The Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement commits Unipol to providing the accommodation for the duration of the contract at a fixed and agreed rent. It also commits a tenant to pay rent for that period.
Contract lengths vary: they are normally 43 weeks for first-year students (starting in mid-September) but most of the houses taken by returning students are let on 52 week contracts - in some instances concessionary rents over the summer are offered.
To keep rents low it is important to keep occupancy high (the fewer empty rooms, the lower the rents need to be for those remaining). So unless exceptional circumstances can be demonstrated, Unipol expects all tenants to discharge their contractual obligations and the tenancy cannot be 'cancelled' or a notice period provided.