Home Property Housing Hand supports students to find appropriate accommodation

Housing Hand supports students to find appropriate accommodation

by Lilly Partin
25th Apr 24 12:17 pm

UK rental guarantor service Housing Hand is encouraging university students to take a proactive approach to finding their accommodation for the 2024/25 academic year.

The firm, which works with students and accommodation providers across the UK, points out that many second- and third-year students have already secured their accommodation for the coming academic year. This results in an already limited choice for first-year students, meaning they need to be primed to book their accommodation as soon as possible if they are to find the accommodation type, location and cost that they are seeking.

“While most first-year students won’t be able to book their accommodation until their choice of university is confirmed, there is much that they can do in terms of research and prequalification. Students who already understand the differences between purpose-built student accommodation, houses in multiple occupation and co-living and Build to Rent properties will be at an advantage when it is time to book. And in terms of location and price, the message is clear: book early if you want decent choice,” said, Graham Hayward, Chief Operating Officer, Housing Hand

The range of property types available to students is greater than ever – but so is competition for them. For students seeking an all-in-one solution, purpose-built student accommodation PBSA tends to be a popular choice. Bills are included in the cost and there are usually on-site amenities that can save students costs elsewhere (such as gyms and cinemas). PBSA schemes are also generally well-located for university access.

However, the PBSA sector isn’t the cheapest. For students on more of a budget, houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) can offer a more affordable alternative. As well as being cost effective, they enable students to share with friends and fellow students – something which appeals to international and domestic students alike.

Other options include co-living and Build to Rent schemes. These tend to combine slightly smaller than average apartments with impressive communal facilities, supporting students (and working professional renters) to socialise and make friends. Some offer an all-in cost, while others require renters to pay bills on top, meaning students need to be conscious of what their costs will be.

“As accommodation availability dwindles, prices for the remaining homes go up. We see this happen year after year, with students who leave their accommodation-seeking to the last minute often paying a premium as a result – as well as having a much more limited choice over where they can live,” added, James Maguire, Head of Sales and Marketing, Housing Hand

Housing Hand offers a range of services to ensure students are ready to rent. The firm is the UK’s largest rental guarantor service, also offering a depositless renting option and a guarantee created specifically for students in HMOs. It helps students ensure their paperwork is in order, so they can be ready to act fast when they find the property they want. Housing Hand also provides a House Finder service through which students can find, book and review accommodation close to their university of choice.

Over the past 11 years, Housing Hand has observed that most second- and third-year students have secured their accommodation by the end of March, ready to move into it in September. Some even book as early as November of the preceding year. Doing so with a Housing Hand guarantee in place only requires a £10 onboarding fee at the time of booking, with the Housing Hand subscription then only starting when the tenancy starts. The service means that students and landlords both enjoy the guarantee of rent being paid, even if the student’s financial circumstances change.

With the flurry of accommodation bookings that follow A level results being issued, Housing Hand’s busiest period runs from the end of July to early October each year. As the weeks pass, students face less and less choice in their accommodation options – and higher and higher prices. In cities where accommodation is lacking and/or demand for homes is particularly high, the need to book early is even more important.

“Bristol, Manchester, York, Glasgow and Durham are all locations where students may struggle to find well-located and well-priced homes this year. Though the situation so far is looking a little better than for the 2023/24 academic year, when some of these cities were sold out of accommodation by February, there is still plenty of pressure to find decently priced homes in convenient locations.”

James Maguire, Head of Sales and Marketing, Housing Hand

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