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Talent and student private rented sector bottlenecks: a preliminary UK investigation

Simon Huston (Department of Real Estate, School of Real Estate and Land Management, The Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester, UK.)
Arvydas Jadevicius (Department of Real Estate, School of Real Estate and Land Management, The Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester, UK.)
Negin Minaei (RELM, The Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester, UK)

Property Management

ISSN: 0263-7472

Article publication date: 15 June 2015

1161

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to sketch the UK housing backdrop, review the student private rented sector (PRS) and assess the experience of post-graduate university student tenants in the PRS.

Design/methodology/approach

A literature review puts the issues of student-PRS responsiveness into context and helps to untangle some UK housing issues. The private sector’s size, growth and performance is assessed by reviewing secondary data. In-depth interviews were then conducted at a regional university campus.

Findings

The study confirms accumulating evidence of an unbalanced UK housing market. The study identified four main PRS issues: first, rapid university expansion without accompanying residential construction has sparked rampant PRS growth with, second, quality issues, third, in tight letting market conditions, rented agent service levels fell and fourth, part of the problem is complex PRS management procedures.

Research limitations/implications

The research has three noteworthy limitations. First, the macroeconomic analysis integrated secondary research without independent modelling. Second, the views of letting agents, university property managers, planning officers or landlords were not canvassed. Finally, the pilot interviews were geographically restricted.

Practical implications

When they expand, universities, local authorities and industry players need to give due consideration to plan for, design and develop quality student accommodation. Over-reliance on the PRS without informed oversight and coordination could undermine student experience and erode long-term UK competitiveness.

Social implications

The lack of quality student rented accommodation mirrors a general housing malaise around affordability, polarisation and sustainable “dwelling”. Standards and professionalism in the rented sector is part of the overall quality mix to attract global talent.

Originality/value

The preliminary investigation uses mixed-methods to investigate PRS service delivery. It illustrates the interplay between professional property management and wider issues of metropolitan productivity, sustainability and resilience.

Keywords

Citation

Huston, S., Jadevicius, A. and Minaei, N. (2015), "Talent and student private rented sector bottlenecks: a preliminary UK investigation", Property Management, Vol. 33 No. 3, pp. 287-302. https://doi.org/10.1108/PM-09-2014-0039

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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