The student lettings website is reporting a triple whammy for this year’s A Level students seeking university places. Higher tuition fees, tougher A Level standards and higher accomodation costs. This year’s results show that the number of people being immediately accepted on to courses is down by 7% on figures from 2011 but this does not mean that gaining a place on a popular course is easy. On average, universities are over-subscribed by 10%. Simon Thompson, the co -founder and director of Accomodation for Students says that the rise in fees has encouraged students to think more carefully about their choice of university and course, with more and more people now seeking places at the best universities in order to gain value for money and a greater chance of successful employment at the end. He says ” this is allowing those universities to cherry pick students with the very best grades.”

An issue of importance to our landlord insurance clients is the rising cost of student accomodation. Accomodation for Students has found that the average weekly student rent is now £68.70, up by 2.4% from the 2011 figure of £67.11. In London the average student rent is over £100 per week while at the other end if the scale in Pontypridd it is a more modest £45.94. Any landlords thinking about entering the student letting market should take a look at the Accomodation for Students website and also do plenty of research into the regulations governing this specialist area of the rental business. Your local council website will probably have information about the rules governing licences for houses in multiple occupation and things like smoke detectors, gas and electrical safety and furniture and furnishings. The penalties for breaches of these rules are very severe indeed so it is essential that student landlords do their homework.