Agents, landlords and tenants alike will remember the vast number of legislative provisions introduced in 2020 at the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, which included provisions enabling certain student renters to terminate their tenancies with only 28 days’ notice. As Covid restrictions ease and we move back towards ‘normal’, the legislation is once again changing.
On 1st July 2022, The Coronavirus (Scotland) (No. 2) Act 2020 (Suspension: Termination of Student Residential Tenancy) Regulations 2022/192 (Scottish SI) came into force, ending student tenants’ ability to give 28 days’ notice to bring a tenancy to an end for reasons relating to Coronavirus.
So, what is the position if a tenant has already signed a lease to commence at the start of the academic term from autumn 2022 and seeks to give notice prior to taking occupation?
The Regulations contain savings provisions whereby notice, in accordance with the provisions given before 1st July 2022, will still be effective even if the date the notice ends the tenancy is after 1st July 2022. The important date is the date the notice is given and the length of tenancy is of no relevance.
Accordingly, a student who has entered into a tenancy agreement which commences this September will have the ability to give 28 days’ notice for reasons relating to Coronavirus until 30th June 2022. From 1st July 2022, the tenant’s right to terminate will be as set out in the tenancy agreement.
It must be noted that the Regulations apply to ‘Student Residential Tenancies’ only, i.e. student renters living in purpose built student accommodation (including university halls of residence and private student halls) which are excluded from being Private Residential Tenancies in terms of Schedule 1, Paragraph 5 of the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016.
Students occupying let accommodation in terms of a Private Residential Tenancy will continue to be able to give 28 days’ notice (or whatever period has been agreed in writing with the landlord) in terms of the 2016 Act.
For more information or advice, please contact us.