15:49 PM, 1st September 2011, About 10 years ago
Students rate good internet access as their top priority when looking for a home.
A good online experience is better than value-for-money accommodation or a digs in a nice location.
Nine out of 10 opted for broadband as the number one concern in a survey of more than 15,000 students at universities and colleges across the UK. The National Student Housing Survey (NSHS) was trying to pinpoint what students look for when renting a home.
Good value accommodation was voted in to second place, scoring 85 per cent, while location was third with 75 per cent of the vote.
Turn offs were lack of fridge space, slow response to making repairs, noise and not enough recycling facilities.
Poor kitchens, laundries and toilets also featured as complaints.
According to the study, students like to look for somewhere to live in November, while with the largest take up of private lettings is in June and September.
When viewing property, students tend to sign up for the first halls they view, while they take longer to decide about sharing houses, visiting an average three properties, while the most particular students can view up to 10 properties.
University housing offices are the first port of call when compiling a short list of places to live, followed by letting agents and online accommodation sites.
The average student pays between £90 and £100 per week for accommodation, but halls often bundle internet access, cable or satellite TV and cleaning in the price.
“Going to university is no longer a right, but something students pay a lot of money to do. They know what they want and they are intelligent enough to make sure they get it. Student accommodation remains a thriving business, but those who will continue to succeed in this market will be those who listen to their tenants and respond effectively,” said Tim Daplyn, NSHS project director.
Landlords offering poor accommodation are likely to lose students as customers, points out the NSHS report.
“From next year, students face a bill of thousands of pounds for the cost of a university education, and the discerning student knows what they want, how much it should cost them and they will accept nothing less,” says the survey.
“Demand for university accommodation remains high, and more and more private property companies are branching out to offer accommodation solely targeted at the student population. Landlords and property investors need to start listening to these consumers, or risk losing out to bigger companies.”
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