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Forum Spotlight: Students want to stay longer for graduation

Victoria Barker
Written by Victoria Barker

As thousands of students across the country prepare to graduate, this week’s Forum Spotlight looks at a question from a landlord on whether he should allow students to stay in his property for longer, while their graduation ceremonies are taking place.

The situation

The landlord has an eight bed HMO property, and all the students in the property are on individual assured shorthold tenancies that are due to end next week.

The landlord said that five of the students in the house are due to graduate over the next few weeks. The graduating students have asked the landlord whether it would be possible for them to stay at the property for several nights around the dates of their graduation.

The landlord wanted to know, with the checkout date of the tenancy being the 13th June, if there was a way in which he could accommodate the request of the students and safeguard all the tenants.

The response from our Forum

It was one of the regular users of the Forum who was the first to offer his suggestions on this issue. He began by saying that in his view the landlord was able to do this, so long as the current tenancy is continuing. However, if the landlord takes the surrender of the tenancy, then he should not let the tenants stay for a later period of time. This is because the tenant might claim the tenancy rights if this were the case, unless the landlord has possession of the property whilst they stay.

Another landlord who posted on the thread suggested that the best way to approach this issue would be to make sure the tenancy rolls over on the original end date of the tenancy, because the landlord could run in to issues down the line if the tenants stay without permission. She suggested that it would be a good idea to allow the tenants to stay.

This landlord also reinforced that the AST only end when the tenants leave the property and give back the keys. She suggested that it’d be wise for this landlord to postpone the formal checking out procedure to a new date, to allow for the tenants request to be met.

Another landlord echoed this, and suggested that this landlord should get a written agreement to surrender tenancies later agreed date, and use suitably worded deeds of surrender.

The final response on the thread came from a landlord who said that for their student lets, the new fixed terms start immediately after the old one finishes, so any of the students who chose to stay on at the property was covered by this anyway.

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About the author

Victoria Barker

Victoria Barker

Victoria is the Communications Officer for the RLA.

She is responsible for producing articles for our Campaigns and News Centre, the weekly E-News newsletter and media review, and creating social media content. She also contributes to our members magazine, Residential Property Investor.

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