Students urge Government to resist landlords' calls to water down rights as Bill passes through Parliament
NUS is pleased to see the Renters' Reform Bill is finally published, which has the potential to bring much-needed security and safety to students’ living and studying conditions. Whilst we know the Bill is not a silver bullet and there is still a long way to go, this is a significant step forward for the protections of renters fought hard for by the Renters’ Reform Coalition which NUS is proud to be a part of.
Everyone deserves to live in a secure home. The current system of no-fault evictions leaves renters at the mercy of arbitrary evictions and makes it commonplace for landlords to ignore their obligations to keep their homes to a decent standard.
The abolition of Section 21 ought to give students assurances that they can stay in a property long term and make it easier for them to demand improvements to poor quality homes and disrepair while ending the use of fixed term contracts will also enable students to settle in communities after graduating.
NUS is part of the Renters' Reform Coalition, a group of 20 organisations that represent private renters in England. The Coalition formed to ensure that the reforms truly deliver a more just housing system and a transformation to tenants' lives.
Chloe Field, NUS VP for Higher Education, said:
“Students are experiencing a housing crisis on top of an education crisis. I welcome this Bill as an opportunity to provide more secure housing for students and some desperately needed protection from exploitative landlords, giving renters the confidence to demand that those who don’t properly maintain their homes now do so. Students fought hard to be included in these reforms and we celebrate this win.
"But we know that landlords operating in the student rental market are putting immense pressure on the Housing Secretary to water down those rights and freeze students out from fully benefitting from them. We urge the government to stand firm and honour the promise laid out in the draft bill: to protect tenants, including student tenants, from the predatory behaviour of unscrupulous landlords. We cannot simply allow students to become an underclass of tenants.
"There is still much to be done with student housing, there are very real supply and affordability problems causing chaos each academic year and we need urgent action from universities, landlords and the government to address them.”