Assured Shorthold Tenancies
The majority of landlords will expect students to sign up to a 12 month contract for accommodation. Though some will offer 9, 10 and 11 month contracts, these are not as common. Notwithstanding any mitigating circumstances or negotiations with your landlord, you would be liable for the rent for the full length of your tenancy.
Resident Landlord / Lodgings accommodation
For students living in Resident Landlord accommodation, if you have a Licence agreement there is not normally a strongly defined period of stay. If you wish to leave your lodgings you are only legally required to give ‘reasonable notice’ before leaving, which, depending upon the frequency of your rent instalments, could be a week or a month. Nonetheless, it is good practice and common courtesy to be honest and frank with your landlord about the expected period which you intend to stay. Bear in mind also that ‘reasonable notice’ works both ways, and a landlord is also only legally required to give ‘reasonable notice’ of eviction. It is possible, however, to find Fixed Term agreements being offered by resident landlords - these commit you to renting the room for a set period of time, and should detail any notice provisions (reasonable notice will not automatically apply). Therefore, it is important to check the agreement before you sign it.