Modern universities aspire to provide their students with the best services possible. This includes support in finding and securing adequate student accommodation, which is one of the most urgent issues for many students across the UK. As demand for student housing remains high, the sector continues to grow and remains very profitable; hence, the number of available accommodation options rises and it can become quite confusing to find proper student housing that meets certain quality criteria. Students often seek help and guidance in this respect, since there is a real danger to end up with a room of insufficient quality or even to fall victim to a "scam".
Filtering quality accommodation from the "rest" before posting it on your Studentpad databse can help to make the whole process much easier for your students, your institution, and local landlords as well as letting agencies - and Landlord Accrediation Schemes are one of the most effective tools to achieve this objective. Simply put, they enable you to decide who can and cannot post a vacant property on your platform based on a range of quality criteria. They put you in full charge of quality control and ensure that only accredited accommodation options are advertised among your students.
What is Landlord Accreditation?
An accreditation scheme ensures that landlords and letting agents must keep to a voluntary Code of Standards relating to the management and physical condition of their property which is similar to that of the councils. Acceptance as an accredited landlord relies on self-certification by the landlord or letting agent stating that their property and management practice meet the Code of Standards. However, in order to bind landlords and letting agents to their promises universities/colleges and student unions can carry out random property inspections and send tenant questionnaires to all accredited properties to ensure these standards are being maintained.
What are the Main Aims?
Landlord Accrediation Schemes help you to ensure a high level of quality for student accommodation in your area by achieving three main aims:
- Improve standards and management of student accommdoaiton in your city/town/area.
- Enhance the reputation of landlords and letting agents to students who want to show that they are committed to raising the quality level of management and accommodation.
- Allow current and future students to find good landlords and make informed choices about renting in the private sector.
Altogether, students will find it much easier to identify and rent housing options that meet their needs and it allows your institution to provide them with orientation and support in the whole letting process.
What are the Benefits of Being Accredited?
Landlords and letting agents can benefit in several respects from being part of an accrediation scheme:
- The status of being publicly identified as a good landlord to potentially tens of thousands of students within a specified area.
- The opportunity to distancing themselves from incompetent or unscrupulous landlords.
- The business advantage of advertising their accredited status to potential tenants who place emphasis on good quality and well managed accommodation.
It is also anticipated that an accredited status will bring landlords the following general but important benefits:
- A lower turnover of tenants producing savings on re-letting and loss of income from voids.
- A decrease in abuse of properties.
- An advantage over other providers in attracting new and better tenants.
- A better image with potential lenders.
- Improved contact and advice from both the Council and the relative student associations.
What are the Benefits for students?
Students also benefit in various respects:
- Confidence that their landlord is professional and reputable, and that if any issues do arise then the students know that they can contact their union for help and assistance.
- Assurance that the Accreditation Scheme Code of Standards will be followed and maintained.
- Information regarding rights and responsibilities as a tenant. This is a big bonus for students who are entering the market for the first time and will be very naïve.
All of this provides important safeguards for students that protect them from scams and other abusive methods.
To sum up, Landlord Accreditation Schemes are a "win-win-win" solution for ensuring good quality in private sector rented student accommodation: firstly, they allow universities/colleges and student unions to install an effective system for controlling what student accommodation they want to advertise to their student and thus to provide them with orientation and protection; secondly, landlords can raise their profile and gain important advantages over their competitors; thirdly and finally, students can find and rent quality accommodation quickly while benefitting from a range of safguards throughout tenancy.
(Image source: http://www.contemporist.com/2008/03/02/tietgen-student-housing-in-copenhagen-denmark/)