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Students want to stay in same home right through university

A survey by Towergate Insurance reveals surprising facts about students' preferences and needs as tenants.

Sheila Manchester

Link to student survey findingsThe survey reveals the type of property and location students favour and the method they would choose to communicate with their landlord or letting agent.

Key findings
  • Students highly rate large bedrooms, living rooms and high-speed broadband
  • Students prefer to communicate directly with landlords by email
  • Students need to be near a supermarket

Who knew today’s students were so demanding? Students have very precise requirements about where they live. 68% would prefer to continue living in the same property right through university.

Sharing accommodation is common – 52% of students prefer to share homes with four or more tenants.

Large bedrooms, good living rooms and en-suite bathrooms are highly valued – but broadband is the number one priority.

Rents and services

On average a student (or the BoM&D) pays £300 – £499 per month – more in London, 36% pay a £500+ per month, compared to 20% in the West Midlands. At the top end, 4% of students in the UK pay over £700 per month. Unsurprisingly, most students would be willing to pay more if a cleaning service was provided by the landlord!


Most students have never lived away from home. The survey found that 38% of students did not know how to programme a boiler and had to ask for help – perhaps landlords could ‘induct’ tenants into the property at the start of the tenancy.

Landlords often use letting agencies – one in four students has no direct contact with their landlord, nonetheless, 62% of students would prefer to deal directly with their landlord rather than an agency. 73% of students say that their biggest complaint is having a landlord who is slow to respond and fails to promptly deal with issues.


The survey results show that for most students the deciding factor in choosing a location is proximity to a supermarket rather than to bars and restaurants. (Are they being honest???)

Fewer students expect to live near their university. In fact, fewer than half of all students are able to commute to their campus within 15 minutes.

Lesson for the day

The survey results highlight the fact that university is a transition period for young people. Letting a property to them may require a more proactive, ‘hands-on’ approach on the part of the landlord.

Landlords can make a success of their tenancy businesses by getting to know what students really want from rented accommodation.

July 26, 2019

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