Student tenancies and licences: significant legislation

We have prepared a briefing summarising some significant changes introduced under the following legislation:

  • The Tenant Fees Act 2019, which applies to student tenancies and potentially also to student licences. The Act prohibits landlords from requesting payments from tenants except for those expressly permitted under the Act. Breaches can lead to fines and criminal offences. The Act applies to new lettings from 1 June 2019 and to existing lettings from 1 June 2020.
  • The Homes (Fitness for Habitation) Act 2018, which applies to new leases of less than 7 years from 20 March 2019. Licences to occupy are outside the scope of this Act. Amongst other matters, the Act introduces an implied covenant by the landlord that the dwelling is fit for human habitation at the time of the grant of the lease (or at the beginning of the term) and will remain fit during the term. Tenants may bring court action for a breach of the covenant, which may result in the landlord being ordered to pay compensation or carry out the works necessary to improve the property. Landlords are not required to remedy unfitness in specified circumstances, including where the problem is caused by the tenant’s behaviour or their possessions.
  • The Deregulation Act 2015, which applies to Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs) created on or after 1 October 2015, and in part to ASTs created before that date. Amongst other requirements, the Act requires landlords to supply copies of the energy performance certificate, a recent gas safety report and the DCLG “How to rent” checklist, as well as requiring deposits to be paid into a tenancy deposit scheme.

You can find the full briefing with further information on the changes implemented by the legislation here.

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Every piece of content we create is correct on the date it’s published but please don’t rely on it as legal advice. If you’d like to speak to us about your own legal requirements, please contact one of our expert lawyers.


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