Sandra White MSP, Constituency MSP for Glasgow Kelvin, has condemned private student accommodation providers who have refused to release students from tenancies without penalty during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Following government rules, students must remain in lockdown where they are located. Meaning that those who have returned home may face a financial penalty for leaving their tenancies early.
The Education Minister has written to providers of purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) requesting that the sector release students from break clauses in their contracts.
Despite this the National Union of Students (NUS) report that many students have been refused early exit from their tenancies, instead informed that they must find a replacement tenant before the will be allowed to end their tenancy.
Students in Glasgow Kelvin report that Collegiate’s ‘Claremont House’ are entirely refusing to release students from tenancies early.
Tenants in the Private Rented Sector can leave their tenancy with 30 days notice, however, PBSAs are seeking to hold their tenants to an annual commitment, even during a time of national crisis.
Commenting, Sandra White MSP said:
“The behaviour of some private student accommodation providers, such as Collegiate’s ‘Claremont House’, has been nothing short of shameful as they clearly put their profits ahead of student safety and wellbeing.”
“Telling students that they can’t leave their tenancy unless they arrange for an alternative student to take their place is impracticable, goes against the lockdown, and abdicates the landlord of any responsibility to their students during this crisis.
“As we near the end of the term, students will not return to campuses before this crisis passes. Collegiate and others should now do the right thing and release students from their early-exit charges.”
“Private student accommodation providers enjoy lucrative profits from their considerable rents, it is therefore unfortunate that some are refusing to show any consideration in light of a global pandemic where we are all making sacrifices to save lives.”
“Following the Education Minister’s letter to student housing providers requesting a suspension of early-exit fees, I have today written to the Scottish Government to query what action can be taken to bring student tenancies into line with the right to end a Private Residential Tenancy with 30 days notice.”