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Contemporary student accommodation is designed for the modern student lifestyle. It's popularity is due to a large part to a hassle-free option - all inclusive, secure, professional.

It is a very different proposition from landlord owned accommodation which is why the National Union of Students have conducted a study to get a clearer understanding of student experiences in the private rented/HMO sector.  

What Are Students Looking For? 

Students tend to choose where to live primarily based on location (49%) and  Easy Option (44%). Affordability (39%) is also a primary driver.  Interestingly Living friends is of much lower importance at 19%. 

Student accommodation providers especially Abodus, provide no bills, no surprises approach to rent making it as easy as possible.

When Do Students Look For Accommodation?

Students start looking in December (57%) which is why by January any decent HMO property has already been booked for the following September.  This is due to the pressure from peers and the marketplace - everyone running to get the decent digs. In many cities, leaving the accommodation search until January/February means that there will be students can also pick up some great rebooking offers in this period with student accommodation providers. 

Inexperience of Student Renters

Many students are renting for the first time and are therefore unaware of their rights or standards which they should be experiencing. Many students are unaware of landlord accreditation, best practice tenancy agreements, how deposits should legally be managed. Under 50% of students report understanding their rights as tenants and being confident in enforcing them.  This was despite 86% feeling that there was more clarity needed on clarity on how tenants could take action.

 

What Can Students Expect to Pay?

While Abodus only charges £150 deposit, many students in private HMOs find that they have to pay additional costs to secure a room in shared accommodation

  • Reference Check Fees
  • Credit Check Fees
  • Administration Costs
  • Agency Fees

A third of students actually pay between £500 - £1000 in upfront landlord based accommodation and a further third pay in excess of £1000.

Utility Bills

Not changed their supplier or tariff - 44%

Average energy bill £48 a month but increases to £71 for students iwth a disibilty and as parents £144 per month. 

Students can become vulnerable to fuel poverty due to trying to balance budgets . Over 50% say they only have heating on for a limited time to save money.

Common Problems with Student Accommodation

Students can find themselves living in sub par accommodation. The NUS attributes this to a lack of industry regulation in the student landlord accommodation and also that for many students this will be the first time dealing with living arrangements and theses issues can be easily disguised in first viewings. 

  • Excessive Condensation - 44%
  • Draughty windows and doors - 42%
  • Damp & Mould - 40%
  • Vermin and/or insects - 20%
  • Electricity hazards - 16%
  • Gas hazards - 9%

Deposit Protection

Abodus automatically protects our resident’s deposit as part of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, hosever 37% of student renters elsewhere do not receive any evidence that their deposit has been protected, despite this being a legal requirement. 28% are asked to pay this deposit before seeing their tenancy agreement.  We believe in full transparency and Abodus provides a copy of our contract on our website.

Return Of Deposit

Nationally 61% of student renters receive their deposit back in full with 7% not getting any deposit returned. At Abodus XXX get their deposits returned and we circulate clear guidelines for students regarding our standards to help them get their deposit back.

About the author

Abodus Student Living

The Abodus Student Living Team

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