Hundreds of Glasgow students apply for £900-a-month one bedroom flat in under 24 hours
Glasgow Uni has advised students to drop out if they haven’t found accommodation yet
More than 500 Glasgow students applied to live in a one-bedroom flat when it went on the market last week as students become increasingly more desperate to find any sort of housing in the city.
The city-centre flat was listed last Wednesday for £895 per month and received 500 applications overnight.
Less than a fortnight ago, University of Glasgow told students they should “suspend” their studies or “withdraw” from the university altogether if they hadn’t yet found a place to live.
In its email to students, the university said students who chose not to follow the advice of the university could face “significant impacts”, although the university did not clarify what those impacts would be.
Despite the university’s warning, many students have told The Glasgow Tab they will stay in the city and continue to look for accommodation.
“They’re asking me to consider not continuing with my education,” third year Grace said. “I’ve already paid nearly £20,000 in tuition fees and now they’re asking me to consider not continuing.
“I’ve considered all options, I’ve considered transferring unis or deferring. It’s a real shame that such an excellent uni has no regard for the wellbeing of students.”
Glasgow University blames the crisis on the private rental market and the shrinking number of private properties available to students in the city.
It says it has increased the number of university managed rooms by 25 per cent this year and that there has been no “significant” increase in student numbers this year.
However some university staff have queried the claims made by the university. Graduate teaching assistant, Rosie Hampton told STV student numbers have “massively increased”. She estimates she has approximately 50 per cent more students in her classes this year compared to last year.
“It feels like you don’t have enough time to give to individual students; subjectively I have less time within an hour and that doesn’t feel fair,” she said.
She believes there is a “lack of care” from the university and said she is “heartbroken for students”.
She added: “This has been years in the making. Student numbers have increased year-on-year, fees are up, costs of living are more expensive, staff wages are not up, so they are saving money in that sense.”
The £895 per month flat was listed by local lettings agency, Pacitti Jones. CEO, John O’Malley admitted the property is “very, very dear” and that this type of property would not normally be popular among students.
He also raised concerns the soaring demand in the private rental market could negatively impact students who come from a disadvantaged background.
He told STV it was not uncommon for parents of students to be offering lump sums of six months worth of rent upfront in a bid to encourage landlords to choose their child over other applicants. In the case of the one-bed £895 per month flat, that would equate to £5,370 upfront.
A University of Glasgow spokesperson said: “Regrettably, due to a significant contraction in the private rental market, demand for rooms continues to be substantially ahead of expectation both in Glasgow and more broadly across the UK. Like most urban universities, we cannot guarantee accommodation for returning students.
“As part of our efforts to address the issue, we have increased the number of rooms under University management by 25 per cent for this academic year. We have focused – as is our usual policy – on providing accommodation to first-year undergraduate students who live at a significant distance from our campus. There has been no significant increase in student numbers for this year.
“We have taken a number of rooms in hotels on a temporary basis till the end of the month to help students who are struggling to find residential accommodation. About 30 hotel beds are currently being used. We continue to advise students not to travel to Glasgow unless they have prearranged accommodation.
“To address issues with the availability of accommodation within Glasgow, we are already taking steps to increase accommodation provision for future years and we are continuing to engage with private providers and with local government on issues with the city’s private rental market.
“We understand the concern students have about finding accommodation for the new semester, and we are taking a number of actions to support our students and ensure continuity of learning wherever possible. In some cases, our advice may include pausing studies for this academic year while ensuring students continue to have access to University systems and services. Comprehensive advice is available from students’ advisers of study and the Students’ Representative Council Advice Centre, which has also been providing advice to students on house hunting.”
Related articles recommended by this writer:
Stock featured image unrelated to the property in question