Willis, the world’s third-largest insurance broker, has warned developers and investors about the inherent risks of inactive student accommodation.
The company has advised landlords that their properties are more susceptible to break-ins and damage – and therefore higher insurance costs – when students return home for the holidays, leaving the properties unoccupied.
It is for this reason that facilities and maintenance managers, and accommodation providers are turning to Plastic Surgeon – calling on us to perform repairs to damaged surfaces in student flats. We provide a far more cost-effective solution than say, replacing gouged or scorched kitchen worktops, split or chipped shower trays or frost-damaged windows. We have found that our expert repairs service is roughly two-thirds cheaper for landlords than the cost of purchasing and installing a replacement.
There also seems to be a demand for resurfacing work to be carried out on older student accommodation, according to a report by London law firm Addleshaw Goddard. Their report, Education Nation: The Graduation of Student Housing, states that thousands of older buildings are seeking new investment and are in need of repair services to assist with both handovers and general maintenance.
Demand for Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) continues to soar, despite rising student fees and increasing rent. The number of tenants in PBSA has doubled between 2007 and 2014 to 108,000 of the UK’s 1.7 million full-time students. Although it represents only a small proportion of the student population, investors believe the sector still has a long way to go.