The school term is coming up and like every year, university students are in the middle of searching for a flat to share. This time, they are also facing the uncertainty of a year affected by COVID-19 and the possibility of new outbreaks. It seems that classes will be face-to-face, but the possibility that they will be given online with or without another lockdown is also a reality. Given all of this, it is necessary to prevent conflicts by including a COVID clause in student rental contracts.
COVID clause in student rental contracts
The last lockdown was unforeseen. When classrooms closed, many students went home to their families and that’s when the tension started: early termination of contracts, non-payments, breaches, difficulties when it comes time to getting belongings back or being able to rent the flat again because students’ belongings were still there... What's more, the fact that a large majority were shared flats, where the contracts don’t always entirely reflect the reality, complicated the issue even further.
For this reason, this year, with the possibility that online classes could be back at some point still in the air, it’s recommendable to ensure that everything is clear by including a COVID clause in student rental contracts. This is the best way to avoid conflicts and solvable problems between the flat owner and students and among the students who share a flat themselves.
It’s about preventing possible situations that could arise in the upcoming school year as a consequence of the coronavirus, such as another lockdown, and agreeing on contract terms in which different options for leaving are considered for the interested parties on both sides. This way, the renter and rentee know what to expect and how to proceed regarding the rental while at the same time protecting their interests.
The COVID clause in student rentals can stipulate that if there is another lockdown or classes stop:
- Early termination of the contract without penalties.
- Early termination of the contract with an acceptable penalty for the student.
- Suspension of rent payment during the lockdown period.
- Payment of a lower amount of rent during that period.
It is also possible to offer a combined solution according to the duration of the lockdown or add specifications such as what happens to students’ belongings. For example, you could consider that in the event that a student suspends the rental, he or she will be responsible for paying for collecting and sending their things home so that the property owner can rent the property again as soon as possible.
In any case, it's very important that the drafting of the contract terms is precise, specific, and free of ambiguity or different interpretations.
A well-designed COVID clause in student rental contracts is a good idea at this time. This is true both for the university student, who will have the security that they won’t have to pay for a room they aren’t going to use, and for the property owner, who can ensure a minimum income or make their property more attractive for renting for university students.
Both can also benefit before the start of the year from the real estate website Spainhouses, where it’s possible to increase the visibility of the property you want to rent as well as find that ideal flat for renting with other students. Do it now!