Students’ bad reputation and their lack of domestic skills are to blame for the poor standard of private rental student accommodation, according to a new ICM poll.
71 percent of British people believe that the quality of student accommodation has such a poor public perception because of the lack of care shown by students.
Subsequently, landlords are then reluctant to reinvest in the properties before new tenants move in because they expect the upkeep of the accommodation to be neglected.
In the poll of 1000 people, which was commissioned by UK oven valeting company, Ovenu, 48 percent of people think students show no care for the properties they rent.
A key factor blamed for students’ lack of care is their poor knowledge of home hygiene. More than 40 percent of people questioned believe students do not understand the importance of hygiene and keeping their homes clean.
The poll did suggest that Landlords could do more to help. 57 percent of those questioned believe that landlords do not do enough to explain to their student tenants how to carry out simple maintenance and housekeeping tasks.
Ovenu, which is an experienced contractor working with the rental accommodation sector, is encouraging landlords to introduce more stringent terms and conditions to ensure basic tasks, such as keeping bathrooms and kitchens clean, are carried out.
Rik Hellewell, Managing Director of Ovenu, said: “Students could be putting themselves at risk if they don’t make any effort to look after their accommodation.
“Our operatives have worked in a number of student rental properties during the summer break where the condition of the ovens was horrific.
“The tenants had obviously not bothered to clean the oven leaving it as a health and fire risk from the build up of spilt and burnt food.”
Rik said: “Historically landlords have a bad reputation for the quality of student accommodation they provide, but it is not always their own doing. Landlords face an uphill battle to provide accommodation that meets a high standard when they consistently have to recover their properties from neglect.
“You can understand why they are sceptical about investing in the upkeep of their rental properties if student tenants cannot carry out simple maintenance tasks.
“Although landlords could do more in some cases by explaining to their tenants how to carry our certain tasks there is no guarantee they will be done. In my view, rental terms and conditions should feature in more detail a list of maintenance tasks that are the responsibility of the tenants. If they fail to carry them out then they would be in breach of their rental agreement.”
For more information on Ovenu click on www.ovenu.co.uk
ICM interviewed a random sample of 1000 adults aged 18+ from its online panel between 13thth -15th July 2007. Surveys were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults. ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Further information at www.icmresearch.co.uk