By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies to enhance your experience.
Graham Awards


Big public support for students going rent-free during lockdown

The public believe students should go rent-free if they do not use their private or college accommodation in the coming term because of the Coronavirus.

Universities and colleges have told students to stay at their family bases if at all possible for the indefinite future in line with the government’s broader lockdown. Most students were already staying with their parents at the end of the festive break when the lockdown was imposed.

Now a YouGov poll of some 9,000 people shows 54 per cent believe students unable to use their private rented properties or purpose-built college accommodation should not have to pay rent until they return.


Among the rest of those polled 30 per cent believe students should be given a discount but only five per cent said students should have to pay rent in full.

There are an estimated 1.8m students privately renting - some are overseas students likely to have remained in the accommodation over the Christmas break, but the vast majority will be at parental homes now, for weeks or months to come.

The YouGov poll is highly detailed and shows a majority in favour of the no-rent status across all age sectors, across all social grades, and across men and women. 

In terms of political allegiance of the respondents, 46 per cent of Conservative voters favour the no-rent policy - 53 per cent of Liberal Democrat voters and 67 per cent of Labour voters agree.

Those polled were asked: “Do you think students who are unable to return to their student accommodation due to lockdown should still have to pay rent as normal or not?"

Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.

Poll: Should students go rent-free if they cannot use their rental accommodation?


  • icon

    I got choked off students in the 90s, don't want them as tenants, they might pay a little more but they really aren't worth the bother, leave them to the universities to house, their problem

  • icon

    And in the short to medium term I wouldn’t rent to students anymore! I am sure there is plenty of student hall accommodation for the yr 2s and 3s around!?


    Is there? Are you sure? What is your evidence for your 'sure' statement?

  • icon

    Many landlords already avoid students. This will make it 100% if it happens.

  • Mark Wilson

    Closing in from every side. Funding my youngest through Uni, I'm in!


    Parasite! Why should private landlords subsidize others' children?

    Mark Wilson

    No Robert, and a stupid comment, matters outside any expectation.


    Agreed - your comment was stupid. It's up to parents to protect their children and meet their legal obligations. Landlords still have to pay mortgages etc.

  • icon

    Nottingham Council seems to want all students in purpose built accommodation anyway so that the private houses go back into the 'family market'. Problem is these all inclusive, ensuite student boxes cost more than the maintenance grant!

  • icon

    Bad headline reporting by Landlord Today, I'm afraid. The question for the poll was "Do you think students who are unable to return to their student accommodation due to lockdown should still have to pay rent as normal or not?" - which should not lead to the headline of "Big Public Support for Students going Rent-free". Because the phrase "rent as normal" does not - if the polled answer is no -suggest "rent-free". It could for example mean 50% of rent - or whichever other proportion or arrangement can be agreed. You can do better in your headline writing, Landlord Today. The accurate headline from the poll would have been "Big public support for Students not paying 100% rent". But of course that's less newsworthy for the readers.

  • icon
    • 11 January 2021 10:09 AM

    Far as I care, I will never go near student accommodation.

  • George Dawes

    In the words of Paul Calf . Bloody students !


  • icon

    I would not rent to students. Not particularly near a University so not an issue for me.

  • icon

    Simple answer going forward

    1) Contract with break clause & penalty - more expensive rent but is an option
    2) Standard contract as before - Market rent but its a contract It has to be paid

    You choose however students need to understand that they need to stand up & be counted & once you've signed a contract you can't just break it & think nothing of it as the pubs are closed and you cant go out in your new campus & you want to go home now. Honour your commitment as it will benefit you & society going forward


    It's a big hard world out there, and one day even snowflakes will have to wake up to that one.

  • Kristjan Byfield

    I'm not sure calling student Tenants parasites or snowflakes is appropriate or relevant. It's a tough question- should tenants have to pay for accommodation they cannot viably use? At the same time, should Landlords have to foot the bill for government actions? The reality is that the government needs to place substantial funding in place to support landlords and tenants alike- be that to resolve substantial rent arrears, rent reductions or even contract surrenders. I wonder how many landlords on here attacking tenants around this subject- have fought not to pay some sort of subscription/service that has been rendered unusable in the current climate- imagine if you were paying the rent you demand despite being unable to use the property? There is no easy answer but attacking each other def isn't it- there responsibility ultimately lies with the government- the ongoing stopping of evictions is helping no one.


    You have answered your own comment.

    'The reality is that the government needs to place substantial funding in place to support landlords and tenants alike....'

    Gov't don't want to have to pay so they move the goal post's to suit.


    So if I was to lease a car, then lose my licence could I stop paying the lease payments until my driving ban was over ? same thing applies.


Please login to comment

MovePal MovePal MovePal
sign up