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Student housing sector ‘in crisis’ warns coalition of providers

The Government is doing too little to support the student landlords and many places are short of accommodation for second- and third-year graduates, a new poll has found.

YouGov canvassed some 2,000 members of the public on behalf of a national coalition called the Student Accredited Private Rental Sector (SAPRS) and found that 53% thought government should be doing more to support students find housing.

This latest survey follows recent reports that many students coming into their second year are struggling to find affordable housing, and also news that the Renters (Reform) Bill, unless amended, will make it difficult for student landlords to rent out their properties.

This is because the Bill will end fixed-term tenancy agreements (FTTAs) for private student housing. Higher education organisations like Universities UK have warned that such a move would threaten the availability, affordability, and quality of student housing in a sector already in crisis.

A similar withdrawal of FTTAs in Scotland in 2017 has led to a shortage of student housing, said SAPRS. The coalition also believes that the Bill must be amended to ensure parity between corporate purpose-built student accommodation and private student housing to avoid a worsening of the crisis, provided that landlords sign up to an approved code of conduct with quality standards and protections for students.

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