It’s in landlord’s best interest to keep their student tenants happy, since it equates to longer stay, which in turn means potentially higher rental yield. While for the most part, living away from home is a life-enriching experience for HE students, we’ve found seven things about student accommodation that may infuriate even the most tolerant individual.
When a student is choosing their accommodation, it’s all about location, location, location. Every student wants to live close enough to their campus to tap the snooze button one more time every morning, but, obviously, the more central the accommodation is, the pricier the rent is. Finding a balance between the two is key to making sure your properties are highly sought-after.
For students, a room isn’t just a place to lay their head, it’s somewhere they can declutter their minds, which can be hard to do if the room is lit like an old medical ward with distracting fluorescent bulbs.
There are several little things that landlords can do to fix this, like investing in a variety of lamps – it’s surprising how welcoming a study space can be when it’s accessorised with a desk lamp. Apart from that, the colour of the light-bulbs can make a huge difference too; for example, white lights can aid concentration, whereas yellow lights are calming.
When students come home from a long, tiring day of lectures, the last thing they want to be greeted by is old-fashioned furniture. Cracked leather sofas, bobbling cushion covers and wallpaper that’s reminiscent of granny’s living room simply have no place in a contemporary student residence.
As much as ugly furniture is an assault on the senses, what’s worse is uncomfortable furniture. Having to pull an all-nighter in a stiff, unpadded chair is bad for both posture and productivity. Same goes to stringy mattresses – lack of quality sleep can cause concentration problems, amongst many other health issues.
Speaking of furniture, single beds deserve their own category here. Rent rates are going up, and so are students’ expectations. Most students are highly social; they don’t just want somewhere to sleep and shower, they expect their bedrooms to be able to double as hangout spaces as well.
You might think a single bed is perfectly fine for solo Netflixing, but it will prove to be less than ideal if/when your tenants want to invite a few friends over for a movie night. Evidently, more and more accommodation providers are starting to realise this, and we’re seeing larger beds in student residences as standard these days.
Sometimes slow Internet can be a friendly reminder for students to go and play outside and meet people, but most of the time, it’s nothing more than a cruel joke to destroy their productivity. Whether it’s for uni work or leisure, Wi-Fi is a modern essential in student accommodation – or any type of accommodation, for that matter.
In case there’s any doubt that the millennial students’ accommodation choices are heavily influenced by their needs to constantly stay connected to the World Wide Web, a 2013 survey showed that 87% of students would rather have Wi-Fi over hot water in their accommodation.
Lack of soundproofing
Most students don’t think of this when they’re flat-hunting, until they find themselves having to constantly endure their flatmate’s shower-singing.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much we can do to improve student vocal skills. What we can do is share a few tips on how to furnish a soundproof room. Carpeting the floor and switching to noise-reducing curtains is a great start, and it won’t break the bank either. Additionally, arranging the furniture strategically – i.e. placing heavier furniture against the walls – and filling up empty spaces with functional furniture like bookcases and wardrobes can block sound transmission too.
Bad landlords tend to fall under two categories: those who won’t give you any privacy, and those who deal with problems by ignoring them and hoping they’ll go away. Either type can make living in their property challenging, and this attitude eventually drives student tenants to move out at the first opportunity.