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Trine Dean
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Trine Dean
The government obviously think this is going to be a vote winner among students and their parents. Yes, it seems great not to be tied into a rental agreement for a whole calendar year, especially with the pandemic fresh in their minds, however the impact on the student market will be far reaching and the students will be the biggest losers if these proposals are approved. If we are to win this, we should not talk about the impact on landlords but the students themselves. The RNLA needs to lobby students so that they understand that these changes will have a negative impact in the long run. LESS CHOICE Private student accommodation form an important, affordable part of the student letting sector. Many students prefer to live in private housing where they can live independently, learning real life skills, fewer rules - others prefer PBSA’s. By making PBSA’s exempt, the government is in effect discriminating against smaller landlords. Private landlords will either sell up, rent to young professionals or families . Students will have less of a choice both in the number and variety of accommodation. CONVENIENCE Any business needs to be able to plan and market in advance. Students also need to plan and secure their accommodation well in advance so that they can secure a property which can accommodate their friendship group and their desired location. If landlords cannot arrange viewings and arrange tenancies because they can’t guarantee vacant possession, then students will be left in limbo. Also if one of their friends decide to leave at some point in the year, the landlord can put anyone in the vacant room and they might find themselves having no control of who they share a house with. MORE EXPENSIVE Even before the cost of living crisis, the high cost of purpose built student accommodation was only a choice for the privileged few. The price difference between private student accommodation and purpose built is huge - sometimes double the cost. With fewer properties on the market, the cost of student accommodation will go through the roof. Private student lets will become more expensive, because the landlords that choose to remain in the market will have to factor in the risk of not letting all rooms for a full calendar month. The large PBSA’s will be rubbing their hands together. They will almost have a monopoly. Less supply and less choice will mean that they can increase their prices even more. Remember they are owned by hedge funds and large private investors only interested in one thing - SHOR TERM PROFIT. Who will lose out? - the students. These proposals are supposed to offer protection and flexibility for the tenant, in this case the students. But the PBSA’s are exempt - so more students will end up in a PBSA on fixed term contracts, paying through their Nose. In the end fewer students will go to university because they can’t afford it, and/or they will live at home while studying closer to home losing out on the whole university experience. And then everyone will lose out even the PBSA’s.

From: Trine Dean 17 July 2022 16:30 PM

Trine Dean
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.

From: Trine Dean 22 June 2020 21:00 PM

Trine Dean
Some students made a personal choice to leave their accommodation and return to their family home due to Covid 19. Many did not. Approx 62 out of 112 uk universities decided to waive rent for the summer term. They made this decision because unlike landlords they actually advised students to leave halls and go home. Universities and large student hall providers have access to vast resources and government backed corporate lending facilities which are not available to private landlords. It is easy to add millions of debts to a university spreadsheet when there are no personal consequences to face. Vice chancellors on highly inflated salaries and generous expense and pensions schemes are urging small private landlords to give up 1/4 of their income for this year and maybe more next year. The stereotype of a greedy landlord with a huge portfolio of properties are very outdated. Most landlords own one or two properties which they have purchased with a mortgage to provide a living income or to supplement their pensions. The vast majority of landlords are not eligible for any of the economic packages provided by the government. Mortgage holidays have to be paid back with interest. Small private landlords support the local economy and provide a vital and affordable alternative to hugely expensive university halls and large accommodation blocks. If student landlords go bankrupt due to Covid 19 students will be left with less choice and more expensive rent in the future. Students still receive their maintenance loan. Their living costs are considerably reduced as travel is restricted, gyms, pubs, clubs etc are shut. Many have not had their ability to pay rent affected by Covid 19. Landlords are still offering the service they signed up for. We still have to fulfil all our legal obligations. Students and their parents have signed a legally binding contract. The Governments advice is to still pay rent. Petitions on the subject have been rejected by the government. Many students and their parents do not understand that the rent is needed to not only pay the landlord’s mortgage but other costs such as; HMO licences, utility bills, fire alarm testing, gas safety checks, electricity checks, gardening, management fees, insurance, maintenance and repair costs, university accreditation costs, furniture etc. We keep our properties spotless but it is chocking to see how they are sometimes left at the end of the tenancy. Maintenance costs are very high for student lets. Letting agents still have to pay their rents, staff salaries and other business overheads and have been busier than ever during the pandemic responding to angry parents and students requesting to be released early from their tenancies. They also have to invest in PPE and health and safety measures to protect staff and students in the future, We consider each request for assistance on a case by case basis. If a student can prove genuine hardship we help by offering discounts and payment plans. But many, especially, middle class students/parents simply do not want to pay citing fairness. Is it fair that landlords should pay for this crisis? There is nothing fair about this pandemic. People are losing their lives and livelihoods. Of course students and landlords need to work together, but we cannot accept anyone using this pandemic for their own ends.

From: Trine Dean 29 May 2020 17:39 PM

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