Internet service in rentals

Question from Ieuan updated on 12th February 2018:

I am a student tenant in a flat with six other students. In section 5B of the Residential Tenancies Act it states that the landlord must provide services to the students accommodated in the premises that are over and above the services that a landlord must provide under Part 2 or 2A.

I am wondering if those services include enabling access to the internet for all the students? While I am aware that we must pay for our internet etc. I was wondering if they are required to make it possible to access it from wherever in the house.

The context is that some of us live in a sleep out and they are saying that if we want access to the internet from the sleep out, we must pay to make it possible? Are we able to enforce section 5B, and make them pay to lay the cabling and install it to the sleep outs?

Our expert Jennifer Sykes responded:

Section 5B of the Residential Tenancies Act refers to situations that are not covered under tenancy law. This relates to accommodation provided exclusively for students that meets certain requirements.

If you are living in exempt student accommodation you will need to discuss your concerns directly with your student accommodation provider. The kinds of ‘additional’ services provided by a student accommodation provider may include support services, resident staff, pastoral care services, mentoring, catering and similar services designed to help a student during their studies.

If your accommodation is not exempt student accommodation under section 5B then any services provided by the landlord do not need to be services that are over and above those that may be provided in a regular rental arrangement.

As it is not clear if you are living in exempt student accommodation, you may wish to call our Service Centre on 0800 TENANCY (0800 83 62 62) for more information.


The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment provides information and guidance on building law and compliance, services including weathertight homes, and advice for tenants and landlords.

Search the Ask an Expert archive

Browse all questions in the Ask An Expert Archive »

Site by PHP Developer