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Student housing supply threatened by ban of fixed-term tenancies

The Sun // Calum MacInnes’ comment in The Sun

A HOUSING shake-up could force up rents and make the housing shortage even worse, Michael Gove has been warned.

Student renters could be priced out of accommodation thanks to new rules which will ban fixed-term contracts.

University-provided property and purpose-built uni flats will be able to provide them in an exemption – but not the rest of the private sector including converted houses.

Experts fear Mr Gove’s landmark housing bill will force average student rents up from an average of £535 a month to more than £820 a month, will penalise British students, and could force them out of cities into the suburbs to find cheaper rent.

Ministers are said to be looking closely at changes to the bill which would allow students to leave their homes at the end of the year, The Sun has been told.

Calum MacInnes, CEO and Founder  from Student Tribe  said: “Students should be protected from rogue landlords, however, we think that the removal of fixed-term tenancies for the student private rented sector will make this problem worse not better.  

“The Bill, as it stands, would serve to make this more difficult and expensive to achieve, with British students suffering as a result.”

Tom Walker, Co-founder of StuRents, added: “The Renters Reform Bill’s proposed shift away from fixed-term tenancies will undoubtedly disrupt the intrinsic link between the academic calendar and the annual student letting cycle, impacting student choice at a time when many cities already suffer from a supply shortage.  

“On top of that, a switch to monthly rent instalments presents a significant challenge for students who often rely on termly maintenance loans.

“We estimate that 61% of students would be negatively impacted by their landlords having to require monthly rent payments.

Tory MP Jonathan Gullis said last night: “The last thing we want is for uni students to be further squeezed unnecessarily and unfairly, particularly from disadvantaged backgrounds, putting them off even going.

“Let’s have a common sense approach to making the necessary changes.”

Last night a DLUHC spokesperson said: “We recognise that there are concerns about how the new system will work for the student market.

“We continue to engage with students and landlords on whether a ground for possession that enables landlords to guarantee vacant possession for next year’s tenants would work for both parties.”

Two in five students already have thought about dropping out of uni altogether thanks to eye-watering cost of living, and sky-high fees.

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