Tackling anti-social tenant behaviour in your contracts.
Learning from south Liverpool’s ongoing crisis
Create fair contracts, faster with Legislate, sign up today.
A student tenancy agreement is a lease for an identified residential property granted to a Full Time Student for a specified term at an agreed rate. A student tenant unique by virtue of their status as a person studying at an educational institution. A student housing contract must therefore take this special status into account. This article looks at the core terms of a student tenancy agreement, in order to help landlords and letting agents when looking for the ideal contract template for their student tenants.
The term of a contract is its duration, as defined by the Commencement Date and End Date. Student tenancies usually run in sync with the academic year i.e. generally from September to June in the UK. Students are usually in their family home during holidays and the summer vacation so they are unlikely to occupy the property during these periods. For reasons such as upkeep, the contract should accommodate this.
Every tenancy agreement should mention the rates (both individual and total if there is more than one tenant), along with how often they are to be paid and the mode of payment. When discussing rates, the following payments are relevant:
The contract should include details about the property itself such as its address, its contents and installations (e.g. whether it has a garden, garage, parking etc). This information is meant to be supplemented by an inventory which lists everything in the property and the condition it is in at the start of the tenancy.
Rights and Duties
The main point of contract is to explain the rights and duties that the landlord and tenant have in respect to each other. These undertakings concern use of the property itself, repairs and alterations, assignment and subletting, and so on. When renting to students, the tenants may be under certain duties not to disrupt each others’ studies in certain ways. These obligations need to be effectively communicated so that each party is aware of what is expected of them.
If there is more than one student tenant, the contract must specify whether or not their liability is joint and several i.e. where each tenant is liable for all costs as though they are the only tenant. This is a feature of a joint tenancy. Furthermore, some landlords require a responsible third party, such as a parent or a guardian, to act as a guarantor in the event the student defaults on their obligations under the tenancy agreement. A good contract will therefore offer its creator the option to include a guarantor clause where this applies.
The rights and obligations of the tenant and landlord at the end of the tenancy include questions of moving out and repossession. Termination also covers situations where the student defaults on the tenancy by, say, failing to pay rent or stopping to be a full-time student. At the end of the fixed term, if a student tenant keeps living in the property, a periodic tenancy is formed. This may not be an option for the landlord of students, especially if they intend to have new tenants move in at the start of the following academic year. It is important that the contract mention if tenants are expected to move out at the end of the fixed term in order for the landlord to prepare the property for new tenants.
If you would like to learn more about the student tenancy agreement, Legislate offers this resource here. If you would like to start legislating, join our waiting list, book a demo, or receive an invitation from an existing member.
The opinions on this page are for general information purposes only, and are not legal advice on which you should rely.
Learning from south Liverpool’s ongoing crisis
The services provided by a full management letting agency
On the 2nd anniversary of RoPA’s groundbreaking report
In law, is a landlord responsible for the actions of their agent?
The basic rights that both tenants and landlords are entitled to.
4 key stages in implementing a change of employment terms
Factors to consider before proposing a change to employment terms
How can a landlord or letting agent end a tenancy without a section 8 or 21 notice?
For what reasons can you start the process of ending an assured shorthold tenancy?
Changing the terms of a tenancy agreement pre and post signature.
Everything to know about controlling Legionella risk in a rental property
If it looks, walks and talks like a tenant, can it be a lodger?
Are these 3 clauses in your free licence to occupy template?
What the case law says on the essential elements of a lease
Does a contract actually need to be in writing?
Your obligations before, during and whilst housing a lodger.
What the Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 mean for Landlords
A history of the landlord-tenant relationship and how it is shaped today
Don't cover up the cracks.
Make sure to remove these ‘unforgotten’ clauses from your contracts.
3 things missing in your agency’s template agreement with landlords
Bridges to cross when renting property.
Bridges every landlord needs to cross before letting their property.
Classifying property and your obligations.
Single occupancy, multiple obligations.
Landlords: Your extra responsibilities when letting a HMO.
Why your tenancy agreements might not be as enforceable as you think they are.