Student Landlords Facing Growing Rent Strike Protest

AFS Team·29 April 2020·4 min read
Student Landlords Facing Growing Rent Strike Protest

Student Landlords Facing Growing Rent Strike Protest

Student landlords are increasingly facing the prospect of a rent strike after hundreds of students joined forces in protest at student accommodation providers refusing to cancel rents for the summer term.

That's despite most students now leaving their student accommodation and returning to their family homes after universities closed down because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

While some student accommodation providers have agreed to waive their summer term fees, other private providers have refused to release their student tenants from their tenancy agreement.

Move for a student rent strike

The move for a student rent strike follows a growing protest from students around the country for universities to reimburse them for the teaching time they are missing.

A petition for the reimbursement of student tuition fees has received more than 115,000 signatures and the rent strike is picking up steam as well.

One MP, Stephen Morgan has voiced his concerns over those students who are paying rent on student accommodation that they cannot use.

He also points to the Department for Education urging student accommodation providers to 'consider student interests and fairness in decisions about rent charges'.

One of those student accommodation providers that is being criticised for not waiving rents is Sanctuary Students who said in a statement: "We regret we cannot terminate contracts early if you decide to leave your accommodation."

The provider says that the decision will be disappointing but it is one they 'have not taken lightly'.

40% of tenants will struggle to pay rent

Meanwhile, it has been revealed that 40% of tenants in the UK will struggle to pay their rent, leaving a huge number of landlords with the prospect of financial difficulties in the months to come.

In a survey carried out by the portal flatmate, they say that landlords will be alarmed that their survey points to tenants defaulting on rents.

The firm's founder, Tom Gatzen, said: "This is a concerning time clearly for many tenants and it's important they get in touch with landlords - and we encourage landlords to be constructive in these conversations."

Also, a petition urging the Government to introduce a rent holiday has attracted more than 100,000 signatures.

The petitioners are urging action to prevent tenants from being evicted with one survey finding that 75% of tenants would support a rent suspension.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, said: "The suspension of housing possessions and emergency legislation means no tenant in private or social rented homes will be forced out."