How has private student housing changed over the last decade?


Within Coventry University students it is a known fact that there is not enough accommodation for students coming into first year. Some students even ended up renting in private accommodation during their first year and missed out one of the most social parts of living away in halls at University.

I spoke with two private landlords, the first, Jason Dunn, who has been renting out 3-6 bed properties for over 20 years, on what the situation was like for students around 10 to 15 years ago.

The second was Ravi Desai who had been in property development for 7 years since the tender age of 19.

On explaining the difference between now and 15 years ago Jason Dunn said, ‘There are far more students enrolling onto the university than there used to be 15 years ago, this then means that more students will be wanting accommodation every year and the demand has outstripped the supply.’

He explained that since the recent growth of the University itself, and the rise in ranking it seems more students are coming to Coventry. Also it isn’t just Coventry University, Warwick university is based in the same vicinity meaning there is a doubled intake of students in some areas.

Ravi Desai certainly agreed as he said “Coventry has been named the fasted developing city, outside of Greater London, mainly due to the expansion of the University. We have had a massive influx of students not just from the UK but also from areas such as China and Eastern Europe. This has given landlords more options when it comes to filling their houses and on the whole I feel it has become less of a challenge to fill my properties!”

However one thing that hasn’t changed has been the price, apparently even with the increased intake of students there hasn’t been major change in price for rent.

Certain areas such as closer to the City Centre ends up being more expensive than the further away you are. But the growth in the market means that rentals are more or less secured for the following year. Private landlords generally don’t charge agency fees either.

On speaking to Ravi about pricing he mentioned how “students often find themselves having to fork out extortionate rental prices as high as £150 PER WEEK just for a single bedsit in the city centre. It’s great to have halls to enable students to make friends during their first year but for 2nd and 3rd year you really want to locate a house to give you a feel for adult life and not be monitored in everything that you do! Especially when they cost half the price!”

Jason Dunn also mentioned how this increased student intake every year would only make his business stronger, he said “Coventry town centre had become a ghost town. With more footfall in the city centre hopefully the better shops/bars will return. Many students stay in the city they have studied to look for jobs. Hopefully with a higher calibre of student studying at Coventry more will remain to work here.”

However, when discussing the recent rise of university accommodation and how that would affect private landlords Ravi mentioned how “It spells danger for students studying at the University as they will have to find a lot more money for rent when staying in Halls, compared to private accommodation. The increase in numbers at the University mean that those people will have to find somewhere to live. Therefore personally I can’t see it being too much of an issue, however, I do know a lot of landlords who have started to sell their student properties already!”

Now it seems like there is a strong need for the private landlord in Coventry, maybe only until Coventry University build more halls and secure more contracts with sites to build in easily accessible places to the students. They are in the process of doing so, since the last 3 years there has been at least two more student halls opened for enrolment. There is also another one in the process of being completed.

This may mean private landlord’s business will continue to flourish within Coventry until Coventry University are able to house the student intake for each coming year.


Hiba Bukhari 


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