Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
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28 September 2006 PR 06/109

Property accreditation scheme will give students peace of mind

Students and their parents will have peace of mind about the standard of rented property thanks to a revamped accreditation scheme being offered by Loughborough University’s in-house property letting agency.

Student Accommodation Services co-ordinates all the accommodation services offered by the University with teams operating for on and off campus accommodation. The off campus, or private sector team has operated an accreditation for the past seven years. Originally it was a voluntary two-tier system (gold and silver) designed to ensure certain standards of safety and of fixtures and fittings. It has been revised and re-launched as a single standard (similar to gold) in response to the growing expectations of students and new housing legislation that has come into force recently – the Housing Act 2004. Under the terms of the Act any property let to three or more unrelated individuals will be classed as a House in Multiple Occupation.

Any property accredited under the new system will meet the minimum standards to provide a safe living environment. The premises will, for example, meet relevant fire regulations, have appropriate gas and electricity certifications, and have study bedrooms of a specific standards.

In addition to accreditation landlords will be invited to apply for a star rating which is designed to provide additional guidance to prospective tenants. A three-star property would, for example, be very well decorated and have good quality modern furniture and equipment.

Student Accommodation Services currently manage or part manage over 400 properties owned by some 350 landlords. Landlords are being invited to apply for accreditation and rating and the new scheme will be phased in over the next year. Any landlord with an accredited property under the old system will have ample time to carry out any improvements, if necessary. The scheme is being run in association with Charnwood Borough Council.

Malcolm Brown, Director of imago Services, said: “This scheme is designed to reassure prospective tenants and guide and advise landlords to the same goal – excellent student housing.”

Any landlord wanting to find out more about the University’s revised accreditation scheme should contact Student Accommodation Services on 01509 222253.
The start of the academic year will also see the team operating from new, customer friendly offices conveniently situated mid campus and with an updated website. Improvements to the website include enhanced search facilities and greater selection options. The housing list, detailing all the properties on offer will also have a face lift to include photographic images.


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Notes to editors
Loughborough has an established reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry, and unrivalled sporting achievement. Assessments of teaching quality by the Quality Assurance Agency place it in the top flight of UK universities; the National Student Survey ranked Loughborough equal first among full-time students; and industry highlights the University in its top five for graduate recruitment. Around 40% of Loughborough’s income is for research, and 60% for teaching. The University has been awarded five Queen's Anniversary Prizes: for its collaboration with aerospace and automotive companies such as BAE Systems, Ford and Rolls Royce; for its work in developing countries; for pioneering research in optical engineering; for its world-leading role in sports research, education and development; and for its outstanding work in evaluating and helping to develop social policy-related programmes.

In 2006 Loughborough celebrates the 40th anniversary of its University Charter, awarded on 19 April 1966 in recognition of the excellence achieved by Loughborough College of Advanced Technology and its predecessor Colleges. Loughborough University of Technology was renamed Loughborough University in 1996.

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