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Break Clauses: Student lockdown unlikely to affect contracts, says trade body

The National Residential Landlords Association says the latest stays report on students under the Coronavirus lockdown is unlikely to have an impact on their tenancy agreements.

Students are currently learning online from wherever they are living, and this is unlikely to change significantly for the next six weeks or so.

“As it stands this does not have any impact on the tenancy agreement unless the landlord has agreed to include a break clause” says a statement from the association.


Some universities were pushing for break clauses in contracts after the last lockdown, but it is thought relatively few contracts were changed in this way. 

“Without a break clause it's entirely up to the landlord whether or not to accept early surrender of the agreement” says the NRLA.

During the autumn, when some students left their accommodation earlier than expected to abide by previous lockdown recommendations, the consumer charity Citizens Advice told them to negotiate with their agents or landlords. 

“If you share accommodation with other people, then unless you each have a separate agreement, you are likely to be jointly and separately liable for rent” the charity has advised students.

It adds: “This means that the landlord can pursue any of the tenants (or their guarantor) for any rent due under the joint agreement, regardless of which tenant failed to pay their share.”


However, Citizens Advice then suggests that if a student finds themselves in this position, it is worth seeking a negotiation with the agent or landlord. They could release the student from the tenancy, or waive or reduce rent during the period the property is unoccupied, the charity believes.

“Unfortunately, there’s not much good news for students who decide to change households for the medium to long-term, by returning to their family home for example. It’s likely that in many cases they will be tied into their accommodation agreements and not entitled to any refund” says a spokeswoman.

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  • Mark Wilson

    Not much good news for students, not half. They and their parents have been ripped off for years from every part of the chain, housing included. Treated as fodder is the word that comes to mind.


    Renting to students is a nightmare, and their stuck up snob parents are worse, I stopped renting to students in the early 90s give me good working tenants 25+ any day.



    Many landlords think like Andrew. I back both horses but only because students can share and pay higher rents than young professionals. Without higher returns I wouldn't consider them.

    You and people like you will only put landlords off students and market forces will then push up rents demanded from students - so keep up the good work!

  • icon

    As usual, the NRLA are all mouth and no action - will they be so willing to back it up with legal action extending to the courts and beyond ???


    Have you not been paying attention over the past 9 months Seb?

    What courts?????

    PS - In case you missed it, no need to wear masks, wash your hands, observe social distance etc. any more.

    In fact, snogging strangers is now positively encouraged. Try it (please!!!!).


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