In 2014/15 Student Living Officer Tom Phipps launched a piece of research into the experiences of students in the private rental sector in Bristol. The research sought to build on existing research into the accommodation problems faced by students, such as the NUS's Homes Fit for Study research and provide much needed evidence on an issue that had come up time and again anecdotally.
The survey found that over 90% of students reported having accommodation problems, with 75% reporting they had found mould or damp in their accommodation. Based on their experiences of private sector rented accommodation, one third of students would not recommend the University of Bristol to their friends. A quarter of students were unsatisfied with their home security arrangements and 9% reported that their accommodation did not have working fire detectors. Lettings agencies were less well rated than private landlords, with over half of students rating their landlord as good or very good compared to 41% of students rating their letting agent as good or very good.
The report was presented to the University of Bristol's Student Experience Committee. Since the research was conducted Bristol SU has run Don't Rent Yet and Ready to Rent campaigns encouraging students not to rush into choosing their accommodation. The University has also established a relationship with Helping Hand, a company which offers a guarantor service so that students do not need to pay up to a year of rent in advance.
Below you can read a full report covering all the findings of the research. If you have any questions about this research you can get in touch with our Research and Evaluation Coordinator Alice Phillips (firstname.lastname@example.org).