Examination of Witness

Part of Renters (Reform) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 3:00 pm ar 16 Tachwedd 2023.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Chloe Field:

If I remember it correctly, it is good that the amendment specifically acknowledges term times and stuff like that, but it specifies a certain time in the year and, as I said before, not all students fit into term time. It does not sufficiently recognise that different types of students rent in different ways; they are not a homogeneous group of people. Some students live with non-students and families, and it does not fully recognise that.

An idea we have floated is if there is an exemption, it should potentially be done like a council tax exemption: HMOs with a certain percentage of students are exempt from council tax. We think that kind of specification will be really important. Without more specification about the exemption, for a lot of students, especially those living in family homes, there will be the threat of back-door evictions if they have started their studies.

Your idea about universities renting out accommodation is really good. It would provide a bit more accountability if the institution that provides the education and has a form of duty of care is responsible for the accommodation. I think that is really important, but if that is the case, we would have to take it further. Right now, prices for university-owned accommodation are going up. Universities are trying to bring in more and more students to make more money because their incomes are so precarious right now, and that is not sustainable. We would have to look at the higher education model as a whole if we were thinking of doing anything like that.