Following extensive consultation, a number of COVID related delays and Government scrutiny, the new National Code for Non-educational Establishments formally launched on 22nd March 2022.

After the introduction of the brand new section of the Code relating to Health and Wellbeing in January 2021, Code members and other key stakeholders were consulted on a host of further changes, which resulted in 34 responses, 15 of which were from Students’ Unions.

From the consultations that were undertaken whilst agreeing the final version of the revised Code, some significant changes have been made to the content. Detailed below is an overview of the main changes:

  • Where changes of operational management occur, this clause now clarifies the timescales for the transfer of the relevant documentation relating to essential day-to-day operations of the building.
  • An overhaul of the Equality and Diversity section, with a new clause added that requires members to price rooms for students with mobility and physical impairments at the lowest room rate available within their own portfolio for that local authority area (the lowest room rate includes all rents across a providers PBSA and smaller houses/off street portfolio)
  • A requirement added to provide gender neutral toilet facilities

  • A new section regarding new buildings titled ‘Late Construction: managing the problem and communicating with students’, which now covers 10 clauses and details enhanced provisions when late delivery occurs.
  • The introduction of ‘no-quibble’ payments for students affected by late buildings
  • In line with the Tenant Fees Act 2019 coming into force, the clause that referred to booking fees has now been removed.
  • A new sub section has been added entitled ‘Promoting Code Membership’, which consists of two clauses (3.11 and 3.12) and sets out in more detail what members should be doing with respect to this
  • The number of clauses within the Wi-Fi provision section have been reduced

  • Two additional clauses have been added on HMO licensing, that state members must be able to demonstrate that they have satisfied themselves whether or not any form of local authority property licensing applies to any developments that they are operating
  • To ensure clarity over timescales for repairs, the previous clause has been separated out into 3 priority groups, detailing the timescales in which repairs should be addressed
  • The clauses relating to the HHSRS have been made clearer, and where necessary legislative and regulatory references have been updated
  • A number of clauses on Fire Safety have been enhanced

  • The number of questions required in a tenant satisfaction survey has been revised and made less prescriptive
  • Addition of a subsection entitled ‘Code Information Requirements’, detailing the information on bed space and student numbers to be supplied to the National Code on an annual basis
  • Previously two separate sections titled ‘Disputes’ and ‘Complaints, these have now been combined to create a section titled Managing Conflict
  • Members now need to make clear their own complaints procedures and make these accessible on their website
  • To aid the understanding of the Code itself and to avoid confusion over its interpretation, a glossary of terms has been added as an appendix to clarify certain terminology used.

A full breakdown of the changes can be accessed here.

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