What’s Happening in the UK’s Student Rental Market?


Research carried out by Manor Interiors has revealed that the cost of renting for a student has increased as much as 26% in some areas of the UK but have actually fallen by 2% in Scotland.

Manor Interiors, specialists in built-to-rent furnishing solutions, has found that the average student in Britain pays £132 to rent a student property, reaching £152 in London. However, London and Scotland are the only two regions in the UK where rents have gone down – 16% down in London and 2% in Scotland. In Scotland students now pay an average of £127 per week.

Students in the East Midlands have seen the largest increase, paying an average of £129 per week which is a 26% in crease in just five years. There were also increases in the North West up 20%, Yorkshire and the Humber up 23% and the Humber up 21%.

For students, every penny counts and any rise in rental payments could seem significant and affect where they choose to study. However, this hasn’t dampened the appetite for a university education and a record number of students have looked to secure a place at University this year.

Scotland Student Accommodation in Crisis?

According to a BBC report this week, Scotland is facing a housing emergency driven by a shortage of suitable student accommodation and rising rental costs.

NUS Scotland has issued a warning that unprecedented demand has left some students without any suitable lodgings and have resulted in some students considering dropping out of their university course.

Some landlords have reportedly requested six months rent upfront, while others are waiting until COP26 is over as they can command high short-term rental fees during the climate conference.

With life getting back to normal for students and a return to in-class learning, the housing situation is causing concern for students and the NUS who has revealed that they have never experienced as many requests for support to help people find places to live.

NUS Scotland president Matt Crilly has written to the Scottish government to highlight these concerns and says:

“For many students, particularly those studying in the central belt of Scotland, there is currently a lack of safe and affordable accommodation, with purpose-built student accommodation full, shortages in the private rented sector, and landlords holding off to make a profit from COP26, I am concerned we have a student housing emergency.”

John Blackwood, chief executive of the Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL), said:

“We are seeing a chronic shortage of private rented accommodation across Scotland, partly as a result of landlords leaving the sector over the past couple of years which has reduced supply. In addition, landlords warned in 2017 that an unintended consequence of the Private Residential Tenancy (PRT) could be a reduction in accommodation available to students as landlords were no longer able to offer fixed-term leases which matched with term times. As a result, properties which landlords would hold back and market specifically for students are now rented by people as their primary home on a longer-term basis. One of the key aims of the PRT has been achieved but it is students who are suffering.”