Most students looking for somewhere to rent for the next academic year secure accommodation months in advance – usually by March but in some cases months earlier.
Letting agents are increasingly recognising that this could cause an issue as students could legitimately be charged fees before the new Tenant Fee legislation comes into effect on June 1st 2019, but by the time they move in for the September term, there will be a ban on tenant charges in place.
Depending upon the dates on the agreements that are set up, it could be that agents in this market might have to refund fees. At the very least, it has the potential to cause confusion and some agents may try and influence the dates so that they can legitimately charge fees.
Integra client Sulets in Leicester has over 2400 students renting accommodation every year and they are the only letting agent approved by the Leicester Students Union and De Montfort Students Union.
CEO Irving Hill said: “The tenant fee ban will clearly have an enormous impact on the private rental sector including the student sector.
At Sulets we let accommodation in purpose-built halls of residence and privately owned, off campus, properties and we have never charged administration fees to our student tenants.
We now anticipate a number of agents who have built their student let businesses around taking fees from tenants may struggle to work under the new legislation and this may, in turn create issues for their landlord clients.
In simple terms, our charitable status means we have always had a clear objective of providing good quality accommodation on fair commercial terms for students.
The new legislation may have moved the goalposts for many but for us it is business as usual.”