“University bosses are becoming increasingly concerned about the number of private landlords applying to turn city buildings into student accommodation.” (Sunderland Echo, 04 October 2013).
They’re not the only ones ! You’d have had to be blind not to notice the number of ‘For Let – To Students’ signs appearing on houses around the city. Sunderland University (nee Polytechnic) is big business nowadays, and a whole host of specialist leech industries have grown up around it, and student-only letting agencies seem to be a boom area.
Indeed, it has been noted that one well-known city landlord seems to be moving wholeheartedly into this new area – whether they will be evicting existing tenants to make way for the new cash cows remains to be seen, but given their past record….
It makes sense, I suppose, if your only interest in society is extracting the maximum amount of money. Why rent a house for a single amount when you can squeeze many more students in and charge each of them ? Add to that short-term contracts, so you’re not stuck with them for long if they’re trouble. Who loses ?
Well, apart from the unfortunate non-students seeking accommodation, or those existing residents finding themselves increasingly in student ghettos. But who cares about them ?
Of course, the university’s main concern seems to be the fact that they’ll not have control of these planned student buildings. They dont appear to be in the least concerned about the effect on rentable houses for the rest of the population… you know, the people who actually live there full time ? Not suprisingly, most of the new student lets are also in the most affordable (ie: poorer) areas.
Perhaps the university should be investing in new halls of residence to go with the few places it already has (I understand it has around 17,000 students, but only has accommodation for 1,547 ). Even allowing for students who live locally anyway or within commuting distance anyway…