Ministers listen to sense over reform changes to student lets

  • D. WarrenLineas London
  • Tuesday, Apr 23, 2024

Ministers listen to sense over reform changes to student lets


Student landlords have won some concessions on evictions within a government amendment to the Renters Reform Bill.

The draft legislation had previously proposed to resolve concerns about the lack of certainty around recovering possession from one group of students in order to let to the next group by providing a new ground for possession - ground 4A - but this was criticised as being unworkable due to limitations such as requiring the property to be an HMO.

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The government has now significantly rewritten ground 4A, explains David Smith (pictured), property lawyer at JMW.

“First and foremost, there is no requirement to notify tenants at the start of the tenancy that possession might be recovered under the student ground," he says.

"This is, to some extent, bringing back prior notice which has been largely removed by the Renters Reform Bill, but it seems to be a sensible compromise in this area."


Any requirement for it to be a joint tenancy or for the property to be an HMO have been removed and the dates that the notice must expire have been rewritten for greater clarity.

This ground will be far more acceptable to many student landlords because it is far simpler to use, although it will be important to get the prior notification right, says Smith.

He adds that it still does not deal with the primary complaint of most student landlords that having to give notice, as opposed to having a clearly established fixed term, reduces certainty that students will leave when they are expected to.

“However, given that the government was never likely to compromise over fixed terms, this is likely to be the best outcome that will be achieved for the student sector,” says Smith.

The Bill is expected to have its report stage in the House of Commons on Wednesday.



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