Student landlords worried about the coronavirus risks of students in their
private accommodation will be pleased to hear about the latest research.
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS),
students are at a higher risk of catching coronavirus in their halls of
residence than they are in a private house-share.
The risk is also lower in lecture theatres.
The ONS examined the spike in infections in Loughborough and Exeter and
found that the second wave was seen primarily among students living in
Living in student houses
They say that fewer cases have been traced back to those living in student
houses, or to the universities' teaching facilities.
The research comes after hundreds of thousands of students in the UK have
left university and returned home for Christmas.
And the findings highlight that some of the highest infection rates were
found to be among those of university age.
The data from ONS found that for students at the universities of Exeter and
Loughborough, Covid-19 infections among students rose once the term began,
but numbers fell during November.
Covid infection spread among students
Their report highlights that there is not enough evidence to determine
whether the Covid infection spread among students from the wider population
- or if it was the students' arrival that led to the sharp rise in Covid
The managing director of Accommodation for Students, Simon
Thompson, said: "This is good news for student landlords everywhere because
it shows that their homes are safe for students to live in.
"Social distancing rules and regularly washing hands and the cleaning of
surfaces will help protect student tenants - and landlords should be
looking forwards to their students returning in January."
The president of Universities UK, Prof Julia Buckingham,
said: "The new ONS report is reassuring because it backs up universities'
own findings showing there's minimal evidence of Covid transmissions during
face-to-face learning environments and universities."
Student Accommodation Conference
Meanwhile, the annual Student Accommodation Conference has
been held as a one-day virtual event.
Various speakers discussed where they think the student accommodation
sector in the UK is heading over the coming months.
One issue discussed was the exposure of student landlords and purpose-built
student accommodation (PBSA) operators to the international student market.
Most of the speakers believe that Brexit and Covid-19 will not have an
impact on the inflow of EU students or those from other countries.
Also, the drop-off in international student numbers from some countries,
including China, is probably a 'short-term blip'.