Monday, 10 September 2012

Plymouth Student Union Letting Agency

Quite an interesting piece of news from the Plymouth Herald; the University of Plymouth Student Union has set up their own letting agency in response to the high number of problems their students have had with accommodation. The service is designed to focus on maintaining good conditions in the properties and improving student quality of life. The student formed agency also has its own property maintenance programme to promptly solve any problems that do arise.

Personally, I think this is a great idea and it takes straight after organisations such as the Cardiff Student Union letting agency which recently won an award from the London Times.

Here are some of the advantages we at BPM Maintenance can see in the scheme:

  • The student union agency offers a very reasonable service to students with no agency fees, which can run into hundreds of pounds with an independent agency. 
  • The strong links with the university give students peace of mind; knowing that their accommodation is in the hands of people who have their best interests at heart, rather than pursuing profit.
  • Offers an alternative to existing organisations such as Unite, which provide pseudo halls of residence that may not appeal to all types of student.
  • Material and information supplied is tailored for the students of that university rather than students or clients in general.
  • Student union services such as this provide excellent work experience for then university students organising it.
Some possible downsides:

  • The service may provide excellent experience for the students, as they will likely have very little relevant existing experience in the field. This may lead to mistakes and error which are part of the natural learning process, but could be detrimental to an already vulnerable sector (finance wise).
  • High staff turnover due to the organisation being run by students; unable for individuals to build long standing relationships with landlords in the area and gain associated knowledge of properties for long.
  • Students combining letting work with studies could lead to low quality.