No, I am not referring to sitting down with a packet of Rizla and putting on a Bob Marley record, or rather CD, no wait, I mean streaming…god I am old! My university days are long behind me but looking at the recent changes that have taken place at UK universities and the upcoming changes this autumn, student landlords would be forgiven for thinking that the local campus is being transformed into a fairground.
The days of buying a house near a university and renting out rooms at a great return to students that have all enrolled for
a sociology degree (because it required attending just 10 hours of classes per week and because it sounded better than getting a job) are long gone. Nowadays student landlords need to monitor HMO regulations, the number of student pods being built locally, how much institutional investment in student accommodation is being pumped into their town, university fees compared to other towns, whether the courses being offered are rising or falling in popularity, the local university marketing spend and the number of places now being offered to domestic and international students, oh and local property prices of course.
They should probably also keep a close eye on the upcoming general election as well as a new government could change/un-do recent legislation that will likely impact demand for student accommodation in their area (again).
The cap for full-time undergraduate fees for home/EU students at English universities was raised from £3,000 to £9,000 in 2012. When announcing this back in 2010, ministers said the maximum £9,000 would be 'exceptional'. It wasn't, and it very quickly became the norm. This is because the number of student places available was firmly fixed so there was no real market, or competition to attract students, so all universities could get away with charging the maximum, which most of them did.