The Future Of Student Housing? Student Co-Operatives Reduce Rent Prices - PropertyBlawg

The Future Of Student Housing? Student Co-Operatives Reduce Rent Prices

by JacobLittleDigirank on March 19, 2013

Over recent years, the government of this country has seen directed towards it a tirade of protests and student anger regarding the rise in costs related to being at university. From tuition fees to the prices of rent, it is now more expensive than ever to study – and so far there is very little that has been done about it.

The average cost of being a student in the UK is now approximately £70 a week – with both private properties and student accommodation seeing large increases in rent over the last few years. But now, a group of students from Birmingham have successfully applied for funding to form the UK’s first student housing co-operative.

£550,000 has been secured to buy two properties with 5 bedrooms each – and these houses will be permanently available to student members of the co-operative at vastly reduced rates. The idea is that you’re saving money on Estate Agent’s fees, Landlords and costly renovation work, but you are also creating a real home which draws on community knowledge and the idea that a grassroots movement can really help students in need.

‘We’re looking at a rent of about £40 per week to cover everything,’ states founder Sean Farmelo, who studies Philosophy at Birmingham University. ‘It couldn’t come at a better time too; with fees rising and maintenance loans not going up to match.’

It’s humble beginnings, but the founders of the co-operative truly believe that there is a future in buying student properties before the landlords do. Buying existing properties already intended for development circumvents any issues with planning permission appeals and neighborhood enforcement notices. It’s a good start – and there’s definitely evidence to suggest that this model can be taken elsewhere and increase in size.

“A couple of years down the line you can start tapping into real finance to buy halls to house hundreds of students. It’s a real possibility…there is an alternative”

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