From leaky pipes to coin-operated showers, from dodgy DIY to uninvited, furry visitors, the Experience Invest team has had their fair share of horror house stories.
Many of the team’s student housing horror stories are from years ago and before legislation to improve HMOs was introduced, and before investment in a new wave of purpose-built student accommodation had begun.
When I moved out of university halls in 2006, I moved into a shared house in the second year with friends. The property was cheap, spacious for the price and, most importantly, close to the university.
Everything seemed OK, until things started to break. First the hot water broke down, then we discovered mould, and one housemate was locked inside her room because the door handle (attached by Blu Tack) had fallen off – but on the outside of the door.
With £5 billion worth of investment in the UK’s student property sector in 2015 alone, horror stories like mine are starting to become a thing of the past.
According to the latest figures from the property experts at Knight Frank, there are around 525,000 purpose-built student rooms across the country.
It is thought that the UK’s student sector is now worth an impressive £43 billion in terms of value (stock owned privately and by universities). By the end of 2016, £4 billion would have been invested in UK’s student accommodation sector.
Looking back, my house of horrors wasn’t too bad but I would stay in a purpose-built student development like London Park House if I had the choice again.
There are currently £4.5 million tenants across the UK.
‘Generation Rent’ is a term which is thrown about a lot these days and why wouldn’t it be? The huge housing deficit has forced people to change their perception of modern-day living. Many renters are open to flexible tenancy agreements or are even open to long-term lets.
Over the last 10 years, the nation has shifted from a country of homeowners to a country of renters and, with property prices continuing to climb, this trend will inevitably continue.
With a rise in the number of people renting property across Britain, there is a higher expectation of what tenants want from their dwellings.
Landlords are now expected to provide good quality housing which is managed professionally and efficiently.
Dated features such as coin-operated electricity and showers and uninsulated windows are now a thing of a past and with improvements in HMO regulations, housing horror stories aren’t as terrifying these days.
Buy-to-Rent sector to the rescue
The Buy-to-Rent sector is making steady improvements to the UK’s housing market, with new-build developments popping up across the country.
Areas like Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool have emerged as key locations for Build-to-Rent as they respective economies are experiencing an emergence of economic activity.
Manchester’s Media City has attracted thousands of people over the last few years and Leeds, where the regeneration of Clarence Dock and the new Victoria Gate shopping centre, have brought about changes in the companies who operate there.
Liverpool has seen a record level of start-up businesses move to the city. Its thriving student population, bustling Generation Rent and its continuously strong economy has given birth to a business savvy, yet trendy subculture.
With billions of pounds of investment being pumped into the UK’s housing market, horror houses should be a thing of the past.
Well, maybe just for Halloween.
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