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Scrap Open-Ended Tenancies - landlords lobby government

Proposed government reforms of the private rented sector threaten to make it harder for students to enter higher education, according to a letter signed by the National Residential Landlords Association and education groups. 

The letter has been sent to housing and education ministers and takes exception to the proposal in the White Paper on rental reform that all student housing, with the exception of purpose-built blocks, would be subject to open-ended tenancies. 

This means landlords will be 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. As a result, students looking for housing will be unable to plan in advance where they want to live and with whom.

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The letter’s signatories - including Universities UK and the British Property Federation - warn that without certainty about the availability of housing “there is likely to be a significant reduction in available accommodation at a time when demand is growing.”

The groups go on to note that “a shortage of this accommodation has already led some academic institutions to call for a limit to be placed on student intakes for as long as the next five years.” And they warn that “the proposed introduction of open-ended tenancies and inevitable reduction in housing supply is therefore likely to further constrain the expansion of the education sector, to the detriment of prospective students and wider society.”

The organisations call on the government to extend the exemption from open-ended tenancies granted to Purpose Built Student Accommodation to all student housing. They argue that where a landlord rents their property to a group of students a fixed term tenancy agreement should be permissible.

The groups go on to call for measures to allow student landlords to give two months’ notice to repossess a property when it is needed for incoming students. In order to provide protections for incoming students, they propose that such notice should only be given during the final two months of a tenancy agreement.

The signatories to the letter are the National Residential Landlords’ Association, Universities UK, the British Property Federation, the University of Cambridge, the University of Leeds, the University of Southampton, Lancaster University, Manchester Student Homes, Unipol, College and University Business Officers, We are Kin and the Young Group.

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    In practice the new rules in Scotland have helped most students at the expense of families who want to stay long term although planning ahead can be more difficult if they refuse to give notice until the last minute.

    However in Edinburgh and St Andrews, properties normally let to students from September to May and then for tourists are now quite often full time short rental properties as the students couldn't be relied on to give decent notice to allow tourist bookings to be taken well in advance.

    This has caused students to displace families in residential areas to the consternation of neighbours.

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    Thank you Robert, I was looking forward to hearing about your experiences in Scotland. As fellow student landlord, albeit in sunny Bournemouth, I've been talking to fellow landlords and agents to try to get a feel for what will happen if this gets enacted as planned.
    Personally I'm quite relaxed. There's a dearth of decent student houses here (all mine were let for September within a week of them being marketed back in October), and although all my contracts are 11 months (Sept-July) a number of students squeeze in an extra month by mutual agreement. If landlords take fright and run to the hills, that works for me - it just increases the queue for mine.
    Decent groups will be a must, and I think they will have to be a lot more qualifying from both me and the agents before agreeing a tenancy.

     
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    Grumpy

    The biggest drawback of the new legislation is that the students only need to give 28 days notice, so new tenants can't be lined up well in advance as we used to do.

    Another outcome is that we used to get new tenants lined up before Easter for new tenancy agreements starting on 1 June. We found those tenants who got their act together in March were usually much better tenants than those who left it to the last minute but that luxury now depends on the outgoing tenants co-operating and they don't have much incentive to do so, although I remind them I am happy to give positive references if they cooperate fully during their final few months.

    I feel sorry for families as they are now less attractive tenants than students, even more so with rent increases capped at 3 to 6% after a year's unexpected rent freeze and eviction ban.

    Many city centre flats are now full-time short term rentals, students moved out to the residential suburbs and families not able to get anything at all.

    Well done to the SNP and their little Green helpers for causing so much harm to decent families needing to rent!

     
     G romit

    2nd yr student looking for a new 3rd yr property may just stag put if there's such a shortage that they can't find anywhere. Meaning you can't sign up new students until the last minute.

    Also canny students serve notice at c. Easter knowing they'll finished their exams by end of May early June. Leaving you with a void that you can't fill.

     
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    Landlord lobby not just Scrap open Ended Tenancies but The Renter’s Reform Bill totally not required, has done so much damage to housing and the economy. Perhaps you can rewrite your submission and get it right next time, time for Gove to go with his totally biased Policy’s.
    Imagine such blatant cheek it doesn’t apply to Blocks of Flats looking after his cronies the Big Boys taking over our Business.
    Who charge double our Rent and exempted, its fraud Shame on you.

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    Yes Micheal, but l think Ben Beadle rents to students. Basically the big boys are looking to shove is out.

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