An increase in student numbers at University Centre Shrewsbury (UCS) has led to a demand for more privately-owned rented accommodation, and an event this month seeks to highlight the opportunities available to landlords within the private sector.
The Private Landlord Accreditation Scheme is an initiative run jointly by Shropshire Council and UCS to ensure property meets certain standards for student accommodation. Properties will then appear on an ‘approved’ UCS accommodation list and will be supplied to students seeking private housing.
UCS is on target to meet its projected student numbers for the 2017/18 academic year – and this means additional accommodation will be needed to house second and third year students. The University’s local focus means many of its students stay at home during the duration of their study. For those attending UCS from further afield, however, the Centre has up to now been able to guarantee a place in the Council-owned Mardol House facility, which provides smart, well-equipped living quarters in the centre of Shrewsbury. This new scheme will open up new opportunities for local landlords, as well as ensuring students can expect clean, safe accommodation that meets clearly defined standards.
Paul Kirkbright, Deputy Provost at UCS, said: “We’re delighted to be able to support our partners at Shropshire Council and private landlords and agencies to ensure our second and third year students are provided with suitable private accommodation that’s high quality, reasonably priced, clean and, above all, safe.
“We hope to evolve a long and mutually fruitful relationship with Shrewsbury’s private letting sector that will allow our students to make the most of their experience at UCS and in the community and to contribute further to the economic benefits that having a locally-based higher education institution brings. Students who come to UCS are very focused on their academic programmes of study, and we’re keen to be able to direct them towards accommodation that will help them achieve their academic and personal goals.”
Councillor Mal Price, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning, Housing, Regulatory Services and Environment, said: “The accreditation scheme provides reassurance to students and their parents in what is often their first experience of living away from home. It includes a robust checklist that landlords must adhere to, guaranteeing students somewhere safe and fit-for-purpose to live while they undertake their studies.”
For landlords interested in registering with the scheme, an information event is being held on Thursday January 19 from 6pm to 8pm at University Centre Shrewsbury, Guildhall, Frankwell Quay. There will be the opportunity to hear from landlords with experience of student letting, and Shropshire Council will be on hand to explain more about the scheme. To find out more about the event, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0345 678 9000.