Talent and student private rented sector bottlenecks: A preliminary UK investigation

S. Huston, A. Jadevicius, N. Minaei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this paper is to sketch the UK housing backdrop, review the student private rented sector (PRS) and assess the experience of post-graduate university student tenants in the PRS.

A literature review puts the issues of student-PRS responsiveness into context and helps to untangle some UK housing issues. The private sector’s size, growth and performance is assessed by reviewing secondary data. In-depth interviews were then conducted at a regional university campus.

The study confirms accumulating evidence of an unbalanced UK housing market. The study identified four main PRS issues: first, rapid university expansion without accompanying residential construction has sparked rampant PRS growth with, second, quality issues, third, in tight letting market conditions, rented agent service levels fell and fourth, part of the problem is complex PRS management procedures.

Research limitations/implications
The research has three noteworthy limitations. First, the macroeconomic analysis integrated secondary research without independent modelling. Second, the views of letting agents, university property managers, planning officers or landlords were not canvassed. Finally, the pilot interviews were geographically restricted.

Practical implications
When they expand, universities, local authorities and industry players need to give due consideration to plan for, design and develop quality student accommodation. Over-reliance on the PRS without informed oversight and coordination could undermine student experience and erode long-term UK competitiveness.

Social implications
The lack of quality student rented accommodation mirrors a general housing malaise around affordability, polarisation and sustainable “dwelling”. Standards and professionalism in the rented sector is part of the overall quality mix to attract global talent.

The preliminary investigation uses mixed-methods to investigate PRS service delivery. It illustrates the interplay between professional property management and wider issues of metropolitan productivity, sustainability and resilience.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-302
Number of pages16
JournalProperty Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Competitive strategy
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Talent
  • Economic sustainability
  • Residential property
  • Strategic planning
  • Sustainable development
  • Housing market resilience
  • Private rented sector (PRS)
  • University expansion
  • Student accommodation
  • Property professionalism


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