Poll: Government should do more to help students find housing

Over half (53%) of the British public reckon the government needs to up its game in helping students find housing, a YouGov poll has found.

As part of the Renters Reform Bill, the government plans to end fixed-term tenancy agreements (FTTAs) for private student housing. Higher education organisations like Universities UK have warned that such a move would threaten the availability, affordability, and quality of student housing in a sector already in crisis.

The poll was commissioned by SAPRS (Student Accredited Private Rental Sector) – a coalition of second- and third-year student accommodation providers.

Calum MacInnes, chair at SAPRS said: “Our research provides damning evidence for the government to act quickly and offer parity for private student housing with purpose-built student accommodation.

“Delivering security for students would win support from this community, at a time when students need it most.”

In its current form, the Renters Reform Bill will ban FTTAs for private student accommodation in England, despite both students and landlords relying on tenancies that align with the cyclical nature of the academic year.

SAPRS and other experts in the higher education sector believe that the Bill does not recognise the unique structure of the student housing market and therefore fails to adequately deliver for students and student landlords.

As a result, SAPRS argued that the Renters Reform Bill must be amended to ensure parity between purpose-built student accommodation and private student housing.