This is what could actually happen if you have to isolate past your tenancy end date

You could end up paying three months’ worth of rent

With exams over and summer firmly on the way, many students have been enjoying the slight relaxation of restrictions over the past couple of weeks by going out and getting on the pints.

Unfortunately, there’s been a recent spike in coronavirus infection rates in university areas like Hyde Park in Leeds, where the rate currently stands at 1,547 per 100,000. The reality for many students is that they will have to self-isolate in their student houses beyond the end of their tenancy agreements (most end on June 30th).

While the government has encouraged landlords to change move dates, the reality is that they could end up really shafting those who have to self-isolate. Here’s exactly what could happen if you have to self-isolate beyond the end of your tenancy.

If you’re told to self-isolate, you legally have to stay in that property

If you’re unlucky enough to get coronavirus or have been instructed to self-isolate, it is the law that you have to isolate in the house you were staying in at the point when you got the instruction.

And if your tenancy agreement ends before your self-isolation period has completed, you must stay in that same property. This means landlords have to be somewhat flexible when negotiating the changeover of tenants.

The landlord probably won’t charge the new tenants for the days they can’t access the property

I mean, this makes perfect sense. It would be completely unfair for the landlord to charge incoming tenants for time during which they can’t enter their property. But the problem is, most landlords won’t be footing that bill.

You might have to pay for the extra days you remain in the property

It’s quite likely you’ll have to pay extra rent for the days you have to stay in the property beyond the end of your tenancy agreement.

On top of that, you may have to pay for the disinfection of your property, so the landlord can prepare the house for the next tenants.

You could end up paying a whole three months’-worth of rent

This would be all kinds of peak but unfortunately, it’s perfectly legal. If you don’t leave a property at the end of a fixed-term contract, something called a “statutory periodic tenancy” arises.

In this situation, you’d have to cover the standard period of time for which you’d previously paid rent. For example, if you paid rent monthly, you’d have to cover the next month, or if you paid quarterly, the next three months. That’s a serious amount of cash.

You should definitely try and negotiate terms with your landlord

If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, you should definitely try and negotiate a deal with your landlord. There’s every chance they might be able to sort something out with you.

The government guidance is that these sort of negotiations should be taking place. A spokesperson for the Department of Housing told The Tab: “Moving home is not appropriate if those involved pose a direct risk of transmitting coronavirus (Covid-19). See: Covid-19 Stay at Home guidance.

“We strongly urge accommodation providers and private landlords to come to amicable agreements with tenants, including students and to change move dates to ensure they are able to complete their self-isolation periods.”

You might be able to get some financial support from the Deposit Protection Scheme or from your uni

Generation Rent is a campaign group fighting for renters right. Deputy Director Dan Wilson Craw told The Tab: “If you’re asked to self-isolate beyond the end of your tenancy, you should inform your landlord or agent who should be sympathetic and rearrange your move out date.

“If you stay past the end of your tenancy, your landlord could demand rent for the days you overstay and claim this from your deposit if you don’t pay it, though if you disagree with a deduction you can raise a dispute through the deposit protection scheme.

“Your university may have a hardship fund to help you cover unexpected costs.”

Related stories recommended by this writer:

• Uni landlords are charging extra rent to self-isolating students who are unable to move out

• 42 per cent of Leeds students say they have had Covid since September 2020

• These are the unis where students have paid the most in Covid fines