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Students given more time to sign next year’s rental contracts

The 2021 student intake has normally signed their rental contracts by now for their accommodation but Covid means many are reluctant to commit.

Nigel Lewis

student accommodation

The largest student lettings company in Lancaster is one of the first in the UK to give tenants more time to decide if they want to take up tenancies for next year as Covid continues to wreak havoc within further education.

The city’s Students’ Union has been supporting a ‘Stop Housing Haste’ campaign in Lancaster to persuade student accommodation providers locally to be more flexible and enable tenants to sign tenancies for the next academic year much later than normal.

This is the latest issue facing the student accommodation sector after this summer’s national campaign by the NUS to cancel the rental contracts of students told to go home by their universities.

Lancaster Student Union’s lettings agency, Living, says it is leading by example. It would normally have issued contracts for the next academic year for the properties it manages, but it is now giving tenants until January to decide if they want to take up places within the 250 houses and flats it manages within the city on behalf of landlords, via a guaranteed rent scheme.

studentThe student union’s vice president Amy Merchant (left), says: “I am delighted that the delaying of contracts has been approved by Trustee Board.

“I was mandated to do this by our student membership back in March as part of my wider ‘Stopping Housing Haste’ campaign, and being my manifesto priority, it was so crucial that this decision was passed.

“It is vital that SU Living set a precedent on an issue that affects every single student at Lancaster.”

Merchants says this reduce the stress on students by giving them more time to find the right housemates and still have safe, affordable accommodation options available to them later in the year.

Read more about student accommodation and Covid.

October 5, 2020

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