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Research from home insurer LV= predicts that parts of Newcastle upon Tyne, Lincoln and Sheffield could become ghost towns.  LV=  started in 1843 as Liverpool Victoria, and is the UK largest remaining mutual society. The LV= student towns report shows how student life is set to be transformed over the next decade, as the impact of rising tuition fees forces university students to reassess their finances and living arrangements.

Students will no longer be able to afford to live at University but will choose courses which allow them to remain in the family home while they study. Some cities which rely heavily on their university population to boost their local economy, could become ghost towns as non-local students abandon them for cheaper study closer to home.

  • Twice as many university students will live at home by 2020
  • Areas worst hit will be
    • Jesmond (Newcastle)
    • Moorside (Newcastle)
    • Broomhill (Sheffield)
    • Sharrow (Sheffield)
    • Boultham (Lincoln)
    • Carholme (Lincoln).
  • The number of UK higher education students will fall by 14% over the next decade
  • Crime and criminal damage will increase in affected areas, as many properties become vacant and derelict

Student Exodus Could Leave University Cities ‘Ghost Towns’ by 2020

Summary of Seven Scams Students Suffer Searching for Studios


Students Renting London Flats

Tenants trying to rent a London Flat are prey to scammers because large sums of money are involved, and landlords are cautious so the scammer can disguise the scam as caution.

Pimlico Flats has campaigned against the scammers for a long time, but people are still trying scams and still falling for them.

  1. Charging to find a Flat
  2. Substitute Agent
  3. Pre Tenancy Charges
  4. Proof that you can pay
  5. Free Lunch
  6. Impressive Front
  7. It doesn’t exist
Victim renting a London Flat

Victim renting a London Flat

Thuffering thockatash

Do we need a thummary of the theven thcams thdudents thuffer thearching for thdudos?

Next we will tell you the seven safe strategies to save you from student studio scams

Student Accommodation Advice

Shower with glass wall

Shower with glass wall

Students looking to rent a London Flat probably need advice, and your first port of call for this advice is London University’s own Housing Services. If your are not a student at London University your own College will provide similar services.

The safest way for a student to rent a London flat is to rent through the university services as they insist that landlords adhere to a code of practice which protects the student. Unfortunately the housing services are funded by the fees which the landlords pay, so private flats rented through the university tend to be more expensive than those on the open market. Students intending to rent from the open market should read through our articles on Scams (see the tag cloud).

Advice on renting can be remarkably varied and surprisingly wrong. An example would be an article about student renting just published in The Times.  The article ends with tips for students looking for digs I have added my comments to what I consider very poor advice indeed:

– Check whether your university has a list of accredited local landlords.

Yes, goes without saying.

– Always ask whether utility bills (gas, water, electricity) are included in the rent. If not, work out how much it will cost and budget accordingly.

Yes – but check what the rental agreement says. Remember that as a student you are exempt from Council Tax, but under HMO legislation the Landlord has to pay the Council Tax and include it in the rent even though you are exempt. Consequently even though most Students end up in HMO accommodation they really should try to get into shared non-HMO properties where their tax exemption will apply.

– Check if there are service charges for your flat — some may charge extra for cleaning communal areas or shared gardens.

Nope – that’s not renting, that’s leasing, not what students generally do!

– Find out what you are expected to look after in the tenancy agreement — you may be responsible for the garden and interior hallways, etc.

Nope – under every housing act there has ever been Landlords are responsible for common parts.

– Check for signs of damp or mould — mould is often peeled off and painted over.

And your point is? If the place is horrible and damp negotiate a low rent, move in and then get the Landlord to fix it.

– Stains or discolouration around the boiler are usually signs that all is not well — there may be a leak or fault that could be dangerous.

Stains indicate water leaks. It’s not good, but nobody has ever drowned as a consequence of a water leak from a boiler! On the other hand Carbon Monoxide is invisible, leaves no stains, doesn’t smell, sends you peacefully to sleep, and then kills you. Consequently Landlords are required to have a full Gas Safety inspection done annually and have a certificate for the tenant. Forget stains, expect a certificate.

– Landlords are legally obliged to have the carbon monoxide levels checked each year — ask for a copy of the safety-check record.

Nope – where do they get this stuff? Carbon Monoxide should be zero. You can get CO alarms, but there is no requirement to have them. Just ask to see the Gas Safety Certificate.

– Make sure that the property is secure: one in three students will be a victim of crime, and student houses, which are often full of electrical equipment, are a common target for thieves. Check that there are good locks on the windows and on the front doors to shared flats.

Well – I guess we would say this, but go live in a safe area like Pimlico and it won’t be a problem.

– If you are staying in a private property, take photographs when you move in and agree an inventory with your landlord so you are not liable for any existing damage.

Actually under the protected deposit schemes which are compulsory, the onus is on the Landlord to prove to the level of criminal proof (beyond all reasonable doubt) that you did the damage. To claim off your deposit they will need dated photographs of before and after.

To conclude – there really is a lot of duff advice out there. Your University will have specialist advisers familiar with  renting law, and as a tenant you are well protected by government legislation. However until you become a tenant of a reputable landlord you aren’t protected from internet scams or rogue agents. Never pay money without knowing where it is going, and having a receipt and guarantee of it’s return or a tenancy.

Renting to London Students – one Landlord’s View

Angela OConnor

Angela O'Connor

Angela O’Connor is a Landlord specialising in the refurbishment of houses to provide HMOs (Houses in Multiple Occupation) for Students to live in.

Pimlico Flats asked Angela for her views on Renting to Students.

September – all the students have settled in now and all repairs have been done. I know what most people think: ‘The students have probably trashed the place’, but far from it. We never really had any major problems, it’s just one of the stereotypes I come across frequently.

It is probably true that tenants don’t take care if provided with substandard accomodation, however we aim to provide modern, stylish and well maintained accomodation aimed at the top end of the student market and so far it has worked out very well. Big developers like Unite have spotted the opportunity long ago.



There are many students out there being able and willing to pay extra for accomodation most people would assume is targeted at  the professional market.  I believe many investors/landlords are missing a trick here. These students have Blackberries, some drive new cars and look very stylish. They expect wireless, maybe even Sky TV, have xboxes, laptops …you name it! Above all, they often have parents willing to fork out to ensure their children are living in good quality accomodation.

Today’s London student requires quality accommodation to rent.

It’s Student Week at Pimlico Flats!

This is the week of the year when students flood into London looking for somewhere to stay for the upcoming academic year. Over the next 3 weeks there will be a great bun fight as students and landlords pal up or fall out. For the students maybe their life and career will be destroyed by a poor decision about accommodation leading to an unhappy and unsuccessful year at study. For parents there is the worry of imagining their child in some garret, rats chewing their toes at night, daughters lodging with prostitutes and rapists, sons knifed as they negotiate the street gangs on their way home from the library. For Landlords there is the prospect of all night student parties, carpets ruined, furniture destroyed.

Hopefully as student week progresses we will identify some of the pitfalls for all parties, and provide a route map to a successful and productive academic year for all concerned!



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