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Fast internet is student rental priority

A new report ‘What Students Seek’ has surveyed students around the country to gauge what is most important when considering a property to rent.

‘What Students Seek’ is an annual report commissioned by Glide Utilities that investigates what students look for in their shared accommodation, pulling out trends and insights for landlords and letting agents to make sure their properties meet the changing demands of students.

In terms of what students look for, the most popular items include:

  • Fast internet: by far the most popular item on students’ wish list, 83% highlight fast internet as something they look for specifically.
  • Inclusive bills: 74% say this is an essential or important when choosing a property.
  • Double beds: 61% of students want double beds.
  • Big, functional communal rooms: 59% of respondents said they were after large living rooms.
  • Location: 55% it’s very important to be close to the university.
  • Transport: 31% highlight the need for good transportation links.

While some of these items can be tricky to implement, there are steps landlords and agents can do to make properties attractive. Storage is a concern, and installing wardrobes and other storage spaces can be attractive to tenants.

The national average weekly rent for students is £95, which nearly half of students think represents good value for money. However, it is important that you pay attention, and keep in line with typical local rents.

James Villarreal, CEO at Glide Utilities said of the findings: “The secret to gaining student appeal in 2015 is definitely ‘more is more’. While the majority of students are satisfied with their accommodation, we can’t ignore the fact that this figure is gradually falling.

“This isn’t because conditions are slipping, necessarily, but that student expectations are rising. We’ve seen this in our own business and have made changes to keep attracting more customers. Our findings highlight exactly what students seek, when it comes to private rented accommodation, and will help landlords and agents make the right practical, changes, without breaking the bank.”

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  • Daniel Roder

    Yep, increasingly important. Something all of us landlords have to bear in mind - student tenants won't mind a slightly higher rent if it means they have excellent broadband.

    Surprised to see 'fast internet' is a bigger priority than bills, but we live in an internet age these days and people feel uneasy if they're not switched on at all times.

  • Robert  McKechnie

    Doesn't surprise me in the slightest. We've blogged about this before and landlords/letting agents should be aware, if they weren't already, that good internet access is absolutely crucial. It's become a daily necessity for most people, but none more so than the student demographic. They need it for research purposes, for social media, for watching films and TV series, for listening to music, for shopping, for booking holidays and gig tickets, for submitting work electronically. In essence, they can't really live without it. Well, it would certainly make life more difficult.

    Students won't stand for shoddy internet or a stop-start connection so I can see why it's the top consideration when renting.

  • Kenny Sahota

    Convenience is key for students and this is reflected in the high ranking of both fast internet speeds and inclusive bills. What did surprise me is that transport was not higher up the list. When communicating with the tenants I know across London one of their priorities is their connectivity to the rest of the capital transport-wise.

    As I have previously explained in one of my blogs the majority of students don't demand the full-works when it comes to their accommodation, but that landlords need to simply provide clean, contemporary and well-maintained living areas to keep students on-side.

  • Felicity Blair

    I would definitely agree that students expectations for their accommodation are rising, and rightly so. Why shouldn't they expect high-quality, well-maintained properties!

    Not at all surprised that inclusive bills are up there as a top requirement.


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