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Graham Awards


Students want three year tenancies, cleaning and faster responses

A survey of 500 undergraduates has given a rare insight into what they want as accommodation priorities. 

The study, by a landlord insurance provider called Towergate, revealed what the firm calls “certain mismatches” between what landlords believe students require, and what is genuinely the tenants’ priorities.

The survey revealed that the average student in the UK pays between £300 and £499 per month to rent a room in a property they share with at least two other tenants. 


Results showed that large bedrooms are the most sought-after property feature for students, and they want fast reliable internet more than a living room or shared communal space.

In addition, most say they would pay more if their landlord provided cleaning services as part of the tenancy contract.

Some 68 per cent said they would prefer to remain in the same property throughout their time at university - at least three years for most.

Perhaps surprisingly some 64 per cent responded by saying they would prefer to live close to a supermarket than restaurants, bars or even their university campus. 

Less than half of students (43 per cent) can commute to their university campus within 15 minutes, and only 28 per cent rely on public transport to get to lectures and seminars.

Although face-to-face and telephone contact between landlords and tenants is the most common, students would rather use email to communicate with their landlord than any other method.

Only five per cent of students have communicated with their landlord through an instant messaging app like WhatsApp but 15 per cent say they would prefer this to telephone or email.

Just 15 per cent of students are dissatisfied by their current accommodation, but one-in-five say they have had disappointing experiences with landlords in the past.

When asked about what behaviour frustrates them the most, 73 per cent of students said a landlord who is slow to respond and deal with any issues they report is their biggest gripe, closely followed by landlords who visit unannounced – which is, of course, illegal.

  • Jeremy Robinson

    When the typical undergraduate course is three years, the majority spend their first year in university provided accommodation, then their final two years in private rented accommodation, why would they be requesting 3 year tenancies?

  • Suzy OShea

    Especially as they might want to go home for the long summer vacation!

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    We have students who stay for 3 or 4 years. Yes the go home in summer but yes they continue paying Full if they wish to keep property. I dont want to be paying council tax .We are professional LLs and run a tight and good business.

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    A rather annoying bit of research, which makes no sense, with, as others say, students typically staying the first out of 3 years usually, in halls. I just hope it doesn't get spun by Generation Rent and Shelter and the Government to get them out of providing student exemptions to the outrageous new proposal to bring in indefinite tenancies.

  •  G romit

    I agree with most of the comments made.
    It would be interesting to see the actually questions asked. We all know that pollsters can skew results by the way they phrase questions.

    All of my students get first dibs to stay on for a further year before the end of their tenancy. The take up rate is generally low (~5-10%) and I would it has been going down over the last 10 years (10 yrs ago it was 20-25%)


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