keep their properties in good repair and ensure the necessary inspections are performed. Landlords have to adhere by the contract and so should the tenants. Everyone has been affected by this crisis and we all need to work together and look long term instead of short term.

    • 28 June 2020 12:01 PM

    I would suggest that many student LL have seen the light and realised student letting is not all it is cracked up to be.

    Perhaps a change of business model.
    It shouldn't be too hard to attract single professionals to these student properties.
    It will be just tough for students if they have to use more expensive PBSA.

    Why should LL subsidise feckless student behaviour!?

    Far better to have the consistency of single unrelated sharers.
    If reduced demand occurs then converting back to family houses would be worthwhile.
    Then sell it.

    There will always be some families that wish to live near city centres particularly diverse communites.
    LL should sell and invest outside of cities in family homes.
    There is an exodus occurring from cities to the countryside.

    Buy a family house near a stn for travel into the city and you'll have very long term tenants.
    Try and find good school catchment areas as well

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    Good By


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