A safe house share is the way to a student’s heart

Posted on 1 Oct, 2021

Autumn has arrived and for landlords in university cities, now is one of their busiest times. As well as an influx of new students transferring from halls to a house share, it’s also a peak time for undergraduates to start looking for a property for the following academic year.

Viewber conducted a property survey among the UK’s student population to discover their attitudes to the private rental sector. The findings are not only eye opening for the team here, they help inform both landlords and letting agents who wish to rent student accommodation in the quickest time frame and for the highest rents.

The top line? Make it clean and centrally located for the broadest appeal, while adding optional extras fully justifies charging more rent. And fast, reliable broadband? Students would rather have an en-suite bathroom.

Clean & safe for success:

Despite the urban myth that student house shares are messy hovels, the undergraduates questioned are concerned with how clean their property is. They’re also mindful of security:

- Complaints to landlords are most likely to be about unsafe or unsanitary conditions (75%), followed by dirty kitchens and bathrooms (14.3%)

- Students would pay extra rent for a weekly cleaner (57.1%)

- Unsafe areas put off more than half of students (67.9%)

- The majority of those questioned feel CCTV should be provided by the landlord (60.7%)

The viewings stage:

While pre-filmed videos and virtual tours are preferred by almost a third of students, seeing a property first hand in the flesh is extremely important in the research and shortlisting stages:

- An in-person viewing is the preferred method of viewing a property for the majority (57.1%)

- Most would not reserve a student property without seeing it in person first (57.1%)

- A quarter of respondents would not view a property alone, with 57.1% saying an accompanied viewing is somewhat important

Rental set-up:

A house share is still the most popular accommodation type, although the location and the bathroom facilities are pivotal when it comes to what’s important:

- Renting with two or more housemates is the most preferred set up (75%)

- Being able to walk to campus, bars, restaurants and shops tops the priority list (53.6%)

- An en-suite bathroom (35.7%) is the second most important priority, followed by fast, reliable broadband (7.5%)

Rents & rises:

Not all students are budget conscious. Many are prepared to pay more rent for life’s little extras and a killer location (just don’t mention paying for a full year).

- Only a minority of students would complain to a landlord about rent rises (7.1%)

- Almost all students think it’s unfair to pay 12 months’ rent, even if they return home for holidays (82.1%)

- A third of students would pay extra rent for an entertainment package that included Netflix, Now TV and Sky Movies (32.1%)

- The majority of respondents were prepared rent a more expensive property if it was centrally located (85.7%)

Additional findings:

- Only 7.1% of students questioned preferred to just look at property photos when looking for a student let

- No students who took part in the survey would complain to their landlord about a lack of privacy

- A third of students would continue to rent their property if it was offered to them after graduation

- 17.9% of those questioned wouldn’t bother looking into an area’s crime rate and safety statistics

- 28.6% of respondents didn’t think CCTV at a student let was necessary

- 21.4% of students would prefer to rent a property on their own, with no housemates

- No respondents would pay extra rent in return for a recipe box subscription, such as Gousto or Hello Fresh

If you are a landlord or a letting agent in the student let sector, get in touch to discuss our survey findings. We have Viewbers in every university town and city in the UK, ready to accompany students on viewings and create digital marketing assets, which include 360 degree virtual tours, pre-filmed videos and still photographs. Let’s chat.

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