Cardiff has the potential to be the next big success story in the thriving student accommodation market, thanks to its choice of prestigious universities, local culture and the enduring appeal of pursuing higher education in the UK.
The city could provide some particularly promising opportunities for those who have invested in high-quality student housing, with recent figures from the local council suggesting that many people living in homes of multiple occupation (HMOs) are paying to live in poor conditions.
A freedom of information request submitted to Cardiff Council revealed that 80 of the Welsh capital’s 6,400 HMOs fall below licensing standards, the BBC reported.
Fire risks were highlighted as the biggest issue, with 67 instances in total, while 44 properties were affected by damp and mould, and 35 were found to be vulnerable to entry by intruders. The data also warned of electrical hazards and risk of structural collapse in some HMOs in Cardiff.
Norma Mackie, a councillor in the city’s Cathays district, said some tenants were “paying good money” for properties in a “poor condition”.
She added: “There are some very good landlords but, unfortunately, there are sometimes very poor landlords.”
An HMO is a property with at least three tenants, who share facilities such as toilets, bathrooms and kitchens. This is a common form of accommodation for students who are unable to access purpose-built housing or rooms on campus.
Most of the HMOs in Cardiff are in Cathays and Roath, near Cardiff University.
Investors in dedicated student accommodation in Cardiff could benefit from reliable rental yields, as people studying in the city look for alternatives to low-quality HMOs.