Nationwide Survey of 1500 Students Reveals to Landlords what Influences Accommodation Choice
As landlords prepare their properties over the summer, www.accommodationforstudents.com (AFS), the UK’s leading student accommodation website, has revealed the findings of its annual research programme following a series of focus groups and a survey of 1500 students nationwide.
The results look at how students search for suitable accommodation, what influences their choice and how satisfied they are with their accommodation and relationship with their landlord or letting agent.
Students use a mix of resources to find accommodation. Offline, the University accommodation office and letting agents are key resources.
Online, Google is the most used tool (and the most used resource overall) with 52% of respondents using it to search for accommodation and 39% using www.accommodationforstudents.com
Of interest to landlords, is that students who live in private, shared housing are more likely to use online resources to find a property than the University accommodation office, highlighting the need for landlords to have a strong online presence to appeal to the 90% of students who have a Smartphone.
When looking at where to live, the most important factor to a 58% majority of students was proximity to University and yet price is the most influential factor when it comes to making that final property choice.
61.8% of students who responded to the survey considered this to be the case and those in private accommodation were generally more satisfied that they were getting value for money than those in private or university halls of residence. 70% of students feel that bills inclusive rents are important as this helps them keep track of their finances.
The next most influential factor was the standard of upkeep of a property. Students do not seem to prioritise things like space, the standard of decor, or even the landlord when selecting a property yet 88% considered a fast internet connection the most important property feature.
Others included the availability of good storage space, large and functional communal spaces for socialising and for those in private rented accommodation, the availability of double beds.
The majority of students (66%) who responded to the survey lived in properties which were managed by landlords and letting agents and almost 60% of these had a positive relationship with them.
However, students reported a wide range of issues with landlords – the most frequently cited related to communication issues; either a perceived lack of response on maintenance issues (40%) or a general lack of communication (32.5%) and a whopping 94% felt that accredited properties were a good thing. A significant minority of students claim not to have experienced any problems at all (36%) and 51% of students felt their deposit had been unfairly withheld.
Simon Thompson comments “Understanding students and their motivations has always been central to the way we operate. Our findings did not seek to generalise students, as many have very individual experiences, but instead were designed to help us and our beneficiaries to better understand the changing requirements of the modern student.
Not only did the results reveal some surprising findings on topics such as finance, accommodation, university and course choice, accommodation and future aspirations, but some important information for landlords to take into consideration when approaching this market.”