Where do students pay the highest & lowest rent in the UK

As fun and educationally rewarding university can be, there’s no doubt the experience can be expensive. Keeping up with tuition fees, social gatherings and general living expenses can leave a heavy dent on bank balance – One of the biggest expenditures… RENT!

Although there has been some reprieve with the letting agent fees ban, rents are increasing year on year. 

So where do students spend the least on rent? Then on the other end of the scale, where are students paying the most?

students renting

As the nation attempts to get back to some sense of normality post the worst of the Covid-19, students are now heading back to universities to kick of a new academic year.

We’ve created a list of UK universities/undergrad colleges and what the average rents students can expect to pay.

  1. Universities where students pay the least rent – Top 20
  2. Universities where students pay the most rent – Top 20 (well, actually top 33)
  3. Top 20 universities in the UK & their rental amounts
  4. Trends in university enrollment figures & property
  5. Our full list of universities & average rental charges

Universities where students pay the least rent – Top 20

So to spoil the surprise, the universities where students pay the highest rent are made up of London universities (boring). So we’d thought we’d kick off the data on the areas where students pay the lowest rent.

Students at Bradford are getting the cheapest rent levels, closely followed by its North East counterpart Teesside University.

At number 20, University of Leicester students are paying some of the lowest rents in the country, although on average they’re paying 55% more than students at the lowest paying rent students in Bradford.

Of course every student’s situation will differ; some may live further out from their university taking advantage of potentially lower rents, some choose to live in student accommodation (usually the most expensive, but also usually the most fun!) while others decide to house share.

The rents shown in the tables below are based on average rent charges in close proximity to the university (the university and adjacent postcodes).

 

# University Rent pcm Per person, per month
1 University of Bradford £424 £144
2 Teesside University £437 £148
3 University of Wolverhampton £476 £161
4 University of Hull £484 £164
5 The University of Cumbria £498 £169
6 University of Wales: Trinity Saint David £499 £169
7 University of Plymouth £512 £174
8 University of Sunderland £525 £178
9 University of Derby £557 £189
10 University of Huddersfield £561 £190
11 Staffordshire University £581 £197
12 Glyndwr University £588 £199
13 Prifysgol Aberystwyth £610 £207
14 The University of Bolton £631 £214
15 University of Lancaster £640 £217
16 Birmingham City University £641 £217
17 Loughborough University £645 £219
18 Swansea Metropolitan University £647 £219
19 De Montfort University £657 £223
20 University of Leicester £657 £223

 

Universities where students pay the most rent – Top 20 (well, actually top 32)

The top 30 most expensive universities to rent at are central London based establishments.

The SW7 postcode, filling up the top 4 postcodes is no surprise. We talked about rental yields & property prices previously, which identified SW7 as the most expensive postcode in the UK on average to buy a property, at a whopping £2,163,488.

Outside central London universities, University of Surrey & University of Brighton fill the first 2 spots where students pay the most rent, taking up places 31 & 32 in the overall list.

 

# University Rent pcm Per person, per month
1 Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine £2,996 £1,016
2 Royal College of Music £2,996 £1,016
3 Royal College of Art(The) £2,996 £1,016
4 Institute of Cancer Research: Royal Cancer Hospital (The) £2,996 £1,016
5 The City University £2,785 £944
6 Guildhall School of Music and Drama £2,785 £944
7 University of London £2,502 £848
8 King’s College London £2,502 £848
9 London School of Economics & Political Science £2,502 £848
10 Courtauld Institute of Art £2,502 £848
11 School of Pharmacy University of London(The) £2,502 £848
12 The University of Westminster £2,502 £848
13 University College London £2,502 £848
14 London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine £2,502 £848
15 Institute of Education, University of London £2,502 £848
16 The Conservatoire for Dance and Drama £2,502 £848
17 Birkbeck College £2,502 £848
18 School of Oriental and African Studies £2,502 £848
19 The Royal Veterinary College £2,257 £765
20 London Business School £2,257 £765
21 Royal Academy of Music £2,257 £765
22 Central School of Speech and Drama(The) £2,209 £749
23 London South Bank University £2,121 £719
24 Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London £1,805 £612
25 Roehampton University £1,798 £609
26 London Metropolitan University £1,746 £592
27 St George’s Hospital Medical School £1,736 £588
28 Ravensbourne Limited £1,691 £573
29 Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance Ltd £1,691 £573
30 University of Greenwich £1,691 £573
31 University of Surrey £1,676 £568
32 University of Brighton £1,668 £565

Top 20 universities in the UK & their Rental amounts

So where in the country will the clever clogs, going to the best ranked universities, pay the highest and lowest rent?

In the top 3, Oxford & Cambridge are priced appx 50% less than third placed Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine (that SW7 postcode again!)

The University of Durham (12th)  University of Lancaster (20th) are the locations where students going to one of the top 20 universities in the country will be paying the lowest rents

 

University Ranking University Rent pcm
Per person, per month
1 University of Oxford £1,424 £483
2 University of Cambridge £1,563 £530
3 Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine £2,996 £1,016
4 University of London £2,502 £848
5 University of Edinburgh £1,216 £412
6 The University of Manchester £967 £328
7 King’s College London £2,502 £848
8 London School of Economics & Political Science £2,502 £848
9 University of Bristol £1,108 £376
10 University of Warwick £1,069 £362
11 University of Glasgow £1,158 £393
12 University of Durham £679 £230
13 University of Birmingham £844 £286
14 University of Southampton £1,045 £354
15 University of Leeds £737 £250
16 University of Sheffield £839 £284
17 University of St Andrews £1,558 £528
18 University of Nottingham £703 £238
19 Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London £1,805 £612
20 University of Lancaster £640 £217

 

Landlords looking to maximise their rental returns often veer towards HMO properties. A HMO property provides an average rental yield of 6.3%, as opposed to the market average of 5.5%, according to data from the Buy Association.

Landlords looking to run a HMO property often turn their attention to areas with a high student population. The yearly intake of students usually provides a strong pipeline of tenants to fill HMO properties.

Furthermore, Between 2018 and 2029, undergraduate enrollment in 4-year institutions is projected to increase by 2 percent (from 10.9 to 11.1 million students) and enrollment in 2-year institutions is projected to increase by 3 percent (from 5.7 million to 5.9 million students), as per the National Center Of Educational Statistics.

Therefore, although it’s been a bumpy year for university enrollments due to the Covid pandemic, and enrollments aren’t rising as fast as the last 2 decades, the future intake of students seems stable for the years to come.

landlord HMO guideHowever, there are some potential issues with HMO properties and student tenants. The surge in HMO properties has led to a number of councils looking to implement a HMO clampdown.

As Councillor John Reynolds, Cabinet member with responsibility for planning policy explains,

“Issues arise from depopulation over the summer period, noise and disturbance, pressure on refuse storage, car parking and services, as well as the detrimental visual impact caused by the display of a significant volume of ‘To Let’ boards,”

“Student HMOs also remove family homes from the housing market and by constraining their further growth we will retain a good balance of affordable accommodation.”

With councils increasing restrictions on HMO licencing, whether it’s making it difficult to get a HMO licence or implementing tougher requirements for existing licence holders, landlords need to overcome more hurdles to reap the yield benefits of HMOs.

To maintain rental profits while operating HMO’s, landlords will more than ever be looking to utilise as many support pathways as possible. For instance using limited companies to increase tax efficiency, keeping letting agent costs low (possibly utilising cheaper online letting agent services) and protecting against rent arrears through rent guarantee schemes.

 

 

# University Rent pcm Per person, per month
1 University of Bradford £424 £144
2 Teesside University £437 £148
3 University of Wolverhampton £476 £161
4 University of Hull £484 £164
5 The University of Cumbria £498 £169
6 University of Wales: Trinity Saint David £499 £169
7 University of Plymouth £512 £174
8 University of Sunderland £525 £178
9 University of Derby £557 £189
10 University of Huddersfield £561 £190
11 Staffordshire University £581 £197
12 Glyndwr University £588 £199
13 Prifysgol Aberystwyth £610 £207
14 The University of Bolton £631 £214
15 University of Lancaster £640 £217
16 Birmingham City University £641 £217
17 Loughborough University £645 £219
18 Swansea Metropolitan University £647 £219
19 De Montfort University £657 £223
20 University of Leicester £657 £223
21 Swansea University £676 £229
22 University of Durham £679 £230
23 University Campus Suffolk Ltd £682 £231
24 University of Central Lancashire £682 £231
25 University of Worcester £686 £233
26 The Robert Gordon University £688 £233
27 University of Aberdeen £688 £233
28 University of Lincoln £695 £236
29 Sheffield Hallam University £696 £236
30 University of Nottingham £703 £238
31 Aston University £707 £240
32 University of Bedfordshire £709 £240
33 University of Keele £711 £241
34 The University of Northampton £714 £242
35 Newman University College £718 £243
36 Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln £718 £243
37 The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts £721 £244
38 Northern School of Contemporary Dance £721 £244
39 Liverpool John Moores University £729 £247
40 University of Leeds £737 £250
41 Leeds College of Music £737 £250
42 Leeds College of Art £737 £250
43 University of Chester £768 £260
44 University of Glamorgan / Prifysgol Morgannwg £789 £267
45 University College Birmingham £791 £268
46 Leeds Trinity University College £791 £268
47 University of Exeter £797 £270
48 University of Abertay Dundee £798 £271
49 University of Dundee £798 £271
50 Cardiff Metropolitan University £810 £275
51 University of Northumbria at Newcastle £811 £275
52 University of Newcastle Upon Tyne £811 £275
53 Bangor University £815 £276
54 Southampton Solent University £816 £277
55 Coventry University £818 £277
56 Harper Adams University £822 £279
57 Cardiff University £831 £282
58 Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama Limited £831 £282
59 University of Wales Prifysgol Cymru £831 £282
60 University of Sheffield £839 £284
61 University of Birmingham £844 £286
62 Edge Hill University £845 £286
63 University of Gloucestershire £845 £286
64 The Queen’s University of Belfast £854 £289
65 St Mary’s University College £854 £289
66 Stranmillis University College £854 £289
67 University of York £870 £295
68 Nottingham Trent University £874 £296
69 University of Liverpool £874 £296
70 York St John University £892 £302
71 The Manchester Metropolitan University £894 £303
72 University of Salford £896 £304
73 Norwich University College of the Arts £911 £309
74 University College Falmouth £928 £315
75 Buckinghamshire New University £928 £315
76 Bournemouth University £936 £317
77 The Arts University College at Bournemouth £936 £317
78 The University of Buckingham £938 £318
79 Leeds Metropolitan University £940 £319
80 Royal Agricultural College £940 £319
81 Cranfield University £946 £321
82 University of Essex £951 £322
83 Writtle College £953 £323
84 Anglia Ruskin University £953 £323
85 The University of Chichester £954 £323
86 University of Portsmouth £958 £325
87 The University of Manchester £967 £328
88 Royal Northern College of Music £967 £328
89 Open University(The) £974 £330
90 University of the West of England, Bristol £984 £334
91 University of Southampton £1,045 £354
92 University of Warwick £1,069 £362
93 Canterbury Christ Church University £1,073 £364
94 University of Reading £1,091 £370
95 University of Bristol £1,108 £376
96 University of East Anglia £1,156 £392
97 University of Glasgow £1,158 £393
98 University of Kent £1,173 £398
99 Bath Spa University £1,207 £409
100 University of Bath (The) £1,207 £409
101 University for the Creative Arts £1,209 £410
102 University of Edinburgh £1,216 £412
103 Edinburgh Napier University £1,216 £412
104 Sruc £1,216 £412
105 Oxford Brookes University £1,219 £413
106 University of Winchester £1,262 £428
107 Brunel University £1,275 £432
108 University of Hertfordshire £1,322 £448
109 Royal Holloway College and Bedford New College £1,325 £449
110 University of Sussex £1,370 £464
111 University of Oxford £1,424 £483
112 Goldsmiths’ College £1,428 £484
113 University of East London £1,544 £523
114 Kingston University £1,553 £526
115 University of St Andrews £1,558 £528
116 Middlesex University £1,560 £529
117 University of Cambridge £1,563 £530
118 St Mary’s University College, Twickenham £1,602 £543
119 The University of West London £1,649 £559
120 University of Brighton £1,668 £565
121 University of Surrey £1,676 £568
122 Ravensbourne Limited £1,691 £573
123 Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance Ltd £1,691 £573
124 University of Greenwich £1,691 £573
125 St George’s Hospital Medical School £1,736 £588
126 London Metropolitan University £1,746 £592
127 Roehampton University £1,798 £609
128 Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London £1,805 £612
129 London South Bank University £2,121 £719
130 Central School of Speech and Drama(The) £2,209 £749
131 The Royal Veterinary College £2,257 £765
132 London Business School £2,257 £765
133 Royal Academy of Music £2,257 £765
134 University of London £2,502 £848
135 King’s College London £2,502 £848
136 London School of Economics & Political Science £2,502 £848
137 Courtauld Institute of Art £2,502 £848
138 School of Pharmacy University of London(The) £2,502 £848
139 The University of Westminster £2,502 £848
140 University College London £2,502 £848
141 London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine £2,502 £848
142 Institute of Education, University of London £2,502 £848
143 The Conservatoire for Dance and Drama £2,502 £848
144 Birkbeck College £2,502 £848
145 School of Oriental and African Studies £2,502 £848
146 The City University £2,785 £944
147 Guildhall School of Music and Drama £2,785 £944
148 Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine £2,996 £1,016
149 Royal College of Music £2,996 £1,016
150 Royal College of Art(The) £2,996 £1,016
151 Institute of Cancer Research: Royal Cancer Hospital (The) £2,996 £1,016

Sources: Buy Association, National Center Of Educational Statistics, Home, Property Data, Masters Portal, University Compare, Zoopla

* Average rent per person based on average rents in the relevant postcode, divided by 2.95 (the average number of bedrooms in a UK property)

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